The gifts keep coming for Derek Jeter. Normally the Captain has been honored by teams in his final trip to that particular city. Since the Yankees do not travel to Cincinnati this year (barring a Yanks-Reds World Series, that is), the Reds made a presentation to DJ before Saturday’s game at Yankee Stadium.
General manager Walt Jocketty and All-Star third baseman Todd Frazier, a New Jersey native, gave Jeter encased uniform jerseys of former Reds captains Dave Concepcion and Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, autographed by both former shortstops.
Frazier was a member of the Toms River, N.J., team that won the Little League World Series in 1998. When the team was honored that year before a game at Yankee Stadium, Frazier, then 12, stood alongside Jeter at shortstop during the National Anthem.
Perhaps the most encouraging sign for Yankees fans Friday night was the combined production of three of the club’s major imports in the off-season. Catcher Brian McCann, designated hitter Carlos Beltran and center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury got off to a great post-All-Star break start by driving in all the Yankees’ runs in their 4-3 victory over the Reds.
McCann, who struggled throughout much of the first half, has been driving the ball with more authority recently. Coming off a road trip in which he batted .351 with two doubles and two RBI, McCann came back to Yankee Stadium and whacked a double with two out in the first inning to give the Yanks an early lead with his 40th RBI of the season. He is hitting .356 with three doubles, one home run and four RBI in his past 45 at-bats.
After Bryan Pena tied the score in the third inning with the first of two home runs he hit off David Phelps, the Yankees went ahead again in the bottom half on a two-out, RBI single by Beltran, who also struggled much of the first half and has been beset with injuries. He came off the seven-day concussion list and added a double in the fifth inning.
Errors in the fourth inning by Brian Roberts and Derek Jeter cost Phelps an unearned run that knotted the score again. One inning later, the Yankees went ahead for good when Ellsbury followed a leadoff single by Jeter by driving a 1-1 pitch from Mike Leake for a two-run home run.
Phelps got clipped again in the seventh by Pena, a reserve catcher who is playing first base while former National League Most Valuable Player Joey Votto is on the disabled list because of a quad injury. Phelps gave up a single to Chris Heisey but came back to catch Ramon Santiago looking at a third strike before he was relieved by Dellin Betances.
The rookie All-Star who never got into Tuesday night’s game made an errant pickoff throw to first base that put the potential tying run in scoring position with one out. Jeter made an across-the-infield dash into foul ground in shallow left field to catch a pop fly by Billy Hamilton. Betances then finished off Zack Cozart with three 99-mph fastballs for the first of three consecutive strikeouts in another splendid setup-relief outing. David Robertson earned his 24th save with a shutout ninth.
This was a big victory for the Yanks, who face two of the toughest NL pitchers the next two days in the Reds’ Alfredo Simon and Johnny Cueto.
A pitching victory finally went to Phelps ending a stretch of four consecutive no-decisions. With the rotation in shambles because of all the injuries, Phelps has been the starting unit’s backbone. Over his past seven starts, the righthander is 3-0 with a 3.09 ERA to drop his season ERA from 4.53 to 3.87.
The victory improved the Yankees’ record against NL competition this year to 11-7, which ensures their 15th winning inter-league record. This is the Yankees’ last inter-league series of the season. The NL competition the Yanks really want to face would be in the World Series, the ultimate destination.
The Yankees will hold a special pregame ceremony to honor the career of Yankees captain Derek Jeter Sunday, Sept. 7. All fans in attendance at Yankee Stadium for the Yanks’ game against the Royals will receive a limited-edition commemorative coin that will recognize the occasion.
Further details about the ceremony will be announced at a later date. Fans interested in purchasing tickets should visit yankees.com/farewellcaptain.
Fresh from his 2-for-2 performance in the American League’s 5-3 victory in Tuesday night’s All-Star Game at Minneapolis’ Target Field, Jeter was back in the Yankees’ starting lineup for a record-setting appearance. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was his 2,610th start as a shortstop, the most for any player in major-league history at that position, surpassing the previous mark of Omar Vizquel.
The Yankees began the post-All-Star break of their schedule with some grim news. CC Sabathia will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee July 23 and will be lost to the Yanks for the rest of the 2014 season.
Sabathia, who has been on the disabled list since May 11 due to right knee inflammation, had been on a rehabilitation program but felt pain after making a minor-league start for Double A Trenton. After consulting with four doctors, Sabathia decided to have the surgical procedure that will be supervised by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, the Dodgers’ team physician.
One positive note out of this is that Sabathia, who was 3-4 with a 5.28 ERA in eight starts this season, does not need microfracture surgery at this time, although that remains a possibility down the line. Such an operation could jeopardize the lefthander’s career.
“Anybody that looks at that circumstance realizes that [microfracture surgery] is a bad thing, and there’s no predictable outcome,” Yankes general manager Brian Cashman said. “I think that’s something that some people can say ‘Hey, it could work,’ but it’s one of those things you don’t want to mess with if you can avoid it.”
The Yankees will pay tribute to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and the United States Armed Forces Sunday with Military Appreciation Day. Ceremonies will begin at noon, prior to the Yankees’ scheduled 1:05 p.m. game against the Reds. As part of the festivities, the Gold Team of the United States Army Golden Knights will parachute into Yankee Stadium with a Yankees banner bearing the logo of Derek Jeter’s final season.
Following the jump, four surviving children of servicemen that lost their lives in the line of duty and have been aided by the Special Operations Warrior Foundation will be recognized in a special ceremony at the plate.
Also taking part in the ceremonies will be retired Air Force Col. John Carney, who will throw out the ceremonial first pitch; country music recording artist and former U.S. Ranger, Keni Thomas, who will sing the National Anthem, and the official vocalist of the West Point Band, Master Sgt. MaryKay Messenger, who will sing God Bless America.
Ticket specials during the 10-game homestand against the Reds, Rangers and Blue Jays will run Saturday, July 19 (Youth Game), Monday, July 21 (Military Personnel Game), Tuesday, July 22 (Military Personnel Game), Wednesday, July 23 (Military Personnel and Student Game), Thursday, July 24 (MasterCard Half-Price, Military Personnel and Senior Citizen Game) and Saturday, July 26 (Youth Game).
For a complete list of ticket specials, including game dates, seating locations, and terms and conditions, fans should visit http://www.yankees.com/ticketspecials. Please note that all ticket specials are subject to availability.
The homestand will also feature the following promotional items and dates:
Friday, July 18 – Yankees vs. Reds, 7:05 p.m.
Cap Night, presented by Budweiser, to first 18,000 guests, 21 and older.
Saturday, July 19 – Yankees vs. Reds, 1:05 p.m.
Collectible Truck Day, presented by W.B. Mason, to first 18,000 guests, 14 and younger.
Sunday, July 20 – Yankees vs. Reds, 1:05 p.m.
1999 World Series Champions Fan Ring Day, presented by Betteridge Jewelers, to first 18,000 guests, 14 and younger.
Monday, July 21 – Yankees vs. Rangers, 7:05 p.m.
Derek Jeter Figurine Night, presented by P.C. Richard and Son, to first 18,000 guests.
Tuesday, July 22 – Yankees vs. Rangers, 7:05 p.m.
Cap Night, presented by Cooper Tire, to first 18,000 guests.
Wednesday, July 23 – Yankees vs. Rangers, 7:05 p.m.
T-Shirt Night, presented by CenterLight Healthcare, to first 18,000 guests.
Saturday, July 26 – Yankees vs. Blue Jays, 1:05 p.m.
Sunglasses Day, presented by sweetFrog, to first 18,000 guests, 14 and younger.
Sunday, July 27 – Yankees vs. Blue Jays, 1:05 p.m.
Paul O’Neill Bobblehead Day, presented by AT&T, to first 18,000 guests.
Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.yankees.com, http://www.yankeesbeisbol.com, at the Yankee Stadium Ticket Office, via Ticketmaster phone at (877) 469-9849, Ticketmaster TTY at (800) 943-4327 and at all Ticket Offices located within Yankees Clubhouse Shops. Tickets may also be purchased on Yankees Ticket Exchange at http://www.yankees.com/yte, the only official online resale marketplace for Yankees fans to purchase and resell tickets to Yankees games. Fans with questions may call (212) YANKEES [926-5337] or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MINNEAPOLIS — It did not take Derek Jeter very long to get involved in the 2014 All-Star Game. On the very first play of the game, Jeter made a diving stop of a hard grounder toward the middle by Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen, but the reigning National League Most Valuable Player beat the throw to first base for a single.
McCutchen never stopped running that inning. He moved up to second base on a wild pitch during the at-bat of Yasiel Puig, who struck out, and stole third base as Troy Tulowitzki struck out. Mac never made it home, however, as Paul Goldschmidt grounded out to third.
The Twins, who have done a magnificent job as host of the All-Star Game, came up with a nice touch by having a tape of the late Yankees public address voice Bob Sheppard announce Jeter as he stepped to the plate as the first American League hitter in the bottom of the first inning. The tape was apparently from the 2008 All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium.
The Target Field crowd was generous with its applause and gave Jeter a standing ovation. Starting pitcher Adam Wainwright left his glove and the ball on the rubber and stepped back off the mound in joining his NL teammates in applauding Jeter, who removed his helmet, waved to the crowd and pointed to both dugouts. He motioned to Wainwright to start pitching, but the Cardinals ace remained behind the mound for probably a full minute before taking position.
As play resumed, fans treated the Captain to a “Der-ek Jee-ter” chant familiar to the roll call the bleacher creatures at the Stadium salute him with every night, another cool touch. Jeet got things started for the AL with one of his patented line drives to right field that went into the corner as Jeter legged out a double. The crowd loved it.
And how about that to those who thought Jeter should not have been the AL’s leadoff hitter? One swing, and he was in scoring position. Not bad, eh?
Angels outfielder Mike Trout got Jeter home with the AL’s second extra-base hit of the inning, a triple off the right field wall that the Dodgers’ Yasieal Puig played poorly. After Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano struck out, Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera got the AL’s third extra-base hit of the inning, a home run to left field. The score was 3-0, and the Americans had not had a single yet. Perhaps Wainwright should have stayed off the mound.
The National League, which was shut out at Citi Field last year, closed to 3-2 in the second on RBI doubles by Phillies second baseman Chase Utley and Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy to end a 15-inning scoreless streak dating to 2012 at Kansas City.
Jeter was a leadoff hitter again in the third inning against Reds righthander Alfredo Simon and got the AL’s first single on another hit to right field. A wild pitch advanced Jeter into scoring position this time, but he was stranded.
Before the start of the fourth inning, AL manager John Farrell of the Red Sox sent White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez onto the field to replace Jeter, who was showered with another round of long applause while the PA system played Frank Sinatra’s version of “New York, New York” that is heard at the end of every Yankees home game.
Jeter again waved to the crowd, pointed to the NL dugout and then shook the hands of every one of his teammates in the AL dugout and urged on by the crowd came onto the field once more to acknowledge their cheers. He left All-Star competition with a .481 career average in 27 at-bats and seemed in place for maybe another game Most Valuable Player Award to match the one he received in 2000 at Atlanta’s Turner Field.
One stumbling block to that was the NL tying the score in the fourth on another RBI double by Lucroy, this time off White Sox lefthander Chris Sale. That opened the door for Trout, who with his second extra-base hit of the game, a double in the fifth, gave the AL the lead and put him in position to be the MVP.
But if the fans here had their choice, I’m sure they would vote for Jeter.
MINNEAPOLIS — It was typical of Derek Jeter to take a matter-of-fact approach to the 2014 All-Star Game at Target Field and not place any special significance of his last go-round among the top players of the game.
The FOX network that is broadcasting Tuesday night’s event had wanted to have a microphone on Jeter to record his throughs during the game. You know his answer to that, an emphatic no. Yankees fans would have been proud of Jeter’s appearance at Monday’s media session at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. While most players were dressed casually, there was Jeter in a power blue suit complete with tie. Classy, as usual.
“I don’t go into things with expectations,” Jeter told reporters. “I’m looking forward to playing the game, and I pretty much stopped it right there. I’ve always enjoyed All-Star Games, and I’ve always appreciated it, so I don’t think I’ll treat this one any differently. Everybody wants me to be so emotional all of the time, but I’m coming here to play the game, and everything else that comes with it, I don’t know.”
Opposing catcher Jonathan Lucroy of the Brewers for one cannot wait to see what the reaction to Jeter will be.
“When he comes to the plate, you know he’s going to get a two-minute standing ovation,” Lucroy said. “I was telling my wife, ‘What am I going to do? It’s going to be awkward.’ I’m not sure what I’m going to do with my hands. I may drop everything and start cheering myself.”
Jeter has been pretty coy about this farewell tour stuff, not wanting teams to over-do it. He’s a different sort from Mariano Rivera, who basked in the glow of his farewell tour a year ago. Jeter just wants to go about his business. There is still baseball to play this year. He is still wearing a Yankees uniform. He is still ready to contribute on a daily basis.
I cannot believe that some writers criticized American League manager John Farrell of the Red Sox for batting Jeter leadoff in the game, claiming the Yankees captain was not deserving due to his .272 batting average. Give me a break. Have these people no sense of propriety. Jeter earned the spot not just for this season but for all 19 years that preceded it.
I would like to remind these critics that Jeter has had one of the best All-Star careers in the game’s history. He took a .440 average into Tuesday night’s game with five runs, one double, one home run and three RBI in 25 at-bats. He was the Most Valuable Player of the 2000 game at Turner Field in Atlanta when he went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBI. Later that year, he was the MVP of the Yankees’ World Series triumph over the Mets. His All-Star home run came in 2001 at Safeco Field in Seattle.
Farrell is not alone in his admiration for Jeter. Listen to what two other managers, AL coaches Ron Gardenhire of the Twins and Terry Francona of the Indians, had to say about Jeter to USA Today:
“Although he has kicked our butt a lot of times and knocked us out of the playoffs, I admire him so much,” Gardenhire said, referring to the Yankees beating the Twins, 12-2, in postseason games with Jeter at shortstop.
Added Francona, “That’s the single high point of being here, to watch him in person. I am thrilled. He represents what is good about this game.”
Chiming in was National League shortstop Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies: “He’s everything I always wanted to be. He’s why I play shortstop. He’s why I wear No. 2. And to be starting across the side opposite side of him in his final All-Star Game will definitely be cool.”
It was also typical of Jeter when asked his favorite All-Star moment not to pick a game in which he starred. He picked the 1999 game at Fenway Park in Boston when he was 0-for-1. What made it special to Jeter was that the All-Century Team was honored before the game.
“All those great players on the field, and I get a tap on my shoulder,” Jeter recalled. “It’s Hank Aaron. He said he was looking for me because he wanted to meet me. He wants to meet me? That’s one of the best moments on the baseball field that stands out for me.”
In the same vein, commissioner Bud Selig commented on Jeter during his annual question-and-answer session at the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s All-Star meeting at the Marriott City Center Hotel.
“If you said two decades ago that this is the guy you wanted to be the face of baseball and being what this generation will remember, you couldn’t have written a script better,” Selig said. “I said to a friend of mine last night talking about Henry Aaron, ‘How lucky can you be to have an American icon like Henry Aaron?’ How lucky can this sport be to have an icon for this generation like Derek Jeter? He has just been remarkable.”
MINNEAPOLIS — Credit Red Sox manager John Farrell with a sense of history and propriety. The man in charge of the American League All-Star squad did not think twice about who his leadoff hitter would be for Tuesday night’s game at Target Field.
Who else but Derek Jeter?
In his farewell season, Jeter was voted into the starting lineup by the fans, and the AL manager responded in kind by not dumping the Yankees’ captain at the bottom of the lineup where some think his .272 batting average belongs.
But while home field advantage in the World Series is at stake based on the outcome of the game, Farrell recognizes that the All-Star Game is about stars, and for the past 20 seasons none has shown as brightly as Jeter, who has earned the respect of opponents as much as teammates for the way he goes about his business.
Farrell acknowledged his decision was easy and designed “to celebrate a player who is not only a champion but a guy that sets the bar that I think all players should aspire to — the way he has handled himself with class, with performance, no doubt a Hall of Famer. This will be a day that many baseball fans that are either in the ballpark or watching will remember as Derek’s last All-Star Game.”
Mariano Rivera went through something similar last year at Citi Field in Flushing. In that case, however, AL manager Jim Leyland of the Tigers had to guarantee that baseball’s greatest closer would get into the game near the end. With the AL the visiting team, Leyland knew he could not hold Rivera until the bottom of the ninth, a closer’s usual inning, because there may not have been one. And that was the case with the National League ahead entering the eighth, so that was when Leyland summoned Rivera.
Farrell was presented with a different situation — to honor one of the players in the starting lineup. He was correct to see that fans did not want to wait for Jeter to bat until perhaps as late as the third inning. I am predicting an enormous standing ovation for DJ when he steps to the plate for that first pitch from NL starter Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals.
“I have been in the big leagues for nine years and have never faced him,” Wainwright said. “I’m very excited about it, just to say I faced the best. And he is undoubtedly one of the best to ever play his position, one of the greatest Yankees of all time.”
The game will also reunite Jeter with his former keystone partner, Robinson Cano, who will start at second base and bat third.
Here are the lineups crafted by Farrell and NL manager Mike Matheny of the Cardinals:
Andrew McCutcheon, Pirates, CF
Yasiel Puig, Dodgers, RF
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies, SS
Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks, 1B
Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins, DH
Aramis Ramirez, Brewers, 3B
Chase Utley, Phillies, 2B
Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers, C
Carlos Gomez, Brewers, LF
Adam Wainwright, Cardinals, P
Derek Jeter, Yankees, SS
Mike Trout, Angels, LF
Robinson Cano, Mariners, 2B
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers, 1B
Jose Bautista, Blue Jays, RF
Nelson Cruz, Orioles, DH
Adam Jones, Orioles, CF
Josh Donaldson, Athletics, 3B
Salvador Perez, Royals, C
Felix Hernandez, Mariners, P
The Yankees’ rotation has had an overhaul this season with four-fifths of the Opening Day starting unit gone to the disabled list. The situation has afforded opportunities to some pitchers. Shane Greene is one who has given the Yankees reason to believe they just might get through this crisis.
The Floridian righthander earned his first major-league victory earlier in the week at Cleveland and followed it up Saturday with an even more impressive performance at Baltimore. Greene’s 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball in the Yankees’ 3-0 victory was quite a showing in the hitting paradise that is Camden Yards.
Just as he did last Monday night against the Indians, Greene had his sinker working as few balls hit by the Orioles made their way to the outfield. Other than their four hits, all singles, only two other batted balls by the Birds were outfield flies. Green got 10 outs on infield grounders and another on an infield popup. Oh, yeah, he also totaled nine strikeouts. Nelson Cruz, who entered the game tied for the major league lead in home runs (28) and RBI (74), went down on strikes three times.
This was an outing similar to what we have seen this year from another rookie righthander, Masahiro Tanaka. There will be no suggestion here that Greene is the equivalent of the Japanese phenom, but the Triple A Scranton call-up has proved a worthy substitute trying to work his way into the Yankees’ plans.
Greene did not allow a hit until two outs in the fifth inning. Manny Machado broke up the no-hit bid with a single to left, and Ryan Flaherty followed with a single to center that sent Machado to third base.
The score was 1-0 at that point, so it was a juncture when Greene might have wavered. Instead, he kept the Orioles off the board with a strikeout of Nick Hundley, the same guy whose 10th-inning single Friday night did in the Yankees.
The Orioles threatened again in the sixth when Nick Markakis and Steve Pearce began the inning with well-struck singles. If Greene ever needed a ground ball, this was the time. He got it, too, in the direction of Brian Roberts, who gloved it near second base, got to the bag for the force and made an off-balanced throw to first base for a rally-injuring double play. Greene supplied the killing blow by striking out Cruz.
The Yankees then supported their young pitcher in a way they have not been doing in recent games in which they have often taken early leads but have not tacked on runs later on. Orioles starter Chris Tillman kept pace with Greene for six innings. The Yankees scored a run in the third on a double by Mark Teixeira but lost another run when Derek Jeter was thrown out at the plate.
In the seventh, a pair of two-out hits, a single by Jeter off Tillman and a double by Jacoby Ellsbury off reliever T.J. McFarland, gave the Yanks two key insurance run. Brian McCann’s third hit of the game almost got another run in, but a strong throw to the plate by center fielder Adam Jones nailed Ellsbury.
It was encouraging to see the Yankees put together a sustained attack in the late innings, but as it turned out one run was all Greene needed. After he got the first out of the eighth, Greene was removed for lefthander David Huff, who gave up a single to Nick Markakis. Shawn Kelley got the final two outs of the inning before David Robertson finished it off with a perfect ninth for his 23rd save.
So after two brilliant starts, Greene is 2-0 with a 1.32 ERA and has given the Yankees hope that there may be more good stuff to come.
“He’s stepping up; that’s for sure,” Girardi told reporters. “He’s earning starts is what he’s doing.”
On the mound at Camden Yards for the Yankees Friday night was the last survivor of their Opening Day rotation, and he gave them what they desperately needed from a starting pitcher — length.
Hiroki Kuroda is still part of the starting unit while former mates Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka have all gone off to the disabled list, some of whom not to return in 2014.
The Yankees departed Cleveland with a fatigued bullpen, so the seven innings Kuroda gave them was heaven sent. Only one of those innings was a clinker, but that was enough to let the Orioles tie the score.
It was a strange fourth inning for Kuroda, who blew the 2-0 lead provided by solo home runs from Brian Roberts in the second and Kelly Johnson in the third off Miguel Gonzalez, who recovered to hold the Yankees scoreless with only three more hits through the eighth.
Kuroda gave up only one hit in the fourth, a bad-hop single past Derek Jeter by Adam Jones, which came after the righthander hit Steve Pearce with a pitch leading off the inning. Kuroda then uncorked two wild pitches, one that advanced the runners and another one out later that send Pearce home. A sacrifice fly by Chris Davis tied the score.
The score stayed that way until the 10th inning when Orioles catcher Nick Hundley lined a single to center field off Adam Warren to score Manny Machado, who had led off the inning with a double. Warren followed Dellin Betances, who was brilliant once again with two hitless innings featuring three more strikeouts. The rookie All-Star’s 84 punchouts are the most for any reliever in the majors.
The Yankees’ offense sputtered as it managed only one hit over the last six innings. The Orioles’ 3-2 victory pushed the third-place Yankees five games behind first-place Baltimore in the American League East as they fell back to .500 at 46-46.
That the game went into extra innings was not what the Yankees wanted by any means, not just two nights after playing 14 innings in Cleveland. It was the Yankees’ fourth extra-inning game in their past 11 games, which is why the relief squad is so weary.
The Yankees added some pitching Friday by recalling Matt Daley from Triple A Scranton and designating Jim Miller for assignment. They also acquired Jeff Francis from Oakland for cash and a player to be named, but the lefthander was not expected to join the team until Saturday. He could be a candidate to start Sunday night in the opening created by Tanaka’s assignment to the DL because of a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
Francis, 33, is 70-80 with a 4.95 ERA in a career covering 238 appearances (217 starts) with the Rockies, (2004-10, ’12-13), Royals (2011), Reds (2014) and Athletics (2014). This season he is a combined 0-2 with a 5.89 ERA in 10 appearances (one start) with the Reds and A’s. He last pitched July 2 for Oakland in a 9-3 loss at Detroit.