NEW YORK -- If you are going to only one Yankees game this year, you would like to see Derek Jeter play, in his final season. Manager Joe Girardi knows that.
However, with Saturday's game being a day game after a night game, Girardi feels he must sit the nearly 40-year-old Jeter to preserve him for the long haul.
"I have to manage him with a focus of winning games and keeping him healthy, not being a farewell tour," said Girardi, who has Dean Anna at shortstop against the Red Sox. "I wasn't hired to put on a farewell tour."
Girardi is right. He must focus on winning, not the long goodbye.
The manager was also asked if there were a spot to give Jeter an-bat late in the game, would he consider that?
"Then you start to run out of infielders, and that sounds like to me it is for a farewell tour," Girardi said. "It is not the last week of the season. These games are obviously very important to us. They are important today, tomorrow, the next month; I have to manage that. I'm sorry if people came to see him today. I have to be smart about it."
Girardi is in a tough spot, because it is impossible to fulfill both the goal of managing Jeter correctly and trying to please every fan who buys a ticket.
"There is not a whole lot I can do about that," Girardi said. "When you start running guys out there too much, you risk injury. I think people would be a little bit more upset if he were out two weeks or a month or something like that. I understand that fans want to see him play. I want to see him play. I would like to run him out there 162 times. But I have to do what is best for him and the team."
This is Jeter's second day off of the year, and his first at home.
Back in a week: Mark Teixeira (hamstring) said he expects to return from the disabled list next Sunday in Tampa Bay. It would be the first day he is eligible to return. Teixeira planned to hit in the cage before Saturday's game.
Teixeira said it works perfectly for him that the Yankees are heading to Tampa at the end of the week. It will allow him to travel with the team and participate in extended spring training games before he hopes to be activated next Sunday against the Rays.