06/26/12 6:45 PM ET
On 38th birthday, Jeter reflects
By Bryan Hoch and Steven Miller / MLB.com
But Jeter is the same player he always was, only with a better understanding of who that player is.
"You probably understand yourself a little more," Jeter said before Tuesday's game against the Indians. "When you're younger, you go out and basically get by on ability. As you get older, you learn your body more, you learn your abilities more and you learn different ways to improve. I think that comes with experience."
Jeter's experience is up there with the best -- five World Series titles, five American League Gold Glove Awards, four AL Silver Sluggers, an AL Rookie of the Year Award and 12 AL All-Star appearances, with another start at shortstop likely on the way in two weeks.
Only Hank Aaron (3,272) and Ty Cobb (3,666) had more hits than Jeter (3,181) before turning 38.
Jeter won his first championship as a 22-year-old rookie in 1996, when longtime teammate Andy Pettitte was 24. Pettitte turned 40 less than two weeks ago.
"It's amazing when you stop and think about the age that we're getting," Pettitte said. "It's amazing to see what he's still able to do out on the field and the way he's playing for us."
Pettitte retired last season because he lacked the motivation to go through the rigors of training and preparing to pitch every five days. Jeter still arrives at the park every day ready to play, taking the approach that he has no choice -- it's his job.
"You probably spend a little bit more time getting ready, but I don't know if you'd say it gets harder," Jeter said. "When you're younger, you come in, you show up, you get dressed, you don't even stretch -- you just go out there and play. Now, it's more of a process, but I think it's something that you learn through time that you have to do. I don't know if you want to say it gets harder. It just gets longer."
Jeter said he feels as good now as he did 10 or 15 years ago, and he has not put any thought into when he might retire. He's still the same player he always was, just a little different in the clubhouse.
"They were giving him a hard time about his hair yesterday," Girardi said. "To me, he's the same guy. He's probably not quite as boisterous in the clubhouse as he used to be and he's probably not quite as silly as he used to be. To me, he's the same guy who comes prepared to play every day and loves to play the game. The biggest difference is he's matured a little bit, but that's about it."
Yankees keep Martin out, avoiding risk
NEW YORK -- Yankees catcher Russell Martin was out of the starting lineup again on Tuesday against the Indians as he works on reducing the stiffness in his lower back.
Martin swung a bat on Tuesday for the first time since being forced out of Saturday's 4-3 victory over the Mets. He said that he expects to play on Wednesday.
"It's not going to be 100 percent, I don't think," Martin said. "But as long as I take swings and it doesn't feel like it's getting worse, then I'll be satisfied with that."
Martin said that he has been receiving treatment and has had to deal with back stiffness at points during his career, including last season with the Yankees. Backup catcher Chris Stewart started again on Tuesday in place of Martin.
"He needs to be free and easy when he takes his swings," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "That seemed to bother him the most. ... I don't really want to send a player out there whose swing is not what his swing is, because he's having some issues. I think you'd get some bad habits, and you can risk further injury."
Wise content with role on stacked Yanks
NEW YORK -- Dewayne Wise understands his place on the Yankees' roster, which is to say that his playing time figures to be inconsistent at best.
"I'm pretty much in the game every day as a pinch-runner or a defensive replacement, but I haven't been getting many at-bats lately," Wise said. "My attitude's been good. I still come here every day and prepare myself just in case I have to go in the game."
Wise was in New York's starting lineup for a second straight game on Tuesday against the Indians, playing left field one night after he homered and tripled to drive in three runs in a 7-1 victory over Cleveland.
Wise, who was called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on May 2, has previously played with five Major League teams. With the Yankees, however, he knew that the chances of starting every day would be slim and has worked to adapt to a bench role.
"When I was younger, this role was tough because I was so used to playing every day," Wise said. "But I think that up here [with the Yankees], I pretty much know my role from over the years. I'm going to be that guy to come in and pinch-run or play defense.
"It's been a while since I started a game, but I'm not going to go in there and chew out the manager about playing time. That's just something I won't do. I just try to stay ready."
A lifetime .218 hitter in 482 Major League games, Wise said that he once wondered why he hadn't been given more of a starting opportunity but no longer does.
"I thought about that years ago, but I don't look at it that way now," Wise said. "I try to do whatever it is; whatever team I'm on, try and be ready and do my job whenever I get my chance."
Yanks have faith Feliciano can return strong
NEW YORK -- When the Yankees left their Spring Training facility in Tampa, Fla., they left behind three injured relievers without a thought of when they might rejoin the roster in New York. There are still no specific timetables for David Aardsma, Joba Chamberlain or Pedro Feliciano, but each is throwing and making progress.
Manager Joe Girardi always envisioned Aardsma and Chamberlain joining his bullpen at some point this season, and they remain on track. Aardsma is pitching in rehab games with the Gulf Coast League Yankees, and Chamberlain is throwing batting practice.
But Feliciano last pitched in 2010 with the Mets and underwent left rotator cuff surgery in September. Girardi said that Feliciano threw a bullpen session on Tuesday in Tampa.
"If he's throwing bullpens and doesn't have a lot of setbacks, I think it's realistic [he will return]," Girardi said. "Only time's going to tell. I think if Pedro thought he would never pitch again, he probably wouldn't put himself through all this rehab and grueling stuff he's been through. It's not just the physical setbacks, it's the mental setbacks, too, when you want to pitch. I think it's possible."
The Yankees claimed right-handed reliever Danny Farquhar off waivers from the Oakland A's on Tuesday and optioned him to Double-A Trenton. To make room on the 40-man roster, they moved outfielder Brett Gardner to the 60-day disabled list. Gardner will travel to Tampa with the team next week and take dry swings, but Girardi said the original expectation of a return immediately after the All-Star break isn't realistic.
Sixty-eight years ago Tuesday, the Yankees played a three-way exhibition game with the Dodgers and Giants at the Polo Grounds to promote the purchase of war bonds. A crowd of 50,000 bought $5.5 million in war bonds and the Dodgers won, 5-1-0, with the Yankees scoring one run and the Giants being shut out.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. Steven Miller is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.