Sunday, February 1, 2015

Not seeing Jeter at spring training will be strange, Girardi says

Derek Jeter's career might have ended last September, but it seems the idea he's gone for good is just now getting through to the Yankees. 

Spring training for the Pinstripes will indeed feel much different this month in the wake of Jeter's absence, club Manager Joe Girardi told reporters this weekend. Jeter -- who is expected to be succeeded by youngster Didi Gregorius this year -- was the last member of the Yankees' "Core Four" prior to his recent retirement, which marked the finish of a period considered to have begun in 1995. 

"You know, we've been through it the last couple years, where Yankees that have meant a lot to the organization all of a sudden aren't there," Girardi said, via Newsday's Colin Stephenson. "It started with [Jorge] Posada, and then with [Mariano] Rivera and [Andy] Pettitte, and now it's Jeet."

Posada was the first of the Yankees' veterans to hang up his cleats after 2011, and Pettitte and Rivera did the same after 2013.

Of the group, Jeter played the most seasons with 20 -- also the most anyone has ever spent with the Yankees. His 3,465 hits top New York's all-time list, as do his 2,747 games and 544 doubles.

It's assumed by many Jeter will be a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, and Girardi says his being away won't come to him until camp starts February 26.

"It doesn't really hit you until spring training starts and you expect them there on that day," he said. "So the first day of position players, I would expect [Jeter] hitting in the first group, doing his ground balls."

The Yankees selected Jeter sixth overall in the 1992 MLB Draft, signing him for $800,000. In his two decades with the team, he nicely batted .310, making it into 14 All-Star games while winning five Gold Gloves.

The awkwardness of the situation will be fully realized, Girardi says, when Jeter doesn't show up for the first squad workout. 

"That's when it really sinks in, because you don't really see him in the offseason anyway," Girardi said. "And it'll be strange."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)