"I don't like those words," Jeter said before
For 11 games in April, Jeter, the 19-year veteran who will retire after this season, helped the Yankees win, batting .326 (15 for 46). Then came a four-for-30 slump that ended with 13 hitless at-bats and dropped his average to .240 on Sunday.
The questions turned to Jeter's age (40 in June), declining bat speed, inability to pull the ball with authority and whether he will soon lose playing time to defensive whiz
"He's gone through slumps before and got it going and been productive," Manager Joe Girardi said. "When you're 39, people will ask more questions. But those questions weren't asked two weeks ago, when he was swinging well."
Jeter, who led the
Jeter singled to center in the fourth inning and doubled to left and scored in the seventh Monday night, but he grounded into a double play with the bases loaded to end the eighth.
"As long as I feel good, the results are going to be there," said Jeter, who is eighth all-time with 3,341 hits. "I saw some media reports that I'm getting old. I guess I was young the first 20 games and old the last four or five, so I'm going to try to get young again in California."
Though the Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs here in 2002 and 2005, Jeter, who helped New York win five
Those fans gave Jeter a lengthy standing ovation before his first at-bat. Well-deserved applause, Angels Manager
"He's had a Hall of Fame career and anybody who has seen him understands it's more than the numbers," Scioscia said. "It's the leadership, the clutch play he's brought every game. He's relentless with how he competes."
Like Girardi, Scioscia fielded questions about an aging player who is struggling.
Batting cleanup, in his third big league game, was 24-year-old C.J. Cron, who was called up from triple A on Saturday and could cut into Ibanez's playing time.
"Shoot, I wouldn't put me in right now, either," said Ibanez, who is batting .144 with 30 strikeouts and is hitless in his last 14 at-bats. "I feel good physically, but I'm definitely disappointed with how I've performed. I'm going to keep fighting, grinding, and working to swing my way out of this."
The Angels are patient because Ibanez has a .756 career OPS (on-base-plus-slugging) in April, his lowest of any month, and has driven in 17 runs with 13 hits. Ibanez, hitting for Cron, walked to load the bases in the eighth Monday night.