As you can imagine, there’s still quite a lot of talk about here about Derek Jeter’s latest setback and the idea of the Yankees playing without their captain through the All-Star break. The video above is of Joe Girardi talking about life without Jeter, but it should come as little surprise that Mariano Rivera was especially good at talking about his longtime friend and teammate.
“It’s extremely hard for him,” Rivera said. “It must be devastating for him. Knowing him the way I now him, he wishes to be here right now. Those are things that are out of your control. He was cleared from the doctor to do that; unfortunately that happened again, so no we have to make sure that it’s healed completely — 1,000 percent — to start doing it again. He will be OK. We have to be patient.”
What are the Yankees missing without Jeter?
“His presence,” Rivera said. “There are people that lead by example and he’s one of them. He doesn’t have to say anything. He doesn’t have to say much, he will do something when he needs to say it, but most of the time it’s just by example. Being there, play hard, respect the game, be there for your teammates; all that. That’s what is missed.”
Rivera made it clear that he did not want his final moment to be spent in a heap along the warning track in Kansas City. It must be the same for Jeter, who was last on a major league field when he broke his ankle against the Tigers in the ALCS.
“Knowing him, that’s the last thing he wants people to remember,” Rivera said. “As a player, the type of player that he is, sometimes we push a little bit harder than we need to push. That’s our nature. We just want to do the things so we can be here for the team, to help the team as much as we can. This time, he has to be selfish and think about himself. For once, you have to think about yourself, think about what you have to do to get ready. Forget about what I can do for the team; you can’t do nothing for the team right now. What you can do for the team is make sure you’re 100 percent mentally and physically, then you’ll be ready to help the team. That’s hard for us. I can’t imagine (how hard it is) for him.”
• Mark Teixeira said there’s “nothing to report” in his progress from that strained tendon sheath. “Just a process,” Girardi said. “He’s doing light swings with a fungo. He’s not off a tee or toss yet. But he’s just got to develop that strength in that wrist.”
• Only a mild update on Curtis Granderson: “He started taking some light swings, I believe,” Girardi said. “I know he’s been underwater doing it. He’s probably doing some light fungos now, but no ball I don’t think yet.”
• Girardi said he’s still not sure how long Granderson will have to play before joining the team. “Does he have to go through a full spring training?” Girardi said. “I don’t know if he’d have to go through a full spring training, but we really won’t be able to determine how much he needs until he goes and plays, because you don’t know how his body is going to respond and how he feels at the plate. Grandy’s a guy that’s in tremendous shape, so I think the getting in shape part will come quickly, it’s just how he feels at the plate.”
• Francisco Cervelli will wear some tape on a left finger that was hit during one of those catcher’s interference calls last night. Doesn’t seem like a real issue, but the tape is there.
• Jeter is supposed to be with the Yankees when they return home from this road trip, but Girardi said he’s not sure how long Jeter will be around.
• No huge concern about Andy Pettitte getting back on the mound. “We feel that the back is behind him,” Girardi said. “We’ll watch him a little bit closely, but I haven’t told anyone to be on red alert.”
Associated Press photo