That’s over now.
“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate his toughness and his grit,” Girardi said. “It’s, to me, a great example for everyone. And I am not just talking about athletes, I am just talking about everyone that goes through struggles in life or goes through pain in life.”
Already missing career saves leader Mariano Rivera from those five championship teams since early May because he tore a ligament in his knee shagging flyballs, the Yankees will activate Eduardo Nunez before Game 2 of the series Sunday. Jayson Nix is expected to start at shortstop.
“It’s a tough loss, but it’s not going to be something that we’re going to, you know, let it derail us,” general manager Brian Cashman said. “But it’s tough to lose, obviously, any important player, and Derek’s obviously been as important as anybody. But now he’s been taken out, so Nix has got to go in there and we’ve got a lot of confidence in Nix.”
Jeter was the designated hitter in Game 4 of the AL division series after fouling a ball off the same foot the previous night and had to come out after the eighth inning. It was the first time he didn’t start a playoff game at shortstop, as Nix got the nod in his place.
“I saw him flip the ball to Robbie (Cano), and you figure he’s going to get back up,” Swisher said. “When he didn’t was when I knew something was wrong and you know he wanted to get up and get off the field as quickly as he possibly could.”
Written off as an aging star after slumping in 2010, Jeter struggled to adapt to a no-stride swing in `11 before going on the disabled list for only the fifth time in his 17 full seasons in the big leagues with a calf injury. He returned revitalized, getting his 3,000th hit and finishing strong.
This year, Jeter had a remarkable season for a 38-year-old, batting .316 with a league-leading 216 hits. He carried that over to the postseason, hitting .364 against the Orioles.
Earlier Saturday, Jeter became the first player in baseball history to reach 200 hits in the postseason with a single in the second off Doug Fister. He was left stranded, though, a common problem for the Yankees these playoffs.
“You’ve got to come back,” Ibanez said. “He’s obviously a great player and a huge part of the team and a captain. But, at the same time, you try to move forward, fight and come back, and the guys will have to step up.”