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Monday, August 29, 2011
There was doubt whether Derek Jeter would play his 2,403rd game for the Yankees on Monday -- not that the captain is particularly counting.
Jeter played down the significance of his latest franchise milestone as he passed Mickey Mantle's games record with his 2,402nd outing for the Bronx Bombers in the first game of Sunday's day-night doubleheader in Baltimore.
"I don't even think you're aware of anything like that," Jeter said, according to MLB.com. "When you first come up, you're just trying to keep your job and stay here as long as you can."
Compared with the excitement at his 3,000th hit, Jeter suggested the appearance record was not something of great significance.
"I don't think people get called up and look at, 'Let me see who has the games-played record for the organization.' So this one was something I never looked at. No one ever talked about it," he said.
While reluctant to pop open the champagne, the achievement at least allowed the shortstop to reflect on his longevity.
"I take pride in coming and doing my job. I think that's probably the best way to put it," Jeter said. "My job is obviously to come and play games, try to stay on the field and try to stay healthy. I've done it for a long time, I guess."
Ironically, a bruised right knee may keep him from the Yankees lineup Monday after he missed Sunday's 8-3 night victory over the Orioles, having sustained the injury in the earlier game.
Jeter was a late scratch, while Alex Rodriguez also was sidelined with a sprained left thumb.
"We need to get them healthy," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, according to MLB.com. "It is somewhat of a concern, but hopefully neither one of them will be out very long. I don't know if we'll have either one of them (Monday)."