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Derek Jeter gets day off from Yankees, but not from hyperbole

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional baseball Updated: May 5, 2011 - 3:12 PM

We might write a disproportionate amount on Derek Jeter considering this is a Minnesota-based sports blog, but we just can't help ourselves in this instance. Jeter was not in the lineup for the Yankees today. And apparently he's not happy about it. Via ESPN New York (our bold):

The Yankees are 12 games into a stretch of 16 straight, and after Monday's off-day will play 16 more without a break. With that in mind, Girardi gave both Jeter and Alex Rodriguez the day off against Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello.

"I talked to Alex [Wednesday night]," Girardi said. "I assumed Derek would know."

Rodriguez later entered the game as a pinch runner when Eric Chavez came up injured.

The news he wasn't playing came as a surprise to Jeter, who shook his head in what appeared to be disgust when he arrived at the clubhouse Thursday morning and didn't see his name on the lineup card. Jeter's displeasure was increased by the fact he has begun to swing the bat better, singling on line drives in each of the past two games and lining out hard to end the seventh inning of Tuesday's 4-2 loss.

Although Jeter's average is still stuck at .250, the fact he has hit the ball sharply recently is encouragement that his bat might be on the verge of coming around.

"It's always difficult not to play, but yeah, anytime you feel like you're having good at-bats and you're swinging the bat well, you want to continue," he said. "But today, that's not the case."

Asked if he was "upset" about not playing, Jeter said: "Upset? You mean like I want to fight somebody? No. I'm not happy, but I'm not upset about it."

A few notes:

*Are we really giving Jeter credit for making hard outs these days? Not to discredit the evidence being offered up, but we'd hardly say a 2-for-8 stretch over two games (one that broadens out to 5-for-24 if you go back a few more games) is proof that an aging player with two (!) extra-base hits all season has turned the corner.

*The Yankees are going to be burdened by this for the entirety of the 3 years and $51 million Jeter has coming to him. The money says he needs to play. The legacy says he wants to play. The numbers say he shouldn't play as much.

*Why would talking to A-Rod mean Jeter would know anything? Very amusing. The Yankees are kind of a mess right now.

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