The White Sox likely said goodbye to Derek Jeter on Sunday. After losing to the Yankees 7-1 at U.S. Cellular Field, they likely said good riddance.
About a month shy of his 40th birthday, Jeter went back in time while going 4-for-5 and driving in 2 runs as New York salvaged a split of the four-game series.
"That's just stuff we've seen forever," said Sox manager Robin Ventura, who was teammates with Jeter in 2002-03.
Retiring at the end of the season, Jeter was feted before the game with a video tribute. White Sox captain Paul Konerko then joined the Yankees legend on the field and presented Jeter with three gifts: a $5,000 check to his Turn 2 Foundation, infield dirt from the Cell along with a plaque of Hall of Fame shortstops, and a Yankees bench made out of bats and balls crafted by Ron Kittle.
The capacity crowd enjoyed the ceremony, but afterward Jeter proceeded to go out and play a major role in New York's lopsided win, Ventura was a bit perplexed.
"It's weird," Ventura said. "You even look at the start of the game and everything that happened before the game. It's a little weird. I mean you see that happen, but he's not dying, he's just retiring. It's weird. I'm sure it's uncomfortable for him going through all of it, but he's a great player.
"It's totally warranted, but it's a little weird. Seeing it today, you hear about it, but seeing it today it is a little weird because he's just going to start living."
The White Sox thought they had a good shot at signing Japanese sensation Masahiro Tanaka in the off-season, but there are literally 155 million reasons he's wearing a Yankees uniform.
After falling to the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Tuesday, his first loss in 42 starts dating to his days in Japan, Tanaka limited the Sox to 1 run on 5 hits in 6⅔ innings.
"There were a lot of pitches where you get them on the plate and try to hit them, but it didn't work very well apparently," second baseman Gordon Beckham said. "He's got good stuff. I thought we should have hit him a little bit better than we did today. He was good. Keeping guys off balance and throwing pitches for strikes, and he spots up pretty well.
"He doesn't make a lot of mistakes, so that will usually win a game. He did it."
White Sox starter Andre Rienzo wasn't nearly as sharp as Tanaka, allowing 5 runs (4 earned) on 7 hits and 2 walks in 5 innings. The Yankees' 4-run second inning all but decided the outcome.
"I had a little trouble with command and the ball was a little bit up," Rienzo said. "It's the same issue as last year, when the ball is up my ball is hit hard. So after that I kind of controlled the game, but that inning hurt."
Micah Johnson on DL:
Class AAA Charlotte second baseman Micah Johnson, one of the White Sox' top prospects, is on the disabled list with a left-hamstring injury.
Johnson was promoted to Triple-A earlier this month and is batting .273. In 37 games with AA Birmingham, Johnson batted .329 and stole 10 bases.