Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Jeter makes farewell appearance against Rays

Derek Jeter singles in the second inning, going 2-for-4 in his first appearance at Tropicana Field during his final season.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Derek Jeter singles in the second inning, going 2-for-4 in his first appearance at Tropicana Field during his final season.

ST. PETERSBURG — It was Derek Jeter's last, first appearance of the season at Tropicana Field on Thursday as the Yankees captain takes his farewell tour. He received a standing ovation from many in the crowd as he walked to the batter's box. But before reaching the plate, he already was home.

Jeter, 39, has a 38,000-square-foot mansion on Davis Islands, and playing the Rays 19 times per season in the AL East, he has many admirers among Tampa Bay coaches and players.

There is plenty of mythology that deifies Jeter, but his longevity and productivity define him. He's been part of five world championship teams and two more AL pennant-winning teams.

"It's been fun playing against him," Rays 3B Evan Longoria said. "I think without a doubt he's a first-ballot Hall of Famer and probably the most consistent and best player I've ever been around and played against."

Jeter walked, singled in a run and doubled, going 2-for-4 in the Yankees' 10-2 win to raise his average to .295. He also made a dazzling stop to his right to start a double play.

Said Rays INF Sean Rodriguez, "That's basically a great example of what baseball is. You say his name and you think of the prototypical baseball image. I'm proud I got to play against him. Going out, I get to witness it, and that's a blessing in itself."

Rays manager Joe Maddon said Jeter should be the first unanimous selection to the Hall of Fame. "I can't even understand why he wouldn't be, based on his career, the number of championships that have been won," Maddon said. "To be able to handle that whole moment as well as he has in that city under the scrutiny that he has, I don't know where the negative is. … He knows I wish him well except when he plays against us."

SEVENTH HEAVEN: Erik Bedard didn't earn a spot in the Rays' rotation in spring training, accepting an assignment to Triple-A Durham. But tonight against the Yankees he will become the seventh starter for the Rays this season.

Bedard, 35, went 4-12 with a 4.59 ERA with the Astros last season. "Breaking him down from last year, the work that he did in Houston, there was a lot of good stuff that he had done there," Maddon said. "A lot of (his) record was probably skewed a little bit. They weren't the best defensive team in the league last year, so he was victimized by that a little bit. Breaking his pitches down, we feel pretty good about getting him right now. He's a competitor."

RAYS' METRICS: The Rays have always used data and metrics to position fielders. That trend has taken off, especially in the AL East, said Maddon, which has contributed to the Rays' hitting woes.

"I really believe with the buy-in by a lot of teams regarding defense, it makes offenses even less productive," Maddon said. "And with the buy-in, all the metric stuff, it makes pitchers more effective. So there's all this buying in going on everywhere all of a sudden, and I really wished they had not, because it really makes our job more difficult because now we're looking in the mirror a lot more often. I really preferred (2008-10) whereas everybody thought we were nuts. … So when you're talking about the razor-thin line between winning the league, this is a laser-thin line. We're almost there and whatever comes after that."

ON YOUR MARK: The Yankees are getting healthier. 1B Mark Teixeira, who has been on the disabled list since April 5 with a right adductor strain, said he will return Sunday against the Rays. "I … will be very disappointed if I don't. I've felt good since Day 3, so I've had no problems," Teixeira said after an extended spring training game at the Yankees' complex in Tampa. "(The injury) was so minor. I would be kicking and fighting to play if it wasn't so early (in the season). The second half of the season, I'd be playing."

Jeter makes farewell appearance against Rays 04/17/14 [Last modified: Thursday, April 17, 2014 11:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Life sentence for man convicted in killing of brother of Bucs' Kwon Alexander

    Bucs

    An Alabama man who shot and killed the 17-year-old brother of Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander in 2015 was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday, the Anniston (Ala.) Star reported.

  2. Rays journal: Black Snell continues roll in win over Cubs (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was still a game in the fifth inning when LHP Blake Snell walked the leadoff batter, then allowed a single. One swing by the Cubs' Ian Happ (22 home runs) could put a dent in the Rays' three-run lead.

    Blake Snell allows just two hits in pitching seven scoreless innings.
  3. Remember him? Numbers prove Ben Zobrist is one of greatest Rays of all time

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first foray back to the Trop by the best manager the Rays have had obscured the second return visit by arguably the second-best player in franchise history.

    Figures.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) takes the field to start the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Cubs game

    The Heater

    One success story of this lost season is the emergence of LHP Blake Snell as the frontline starter the Rays projected. After a rough start and two demotions, he has been rolling, Wednesday's solid seven innings making him 4-0, 2.57 in his past eight starts.

  5. Rays at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Orioles

    7:05, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM; 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    This is a 2017 photo of Matt Andriese of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)