David Waldstein of the New York Times has a good story up today about the conversations ballplayers have had with Derek Jeter at second base over the years. You know, the little bits of smalltalk after you pull into the bag following a walk and your teammate’s shallow single to right field. Everyone has them, but they are often different when Jeter is involved.
Like this one, involving Gordon Beckham, not long after he came into the league. He got to second base and said hello to Jeter, who said hello back. Beckham was star-stuck:
The next batter hit a ground ball to Jeter, who threw to first for the second out. Beckham, still distracted from the conversation with Jeter, thought it was the final out. He wandered off third and handed his helmet to the third-base coach. Mark Teixeira saw that and threw to Alex Rodriguez, who tagged an embarrassed Beckham for the third out.
I’m not sure how any player under the age of, say, 25, doesn’t get to second base and just go full-on Chris Farley-talk-show with Jetes, actually.
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Yankees slugger Aaron Judge wasn’t in the starting lineup for New York’s regular-season finale, a day after his 62nd home run that broke Roger Maris’ 61-year-old American League single-season record.
When Judge homered in the first inning Tuesday night, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers, it was his 55th consecutive game. He has played in 157 games overall for the AL East champions.
With the first-round bye in the playoffs, the Yankees won’t open postseason play until the AL Division Series starts next Tuesday.
Even though Judge had indicated that he hoped to play Wednesday, manager Aaron Boone said after Tuesday night’s game that they would have a conversation and see what made the most sense.
“Short conversation,” Boone said before Wednesday’s game, adding that he was “pretty set on probably giving him the day today.”
Asked if there was a scenario in which Judge would pinch hit, Boone responded, “I hope not.”
Judge went into the final day of the regular season batting .311, trailing American League batting average leader Minnesota’s Luis Arraez, who was hitting .315. Judge was a wide leader in the other Triple Crown categories, with his 62 homers and 131 RBIs.
Boone said that “probably the one temptation” to play Judge had been the long shot chance the slugger had to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.