LOS ANGELES -- Derek Jeter passed by the dugout on his way to the clubhouse on Saturday morning, clutching a cup of Starbucks coffee, and his presence did not go unnoticed. Joe Girardi interrupted his media session to wish the captain a happy birthday.
"Thanks, guys," Jeter said. "You're very kind."
Jeter officially turned 36 at the stroke of midnight on Saturday, and the milestone represented another opportunity to crunch numbers related to his career. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only players to accumulate more hits than Jeter (2,834) at their 36th birthday were Henry Aaron (2,956) and Robin Yount (2,868).
"I'm not going to look at him as 36," Girardi said. "I'm going to look at him as still a kid because we expect him to play almost every day. It's hard to believe he's 36 years old."
Girardi mentioned that it is just as difficult to grasp that Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada are 38, and the timeless Mariano Rivera is 40.
"It blows me away because when I first saw them they were just kids," Girardi said. "They were babies in the baseball world. Now they're like I felt when I was playing."