Derek Jeter made his Grapefruit League debut for the New York Yankees on Thursday, grounding out in his two at-bats while going untested in the field at shortstop, but the most important thing for Jeter as he tells Chad Jennings of the Journal News was knocking the rust off after being limited to only 17 games in 2013.
“I feel like I haven’t played a game in a couple of years,” Jeter said. “That’s what it felt like, even though I played a couple last year. I think just getting out there (felt good). I don’t know if there’s one thing in particular, but just getting into a game, feeling good, that’s what I was most excited about.”
This is what spring training is all about for veterans like Jeter who announced earlier this month that he will be retiring at the end of the season and feels comfortable running on his surgically repaired ankle that was broken originally in the 2012 playoffs and then broke again in 2013.
“I’ve (run) already,” Jeter said. “I’ve run a lot. You guys may have not seen it, but I’ve run a lot. It’s always good to do stuff in game action. I wasn’t out there for such a long time, so it’s good to get back in game action. But I’m not concerned about running. That doesn’t cross my mind.”
Hopefully for Jeter, the Yankees and baseball fans, the future Hall of Famer will be able to get through his farewell season healthy.