Lingering hand pain ends Jeter's year
Yankees' captain closes season hitless in final seven at-bats
BOSTON -- His left hand wrapped in a bandage, Derek Jeter slowly pulled up his uniform socks on Saturday for a game that he had no intention of appearing in.
The Yankees' shortstop and captain will not play in the club's remaining two games of the regular season, protecting a sore left hand that was hit by a pitch Sept. 20 in New York.
"If I could play, obviously I'd play," Jeter said. "But it doesn't really look like it. What it boils down to is that if you can't do it, you can't do it."
Jeter had two at-bats on Friday but had to be taken out after wincing from the vibration of the bat hitting ball. After the game, Jeter told manager Joe Girardi that he was done for the year.
"I just think there's too much pain there, and I don't think we're expecting it to be a lot better before Sunday," Girardi said.
Jeter was replaced on Friday by reserve Cody Ransom, who homered twice in New York's 19-8 victory that sealed Boston's fate as the American League Wild Card club and was in the lineup to play on Saturday. Jeter thus completes the regular season batting .300 with 11 home runs and 69 RBIs in 150 games.
The Yankees have spoken optimistically about having all hands on deck Sunday to help Mike Mussina try for the first 20-win season of his career. Even closer Mariano Rivera, who is mulling arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder, is expected to be available. But Jeter will not be.
"It wouldn't be fair to everyone else, especially talking about Moose tomorrow having an opportunity to do something he's never done," Jeter said. "I wouldn't want to be the last person to go out there and mess it up for him."
X-rays, which came back negative, were taken after Jeter was hit by the Orioles' Jim Miller in the ninth inning Sept. 20. Jeter played in Sunday's Yankee Stadium finale but finished the year hitless in his final seven at-bats.
Jeter said that he has not yet planned what he will do during the offseason, which has come earlier than in any other season during the captain's Yankees career. Jeter said that he had no interest in watching playoff games, though he was sure that he would see scores or highlights flash across the television screen eventually.
Likewise, Jeter said that he has not given much thought to what the Yankees may look like when they report to Spring Training in Tampa, Fla., next February.
"To be quite honest with you, I haven't even thought about next year," Jeter said. "I really haven't. This has all happened so quickly. It was just [Tuesday] in Toronto when we were eliminated. I know everyone thought it was a foregone conclusion, but I didn't.
"It's kind of difficult when you're so disappointed about one particular year to start thinking about what's going to happen next year. There are going to be changes -- there's always changes -- but I haven't thought about any specifics."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.