When Derek Jeter takes the field at Yankee Stadium for the final time tonight, he will do so with nothing on the line. Don’t expect the standing ovation to be any shorter though.
The Yankees wrap up a four-game set with the Orioles Thursday, but it will only be remembered as Jeter’s final home game ever. New York plays its final three games of the season in Boston.
“[It’s] probably as big a game as I’ve been a part of, in a sense,” manager Joe Girardi said. “It’s going to be pretty special.”
It’s possible Jeter won’t play in Boston, but Girardi said he’d leave it up to his shortstop to decide. Considering who it is, it seems unlikely he’d be content to sit on the bench three games even if they’re meaningless in the standings.
The final four games of the season were rendered moot by a 9-5 loss to the Orioles Wednesday afternoon. Jeter was 0-for-4, which was the first hitless game he’s had on the last homestand of his career.
Last year, Girardi sent Andy Pettitte and Jeter out to the mound to remove Mariano Rivera in his final home game. Of course, with both players now retired, Girardi will have to come up with a different way of honoring the captain.
“The idea for Mo came to me a half inning before I did it,” Girardi said. “So I’ll probably do this the same way.”
There is one fear, however. The forecast calls for rain in the Bronx Thursday night. The chance of rainfall in the afternoon is around 100 percent, but it does drop to 20 percent by 8 p.m.
Plenty of Yankee fans will gladly carry a poncho for one last look at the captain.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.