Jeter in lineup for farewell game at Fenway Park
(AP) -- Derek Jeter's name is on a lineup card for the last time.
The man who wrote it there can't believe how quickly 20 years have gone.
"It's going to be really strange," New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I feel fortunate to be a part of this and I'm going to miss him."
No. 2 was in his usual No. 2 spot in the lineup as designated hitter against the Boston Red Sox in Sunday's season finale. Just when he would leave his final game was up to him.
"It's possible he could have an at-bat and get a hit and say that 'I want that to be it,' "Girardi said before the game. "So I'll ask him after each at-bat. 'Is it time? Do you want to come out?' And we'll go from there."
Whenever that is, a career spent with one team at one position that began in 1995 will be over.
"It's hard to believe," Girardi said. "Since (he was) a young man signing, really a teenager, it's really what he's known. It's what we've known him to be, the Yankees' shortstop, and it's hard to believe that it's coming to an end."
Jeter sat out Friday's series opener to recover from his emotionally draining final home game when his single in the ninth inning gave the Yankees a 6-5 win over the Baltimore Orioles and unleashed a wild celebration as teammates poured from the dugout to embrace him between first and second base.
The 14-time All-Star returned to the lineup as designated hitter on Saturday, striking out in the first inning and beating out a high chop over the head of pitcher Joe Kelly in the third for a single. In the fifth, Francisco Cervelli pinch-hit for him.
"He said yesterday, 'I thought I was going to blow both hamstrings running to first there,' but he said he's fine today," Girardi said. "I didn't even ask him how he felt. That's what I usually do and he always gives me the same answer. So maybe I've learned over the last seven years I'm just going to get 'great' anyway, but I asked him what he wanted to do and he said he wanted to play. I said 'OK.'"
Even if it was at Fenway Park, home of the Yankees rivals throughout his career.
A pregame ceremony was planned for Jeter.
"Boston understands what Derek has meant to the Yankees playing him all these times," Girardi said. "I think it will be done right."
Jeter was cheered when he took batting practice and when he ran into his dugout when it was over.
Later, he would make one final trip from the field to that dugout and into retirement.
"The hard thing for me about this game is the relationships and how you get used to seeing people every day," Girardi said, "and how abruptly it ends."