Jeter Feels “Strange” Playing Against Yanks

Yankees captain trades pinstripes for stars and stripes in scrimmage

TAMPA, Fla. -- Derek Jeter finally got to experience playing against the New York Yankees.

"It was strange running to the other dugout. I almost ran to the other side a couple times,'' he said.

Normally the Yankees captain, Jeter played for the United States ahead of the World Baseball Classic and hit a two-run single in the third inning of the Americans' 6-5 victory over New York on Tuesday.

Jeter went 2-for-4 with a walk in a contest that "seemed like an intrasquad game'' to him.

After the Yankees went up in the first on Jorge Posada's RBI single, Jeter put the U.S. ahead 2-1 with a two-out single off Phil Hughes.

"It's a good feeling,'' Jeter said. "You have a sense of pride when you're out there playing.''

Jeter started the day as a Yankee, working out in New York's weight room before the game and then returning to his regular clubhouse. Yankees manager Joe Girardi spotted the four-time World Series champion and yelled "Out!'' before laughing.

"He's my captain,'' U.S. manager Davey Johnson said. "A great player. He's a tremendous individual on and off the field. I think he's probably one of the most respected players in the game. He's done a lot to promote the World Baseball Classic.''

Girardi told his pitchers to throw outside to Jeter, but the first pitch he faced from Hughes accidentally wound up inside.

"I was like, `Oh boy,''' Girardi said.

Jeter played the entire game in the field.

"It was nothing about Derek. It was funny seeing him with a red hat on,'' Posada said. "You knew it was going to happen. It wasn't really like weird. It's one day. You know he's going to come back. Probably different if he goes to another team.''

U.S. starter Roy Oswalt gave up one run and four hits over 3 1-3 innings. The right-hander struck out two and walked one during a 50-pitch outing.

Oswalt could reach 70 pitches in his initial WBC start this weekend, which Johnson hopes translates into around five innings.

"I got better after the first inning,'' Oswalt said. "My job is to win the game or keep the game close.''

Hughes allowed two runs and three hits in 2 2-3 innings.

Kevin Youkilis had a two-run single during a four-run sixth that put the U.S. up 6-2. Nick Swisher drove in two runs on a double in the bottom of the sixth for the Yankees.

Johnson believes the U.S. is the team to beat in the WBC. The Americans will play tune up games against Toronto (Wednesday) and Philadelphia (Thursday) before opening the tournament Saturday against Canada.

"We have a fine ballclub,'' Johnson said.

The George M. Steinbrenner Field crowd of 8,822 cheered for Jeter and booed when Boston's Dustin Pedroia and Youkilis were introduced.

"I expected that,'' Jeter said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us