Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is in his 20th and final season in the majors, but he managed to do something last night for the first time in his long and storied career. It wasn’t a good thing.
Jeter had his first 0-for-7 as the Yankees lost 10-5 to the Rays in 14 innings. As Danny Knobler of ESPN New York notes, the 39-year-old had gone hitless 596 other times in his career, including 0-for-6 on multiple occasions, but never an 0-for-7 until last night. It obviously takes a unique situation to make that possible. And last night’s game was exactly that. It was a strange one.
Jeter grounded out five times and flew out twice in the loss. He had a chance to play hero in the bottom of the 13th, but grounded out with the bases loaded. His batting average dropped from .272 to .250 in one night.
“I don’t even remember the first four of them,” Jeter told the Associated Press after the game. “It’s one of those days, know what I mean? Some days when you think you’ve seen it all, there’s something new.”
After the 14-inning marathon last night, Jeter is understandably getting a rest this afternoon.
If you’ve happened to catch any of the coverage of the 2016 postseason on Fox and FS1, you’ve heard former Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez as part of an analyst panel with host Kevin Burkhardt and former major leaguers Pete Rose and Frank Thomas. Rodriguez has drawn rave reviews not just for passing a rather low bar we set for former athletes-turned-commentators, but because he’s adding real insight drawn both from his playing days and from doing research.
Indeed, Rodriguez is taking his new job as an analyst quite seriously, Newsday’s Neil Best reports. Bardia Shah-Rais, the VP of production for Fox, said of Rodriguez, “This is not a hobby for him. It’s not a parachute in. He’s invested. If we have a noon meeting, he’s there at 11:30 a.m. He’s emailing story ideas in the morning. He wants research. He’s almost all-in to the point where it’s annoying.”
Rose also praised Rodriguez, saying, “You’ve never been around a guy who prepares more than Alex does. Alex does his homework. He knows the game. He understands players. He’s into the deal . . . Frank does a great job in preparation, too. I’m the only one that don’t prepare as much as these two guys. I don’t know if that’s because I can’t write or what it is. But these guys do their homework and they ask questions and they ask the right questions and then you put that in with our experience, all the things we’ve been through and how good we get along with each other, that’s why it shows up on the TV.”
Rodriguez, who hasn’t officially retired despite not having played since the Yankees released him in mid-August, wouldn’t commit to more TV work beyond this year’s postseason.
The weather in Cleveland is not that great at the moment. It’s cold, windy, there’s drizzle and the chance for heavier rain increases as the night wears on. At the moment Game 2 of the World Series is still scheduled to kick off at 7:08PM Eastern Time, however. So bundle up.
And maybe hunker down. Because this game is going to go nine innings no matter what. Maybe not tonight, but eventually.
That’s because, you may recall, ever since that rainy, snowy mix forced the suspension in the sixth inning of Game 5 of the 2008 World Series between the Phillies and the Rays, Major League Baseball has held that all playoff games will be played in their entirety. There will be no six-inning, rain-shortened affairs.
The last word from MLB was that they would reassess the weather just before starting pitchers began to warm up this evening. If things still look about the same then, the game will proceed as scheduled. If the weather takes a turn for the worse, they’ll suspend the game and pick it up where it leaves off tomorrow.