Derek Jeter has spent a lot of Super Bowl Mondays the way he did yesterday.
He took some swings off a tee and fielded a few dozen slow ground balls hit right at him at the Yankees’ minor league complex.
To him, this prelude to spring training isn’t much different than normal.
“When I start baseball activities, I do what I did right there,” Jeter said while sitting in his car outside the complex.
Jeter stayed off the infield dirt throughout the session and has yet to move laterally on the field — all of which he insisted was standard procedure since position players don’t have to report until Feb. 17.
“The first week or two, I don’t get off the grass,” said Jeter, who doesn’t anticipate running until spring training officially gets under way. “Even if I could run right now and I got the green light to do absolutely everything, I would have done the same thing I did today.”
Both Jeter and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman have said throughout the offseason the shortstop will be brought along more as he rehabs from October surgery on the left ankle he fractured during the ALCS, although an exact road map has yet to be laid out.
“I probably won’t be out there playing in a game the first game,” Jeter said of the Feb. 23 spring-training opener against the Braves in Orlando. “I guess we have to sit down with our trainers and doctors to see what our plan is when I start playing games.”
But he remains confident he is heading in the right direction.
“You’ve got to progress and I’ve been progressing just fine,” Jeter said. “Now, it’s whenever I start running and doing those kinds of things. Once everything is where it’s supposed to be, then you just get in baseball shape, which really doesn’t take that long, I don’t think.”
His primary focus remains being back at shortstop for the regular-season opener against the the Red Sox.
“The goal is April 1 when we start our season, so I’m right where I need to be,” Jeter said.
Whether the team is where it needs to be is another question, and one Jeter isn’t prepared to answer yet, although he likes last week’s free-agent signing of left-handed DH Travis Hafner.
Nice and easy for Yankees' Derek Jeter
New York Post | Feb 5