Saturday, March 9, 2013

Jeter singles on 1st swing in return from broken ankle

The big story coming out of Tampa today for the New York Yankees was Mariano Rivera's official announcement that he was retiring. But the big news was Derek Jeter playing in his first game since undergoing ankle surgery and looking like he will be staying around for a while.

Jeter led off the bottom of the 1st inning against the Atlanta Braves Mike Minor by slapping a single in between second and third on the first pitch and first swing he has seen since breaking his left ankle last October.

Jeter, in the DH slot for today's exhibition game,  wore a black protective boot over the rehabbing foot and walked up to the plate while a few screams of "Jeter!" echoed around Steinbrenner Field.  The 38-year-old Captain left off where he did last year when he led the American League in hits by sending the ball into left field.

Even with the the obstructive boot wrapped around his left foot, Jeter's swing looked in good form.

Jeter even got a chance to do some base running and slid into second on a force out on Ichiro Suzuki's blooper to the shortstop.

"I sort of fell down like (Paul) O'Neill," is how Jeter described the play. "It was really good ... You don't really practice sliding."

It also might have been the only time you heard a player get a rousing cheer while walking to the dugout after being called out on a routine play at second.

So far he's batting 1.000.  That's a little bit of good news for the battered Yankees.

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