New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter has already missed two games in 2014, and despite the backlash from Yankees fans who want Jeter to play every game in his final season, manager Joe Girardi stands by his decision to rest the 39-year-old shortstop.
“I have to manage him with a focus of winning games and keeping him healthy, not being a farewell tour,” Girardi said via ESPN New York. “I wasn’t hired to put on a farewell tour.”
Jeter played just 17 games in 2013 due to a broken ankle and other related injuries. Girardi hopes to maximize Jeter’s performances by giving him days off.
“When you start running guys out there too much, you start risking injury,” Girardi said. “I’m sure people would be a little bit more upset if he was out two weeks or a month or something like that.”
Many fans come to Yankee Stadium just to see Jeter on the field, but Girardi’s focus is on the longevity of the whole team.
“I’d love to run him out there 162 times, but I got to do what’s best for him and our team,” Girardi said. “And when you have day games after nigth games or you walk into a hotel room at 6 a.m., you have to be smart about it.”
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