NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter was an avid, albeit dry-eyed, participant in Mariano Rivera's final appearance at Yankee Stadium, accompanying Andy Pettitte to the mound to remove Mo with two outs in the ninth inning of Thursday night's game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
"I thought it was cool," Jeter said. "I had never taken a pitcher out before. If you have to take one out it's pretty cool to say I was the one, along with Andy, to take him out of the game, might as well take Mo out."
Jeter said he was told by Joe Girardi that he and Pettitte would be taking Mo out at the start of the ninth inning. "I'm glad Joe let us be a part of it because we've been like brothers for 21 years," he said.
Jeter also took a moment to muse about the end of an era -- he is the last remaining member of the "Core Four," comprising the three of them and Jorge Posada, who had been teammates through all five Yankees championships since 1996. "We've all grown up together," he said. "It's too bad good things have to come to an end, I guess, eventually."
But Jeter turned back into The Captain when he was asked what he thought of the possibility Mariano might yet fulfill a career-long dream and play an inning in center when the Yankees wind up their season this weekend with three games in Houston.
"He is not playing in the outfield," Jeter said. "He ain't playing there. He is not going to do that."
Well, aye-aye, Captain.