|2014 Regular Season|
On his way off the field, Jeter pointed to the Boston dugout and embraced pitcher Clay Buchholz. As he approached the Yankees dugout, he waved his cap and was hugged on the warning tack by Mark Teixeira, Brett Gardner and other teammates. Red Sox players stood in their dugout and applauded.
Jeter was 1 for 2, with a strikeout in the first and an infield single in the third inning. He chose to take part in this Beantown beatdown rather than end his career on the high note of beating the AL East champion Orioles in the Bronx with a game-winning single Thursday.
The legendary shortstop made the decision after his magical moment Thursday, as he singled in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat AL East champion Baltimore to the delight of a sellout crowd in the Bronx that included celebrities such as Jay-Z, Jimmy Fallon and Mason Plumlee. Jeter has said he will play during the weekend series out of respect for the rivalry.
Serenaded with adoring chants that echoed through the Bronx night, Jeter tipped his cap several times at shortstop and drove in three runs. He launched an early double off the wall and saved the best for last - a sharp, opposite-field single to right that knocked in the winning run.
Jeter plays his final day game at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday in what is sure to be an emotional affair. You may want to give him a rest - something he has earned at the age of 40.
The 40-year-old continues to showcase a flair for the dramatic, going 10 for 24 with six RBIs in a six-game hitting streak with the Yankees close to elimination. He now owns the majors' sixth-worst OPS at .617, the third-worst slugging percentage at .313 and the worst isolated power in baseball at .057. He will be missed.
Jeter, New York's 40-year-old captain, ended a 158 at-bat homerless streak with the drive, just the fourth home run of his 20th and final major league season. The home run was his first at Yankee Stadium since July 28, 2013. Jeter's average had dipped below .250 during an 0-for-28 slide - the second-longest of his career - before he singled at Tampa Bay on Wednesday night. Jeter also had an infield single for his first multihit game since Aug. 26.
New York manager Joe Girardi said last weekend he was planning to give the Yankees captain a break during a three-game series with the Rays. Jeter's season average is down to .250. Tampa Bay planned to honor the retiring shortstop with a pregame ceremony Tuesday before the middle game of his final series at the Rays.
Jeter was once a fantasy stud so it is painful to see he is one of baseball's worst players in 2014.
Jeter ended a seven-game run without an extra-base hit. He began Monday with a .652 OPS - the 14th-worst mark in baseball.