Jeter's quest on hold as Rays-Yanks postponed

Jeter's quest on hold as Rays-Yanks postponed

Jeter's quest on hold as Rays-Yanks postponed
NEW YORK -- Rain will put Derek Jeter's pursuit of 3,000 hits on hold for at least one more day, but the absence of baseball Friday at Yankee Stadium did not necessarily mean the absence of two teams facing off against one another.

The Yankees' 7:05 p.m. ET game against the Rays was postponed more than an hour before the scheduled first pitch and will be made up Sept. 22, not as a split doubleheader Saturday, when these teams are already scheduled for a 1:05 p.m. contest.

That's because the Rays elected not to play a split doubleheader, which would have given Jeter one more game to try to record his 3,000th hit at home before the All-Star break.

"Both teams have to agree, it's the bottom line," manager Joe Girardi said. "And we voted to play, and they voted not to play. Not sure why. And you've just got to move forward, so we're going to play later on."

When asked why the Yankees chose not to play a straight doubleheader Saturday, general manager Brian Cashman said: "Gate. We're not interested in losing, going from 81 home games to 80."

Jeter is two hits shy of becoming the 28th player in Major-League history to record 3,000 hits, and the Yankees' first eight games after the All-Star break are on the road.

"That's important," Girardi said of Jeter accomplishing the feat at home. "It's important to our fans. People have made a lot of arrangements to try to see this happen on the day that they pick, and it's unfortunate that we lose a game here, and it takes a day away from it [possibly] happening, but that was important to us. It's important to our fans, because of what our fans have meant to this organization."

Both Girardi and Cashman said they had no hard feelings toward the Rays, and were just frustrated by the predicament the rain put both clubs in.

Freddy Garcia's and Jeremy Hellickson's scheduled starts Friday will not be made up before the All-Star break, and the rest of the weekend's pitching matchups will remain as scheduled, with A.J. Burnett facing David Price on Saturday, and CC Sabathia and James Shields taking the hill Sunday.

The Yankees announced that those with tickets for Friday's game may use them for the rescheduled game Sept. 22 -- which does not yet have a start time -- or exchange them for any regular-season game at Yankee Stadium within 12 months of the postponed game.

Yankees player rep Curtis Granderson felt sorry for those expecting to see history Friday night, as average ticket prices for the originally scheduled contest had soared close to $200 on the secondary market, according to reports.

"Obviously, you want to have as many chances as you can for the fans, rightfully so," Granderson said. "To be the first and only Yankee to have done it, it'd be fitting for him to do it at Yankee Stadium. Even more pressure on him now, the fact that he has the 3,000 knocking on the door. But, obviously, Mother Nature plays a key in this great game of baseball that we play."

Rays player rep Evan Longoria defended his club's decision to not play a split doubleheader Saturday.

"I don't think there's really a win," Longoria said. "The initial thought was they wanted to play a doubleheader tomorrow. I think we all know why they'd like to get these three games in, and, obviously, they're rooting for Derek to get his 3,000th hit here in this series. I mean, we'd like to see him do it, too. And he's got two more days to do it.

"As far as both teams go, it's not real smart for us to play a doubleheader. It stretches guys out. It doesn't give opportunity for a couple of teams to rest who are banged up, and just play one game and then another one."

Matt Fortuna is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.