Derek Jeter was surprised that his decision to skip this week’s all-star game became such a story. He said a report that he skipped the game because of exhaustion — either mental or physical — was completely false. He wanted to take care of the calf, and if he wasn’t going to be able to play, he didn’t want to be in Arizona.
“I told you guys on Thursday or Friday why I was not going,” Jeter said. “It seemed to be a non-issue at the time. I hadn’t heard a word about it until someone told me it was all over TV on Tuesday. I guess I was surprised on the coverage. I understand the disappointment. I get that. I understand fans are disappointed. I was disappointed I didn’t have a chance to go play. Throughout the years, I’ve enjoyed going to play in All-Star Games. This was a decision I thought was best for our team for the second half of the year. I was surprised at the coverage.”
Told of players who said anyone elected to the game should be there, Jeter responded by saying he never comments on another player until he knows the facts of the situation. As for exhaustion, Jeter literally laughed at it.
“What did I have, physical and emotional exhaustion?,” he said. “That sounds like a good quote, but I didn’t say that. I told you on Friday why I wasn’t going. Emotional and physical exhaustion makes it sound good, but that wasn’t the case. It was strictly based on my leg.”
Jeter said he feels a difference after three days of rest.
“I do,” he said. “It’s interesting, when I got hurt, everyone was telling me how difficult an injury it is, that it takes until the offseason. It’s serious and you don’t want to come back too soon. Then I decide to take some days off to help out and it turned into this. Yeah, the days helped.”
• Joe Girardi said the Yankees would have cut their bench to only one extra infielder before today, but they kept the second utility man because of Alex Rodriguez’s knee and because Jeter was fresh off a calf injury. With Rodriguez on the DL and Jeter rested, it’s not as much of an issue, that’s part of why the the Yankees called up an outfielder to take Rodriguez’s spot on the roster.
• Why Greg Golson as that right-hander? “We’re facing some lefties here in the next three days,” Girardi said. “We’ll get Romero on Saturday, so we decided to call him up.”
• Will Andruw Jones keep getting regular at-bats vs. leties? “I’m going to continue to use him, yeah,” Girardi said.
• Girardi said the minor league deal with J.C. Romero simply gives the Yankees another option if the decide to use him in the big leagues. It’s a guy that’s pitched in tough markets,” Girardi said. “It’s a guy that’s pitched in big markets and in pressure situations, so let’s just see how he does.”
• Rafael Soriano is throwing another batting practice session on Saturday, then the Yankees will decide whether he’s ready for a rehab assignment.
• Any lingering concern about Mariano Rivera after the sore triceps? “I don’t worry so much about the back-to-back, but you have to think about three days in a row or four out of five,” Girardi said. “I think that’s what you have to think about.”
• Worry about the Home Run Derby affecting Robinson Cano? “I don’t. I think Robbie’s a smart hitter, and I think you’ll watch Robbie have his approach tonight that he would normally have,” Girardi sadi. “I hope it affects the other guys.”
• Girardi said his hope would be that the Yankees are able to get Rodriguez back “somewhere between the four and five-week range.”
Associated Press photos