Wednesday, September 03, 2014

May as well keep Jeter batting second and not embarrass him.

Starting pitcher gets bombed, Beltran embarrassing base running blunder, Gardner (batting third!) gets ejected from the game.

Girardi remains unfazed:

"What Jeter has become is clear. He's 40-year-old doing something almost no 40-year-olds do in baseball: holding on to a starting job, in only by the tips of his fingers.

That's impressive. But it's not enough to warrant a top-of-the-order spot for a team who's mantra has been championship or bust since the start of the Steinbrenner era.

The problem: We're past that point. It's too late. The buzzards are circling, eying the meat beneath the pinstripes.

Nothing Girardi does from today through Sept. 28, the Yankees' last regular season game, is going to turn their offense into a playoff-caliber force. Especially not moving Jeter and putting someone else in his No. 2 spot.

Notice I said his No. 2 spot. That's because it is and it's been Jeter's since 1998, when he batted there in 145 games. In 1996, his rookie year, he mostly hit No. 9 and he was the leadoff man in 1997.

He's got 1,982 more plate appearances in the second position more than his next most frequent lineup spot, at the very top. This season, he's hit there in 117 of the 121 games he's played — three others were spent leading off and one was in the No. 4 hole."

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