BOSTON -- In his nearly two decades as a New York Yankee, Derek Jeter has wanted to play every day. When he had injuries, he would often inform his managers that he was ready, even as they suspected he was too banged up to go.
But following his emotional, dramatic and mostly sleepless Thursday night in which he singled home the game-winning run in his final at-bat at Yankee Stadium, Jeter told Yankees manager Joe Girardi to leave him out of Friday night's lineup against the Boston Red Sox.
"I don't know if I could play tonight, if I wanted to play tonight," said Jeter, who said he slept only a couple of hours.
Jeter said he will start Saturday and Sunday at the Yankees' designated hitter. Jeter decided that Thursday night's Yankee Stadium send-off would be his final game at shortstop. He said he wanted to savor the view from the Bronx diamond as the final one he had at his position.
Jeter, 40, called finishing up his last three games in Boston his second choice after the Bronx. He said if the games were not against the Red Sox, then he might have just hung it up after Thursday's ending.
"I'm playing here because I have respect for this rivalry, and for Boston and their fans; if it were anywhere else I don't even know if I would play," he said before the Yankees' 3-2 win against the Red Sox.
Girardi has left all of Jeter's playing time decisions up to the future Hall of Famer, cognizant that fans have paid to watch him.
"It is always difficult at this point because everyone wants to see him," Girardi said.
Girardi even offered to let Jeter manage, if he wants, but Jeter says he doesn't pay close enough attention and said jokingly he would want not want to answer questions from the media.
On Friday afternoon, Jeter had time to sneak in lunch in Boston and heard some of the nice things everyone is saying about him.
"They were just saying congratulations on your career," Jeter said. "I'm a Red Sox fan, I hate the Yankees, but I respect you. ... When I was walking here [through the Fenway halls and to the news conference room,] the fans were cheering, which was kind of different. I remember coming here to the All-Star Game in '99. The car that was dropping us off went to the wrong entrance. I got out of the car to walk to the stadium and I thought they were going to kill us. It is funny how things have changed."
Jeter announced before the season that he would retire. When he released the news on Facebook, ticket prices for this weekend's series immediately skyrocketed. The average cost for Sunday's finale is more than $530, according to Tiqiq.com.
On Friday, Brendan Ryan started at shortstop for the Yankees.
Red Sox owner John Henry tweeted his wonderment at the teams' lineups.
Have you ever seen anything like this? pic.twitter.com/Qgogv0IhIM
- John W. Henry (@John_W_Henry) September 26, 2014