- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 1, 2011

TAMPA, FLA. (AP) - Derek Jeter says too much is being made about the change of his front-foot stride.

The Yankees captain no longer is striding with his left foot. He made a smaller adjustment late last season, shortening his stride after a session with hitting coach Kevin Long.

"I’m not changing a swing," Jeter said Tuesday. "My swing is exactly the same. I’m shortening down the stride. It’s really not as drastic as people are making it out to be. I’m not putting my hands in a different position. I’m not doing a different path. It’s just the striding … I’m trying not to."

Jeter, who takes extra batting practice on a regular basis, worked with Long in an indoor cage Tuesday, one day after saying he was not yet comfortable with the modification. Jeter asked Long to work with him before the coach departed for Tuesday’s road game against Pittsburgh.

"It just cuts down on bad habits," Jeter said. "Striding too far forward. Tying yourself up. Habits that I got into last year. Trying to just eliminate those. It’s just repetition, really. That’s the only thing that you’re trying to do is just doing it over and over until it becomes natural."

Jeter was not scheduled to play in the contest with the Pirates.

"A good session," Long said.

Jeter batted .270 last year, 44 points below his career average. He has one hit in his first two spring training games, a ground single to left.

Long is hopeful that Jeter will be at ease with the change about a week before the season opener on March 31.

Jeter likely will play in extra games during spring training to get additional at-bats.

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