Pretty quite day here at Yankee Stadium. Day games after night games are usually this way. Players get to the park late, and then they come and go without much fuss. There isn’t a lot going on, and it was the great Jack Curry who brought up This Date in History during Joe Girardi’s pregame press conference.
On this date 15 years ago, Derek Jeter played his first Major League Baseball game.
“Incredible player, incredible teammate, incredible man,” Girardi said. “He just seems to get the most out of everything that he does in life and it’s been fun to watch. It was fun being a teammate of his. It’s fun being a manager of his. He comes to play every day. You have to argue to take him out of the lineup. He’s what you want in a player.”
• Jorge Posada hit off a tee in the batting cage this morning. He seemed to be walking around with ease. Couldn’t tell anything was ever wrong.
• Girardi was happy with what he saw from Chan Ho Park last night. The Yankees had him touching 95 mph, which they hadn’t seen this year. “The velocity was a lot better last night,” Girardi said. “I thought his curveball had more bite to it. He located better. There was a definite difference in his stuff.”
• Kevin Russo is making his first Yankee Stadium start. I hadn’t thought of it until Brett Gardner walked to his locker, two spots down from Russo, and announced that fact to no one in particular. “They’re gonna love him,” Gardner said.
• Speaking of Russo, in high school he beat out LenDale White for the Class 5-A Offensive Football Player of the Year. Both were first-team All-State running backs, but as of today, Russo’s the only one playing for a professional sports team.
• Girardi used Sergio Mitre for one inning last night, and he said that could be a sign of Mitre’s new role now that Chad Gaudin is in the bullpen. “A guy that maybe could throw two days in a row for us,” Girardi said. “Give us an inning or two and maybe bounce back and throw the next day. With Chad we really have two guys who can give us distance and it changes the way we can use Serge a little bit.”
Associated Press photo of Jeter.