Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Derek Jeter keeps word, is no show at Yankee Stadium Opening Day

No matter how hard fans wished Derek Jeter was going to show up at Yankee Stadium on Monday, pinstripes and all, was just pure fantasy. But the logical choice to throw the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day as a civilian was no where to be seen at all.

So former manager Joe Torre was given the honor.

The retired shortstop stayed true to his word and, just like he said he would after his retirement,

That, of course, didn't mean a break Jeter hasn't been busy. He was recently in Tokyo with Hideki Matsui and hosted a charity golf tournament in Las Vegas. All the while promoting his new website, The Players' Tribune, and planning his own restaurant. 

Torre, who received one of the day's loudest ovations when he walked to the mound to deliver the first pitch to catcher Brian McCann, also was scheduled to receive the "Pride of the Yankees" award at the team's welcome home dinner Monday night.

So fans were happy.

But when can anyone expect to see the Yankee icon in the Bronx? Who knows?

Jeter hasn't been around the Yankees much at all except as a  favor to his old mentor and the Yankees' new player development head, Gary Denbo, when Jeets visited with prospects in late February in Tampa. 

And none of the current Yankees players expect to see The Captain anytime soon.

"He's a busy guy, man," said Carlos Beltran, who lockered near Jeter in 2014.

Only manager Joe Girardi seemed confident he'd see Jeter at all around the Yankees this season.

"When he said he wouldn't do it, he's not going to do it," said the manager. "Obviously, we want him around, we want him to come back. But we respect that decision and we expect to see him around this season."

Girardi didn't say when he thought Jeter might show up, but there's a good chance he meant when the club retires the numbers of friends and former teammates Bernie Williams on May 24; Jorge Posada on Aug. 22; and Andy Pettite on Aug. 23.

Pettitte and Mariano Rivera, both of whom retired after the 2013 season, caught ceremonial first pitches thrown by Jeter and Posada at the 2014 home opener.

Jeter is busy, but loyal. Buy your tickets now.

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