George M. Steinbrenner Field has been around since 1996–as a matter of fact, Derek Jeter was there for George M. Steinbrenner’s Field first year as the Spring Training complex. So of course it’s fitting (and a little sad) Derek Jeter starts by saying goodbye here in his final season as a New York Yankee.
The Yankees will hold a on field ceremony for Jeter at 12:55 p.m. to be exact, one of the first of many lasts for the Captain. Opening Day is on Tuesday, and it will be the last Opening Day Yankees fans will see Jeter’s name penciled in at shortstop. Derek Jeter has been a fixture in the Yankees organization for the last 20 seasons; he’s been the team’s Captain, his knowledge has rubbed off on his fellow teammates and once the final game of the 2014 season has been played and all has been said and done, Jeter will hang up his pinstripes in his locker, exit the Yankees clubhouse and will never return as the Yankees shortstop–until a future Old Timers Day game but that’s another story for another day.
But hey, there’s still a whole year of baseball to be played, so let’s enjoy the season–and watch the “Farewell Jeter” tour in the process.
— Derek Jeter’s not the only one being honored by the Yankees today. Masahiro Tanaka will be honored with the James P. Dawson Award (Mark Feinsand was kind enough to tell me what the award is for) shortly before Jeter’s ceremony.
— Jacoby Ellsbury is back in the Yankees lineup for the first time in 15 days. The odd part about the lineup isn’t about Ellsbury–it’s about Brett Gardner. Gardner’s batting 7th in the lineup when it was highly speculated Gardner would bat 9th and Ellsbury would hit lead-off. I’m not sure if this is something Girardi will do during the season, so I guess we’ll have to wait until after the game to figure out what the lineup’s going to look like on Tuesday, and what was going through Girardi’s mind when he put together this lineup.
— Yangervis Solarte and Eduardo Nunez arrived in camp today with no bags packed and dressed as if this was a normal Spring Training game. The decision on Nunez and Solarte could be made today but it’s possible the Yankees could wait until tomorrow when the rosters have to be set and handed into MLB.