Derek Jeter was given the day off today after playing the series opener against the Red Sox last night at Yankee Stadium. While Yankees manager Joe Girardi understands that fans came to the ballpark expecting Jeter to be in the lineup and are likely disappointed to see him on the bench, he told Andrew Marchand of ESPN.com that his first priority is to keep Jeter healthy for the long haul. As it should be.
“I have to manage him with a focus of winning games and keeping him healthy, not being a farewell tour,” said Girardi, who has Dean Anna at shortstop against the Red Sox. “I wasn’t hired to put on a farewell tour.”
Jeter has started in 10 out of 12 games for the Yankees so far this season. The 40-year-old is hitting .286 (10-for-35) with a pair of doubles, one RBI, and four walks.
There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.
The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.
All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.
After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.
Here’s today’s schedule: