Shortstop story: Bogaerts vs. Jeter

Some of the details were a bit murky for Bogaerts. He thought he hit it off Adam Warren. It came off another Yankees reliever, Jim Miller. Napoli, meanwhile, can not only tell you the pitcher ( Justin Verlander) he hit his first off but also the count ("1 and 2"), the pitch ("curveball") and the fact it was caught in the bullpen by the Angels' bullpen catcher.

"Funny story," Napoli said. "The bullpen catcher had come up to me before the game and said, 'Get me a ball.' I hit it right to him."

Bogaerts, a son of the tropics, said he struggles to hit in April. It was worse in Portland, where he spent last April with the Double-A Seadogs.

"I don't think I've ever hit one in April," he said. "I'm still getting my timing, especially in the cold. I don't feel loose, like I can just be me. I'm not used to it."

Napoli, who grew up in Florida, is sympathetic. "You don't sweat," he said. "I put a hoodie on, just to work up a sweat."

Bogaerts should have had a home run on Opening Day in Baltimore. With two runners aboard, he hit a ball as hard as it was possible for him to hit it, and it went nowhere in a strong breeze blowing in from left. In three games in New York so far, he has three singles, including a broken-bat flare over the second baseman's head Saturday.

Jeter, meanwhile, has played in two of the three games and also has three hits, a double and two singles. He sat out Saturday's game; Girardi was asked several questions from reporters wondering if Girardi knew how much he was disappointing fans by having Jeter sit.

"I don't manage farewell tours," he said.

Jeter sat out again Sunday night, with Bogaerts playing short and batting second. Jeter turns 40 on June 26. This is his 20th season in the big leagues, counting his late-season call-up at the end of 1995.

Could Bogaerts imagine playing that long?

"Yeah," he said. "That's a long time, huh? But he's been healthy for most of it, hasn't he?"

Jeter is asked how it feels to be the idol of someone who shares the same dream he had when he was 21.

"It feels good," he said. "It wasn't that long ago. I remember coming up and playing against Cal [Ripken Jr.], watching him growing up. To get the opportunity to play against him was kind of odd at first. But it always makes you feel good, when somebody appreciates the way you play."

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