Yanks shortstop Derek Jeter demonstrated a loss of range to his left last year. Now, he might be moved to center field if Yankee Stadium’s fence is shortened to 200 feet, GM Brian Cashman said after watching a few Spring Training games in Tampa.
“Derek was lounging around at shortstop reading magazines he held in one hand,” Cashman said. “He was wearing his mitt on the other hand, and whenever a ground ball hit his leather, he was upset that he had to stop reading and pick up the ball with his magazine hand, causing him to lose his place because he never remembered to use a bookmark.”
Commissioner Bud Selig would have to approve of the measure to violate baseball rules governing the distance between the center field fence and home plate, 390 to 435 feet, but as long as Selig realizes that more home runs would be hit as a consequence, Cashman doesn’t see a problem.
“Derek is an icon in New York, and more symbolic a Yankee shortstop than Phil Rizzuto,” Cashman said. “We will make every attempt to let Derek keep his position. At present we are subscribing him to really boring magazines.”
By Rob C. Christiansen