Derek Jeter snapped the second-longest slump of his career tonight, singling off Rays right-hander Alex Cobb to break a streak of 28 straight hitless at-bats. His worst career slump remains 0-for-32 in 2004.
Jeter carried a .277 batting average into August of his 20th and final season, but the 40-year-old shortstop has hit just .179 with one home run and five walks in 39 games since then to drop his season line to .249 with a .595 OPS.
His previous career-low batting average in a full season was .270 in 2010, after which Jeter bounced back to hit .297 in 2011 and .316 in 2012 before missing most of 2013 while injured.
As an aside: Bryan Hoch of MLB.com wrote a light, well-done article about Jeter’s coffee-drinking habits, which I think Yankees fans and non-Yankees fans alike will enjoy reading.
Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.
The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.
The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.
In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.