Slumping Jeter gets night off from starting lineup

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Derek Jeter, in an 0-for-24 slump, was out of the New York Yankees' starting lineup at Tampa Bay on Monday night.

New York manager Joe Girardi said last weekend he was planning to give the Yankees captain a break during a three-game series with the Rays. Jeter's season average is down to .250.

"I really haven't thought about it," Jeter said of his offensive slide. "I'm just trying to help us win. For me, I just want to go out and I want to play well. I want to get a hit every single time up."

Tampa Bay planned to honor the retiring shortstop with a pregame ceremony Tuesday before the middle game of his final series at the Rays.

Jeter is hitting .167 (22 for 132) with no homers and 10 RBIs since former Yankees teammate Joba Chamberlain hit him near the left elbow with a 93 mph pitch during the 10th inning of a game against Detroit on Aug. 5. Before getting hit, Jeter was batting .277 with three homers and 30 RBIs.

Playing his 20th big league season, Jeter also was hit on the elbow last Thursday with a 94 mph pitch from Tampa Bay's Brad Boxberger.

"He's just scuffling," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He had somewhat of a tough August, and September has been even tougher. A day off today and see if we can get him out of it and get him going."

Jeter was asked about his professional debut in 1992 with the Gulf Coast League Yankees, a rookie-level team based in nearby Tampa. He admitted that first season he was homesick and cried at times.

"I did it quite a bit," he said. "Coming from high school where you had nothing but success and then coming to the professional level and being overmatched."

Jeter hit .202 in 47 GCL games before joining Class A Greensboro for 11 games at the end of the 1992 season.

Jeter reiterated his desire to one day be part of a baseball ownership group and was asked about the possibility of being part of the Rays ownership.

"Trying to get me in trouble?" Jeter said with a smile. "Is there a tampering rule the other way around? I haven't thought about anything specific."

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