Derek Jeter’s status for this weekend hangs in the balance.
The Yankees officially were eliminated from playoff contention Wednesday after losing to the Baltimore Orioles 9-5 at Yankee Stadium. New York’s final four games now are meaningless, creating some question as to whether Jeter will play this weekend against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park or opt to end his career Thursday when the Yankees play their final home game of the 2014 season.
Mariano Rivera, who enjoyed a similar season-long farewell tour last year, chose not to play in New York’s final series of the 2013 season in Houston. Instead, he ended his career after an emotional moment in which Jeter and Andy Pettitte removed the longtime closer from his final appearance at Yankee Stadium.
Jeter was noncommittal when asked after Wednesday’s game whether he’ll play this weekend at Fenway. The Yankees captain said he’s focused on Thursday’s game against the Orioles.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before Wednesday’s game he would leave the decision up to Jeter — just as he did with Rivera last season. The skipper said after Wednesday’s loss that he plans to talk with Jeter on Thursday, at which point a decision could be made.
It would be somewhat understandable if Jeter wanted to walk away after an emotional farewell at Yankee Stadium. The shortstop has been such an integral part of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, however, that suiting up this weekend at Fenway and playing his final game in Boston would be equally as appropriate.