People! It feels so good to be back.
That lyric, from the song "Square Dance" by Eminem, blared from the Yankee Stadium sound system in July as Derek Jeter strode to the plate for his first at-bat of the season. But he was back for only seven innings.
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The song played again about two weeks later when Jeter made his next return from the disabled list. But he was back for only four games.
Jeter had handpicked the song to deliver a message via the wattage of the Stadium speakers. But before making his latest Bronx comeback Friday night, he said his back-from-the-DL anthem is now officially played out.
"It didn't work because I got hurt again," he said of the song. "I have to ax it. I've already used it for two comebacks."
True to his pregame words, the song was deleted from his walk-up play list. Jeter, who on Monday was activated from the DL for the third time this season, went 0-for-3 with a walk in the Yankees' 8-5 win over the Orioles Friday night. The new song for his first at-bat was a personalized Derek Jeter theme song from his recent appearance on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (search for the skit on YouTube).
Of course, the music was difficult to hear over the ovation from fans who, outside of a pair of brief one-game cameos, have had little chance to see Jeter. He missed the first 91 games while recovering from a left ankle fracture suffered in the ALCS last October. He was removed from his first game back with a strained quadriceps and didn't play in the next 12 games. A calf strain suffered in early August cost him another 22 games, bringing his grand total of DNPs to 125.
Of the 66 games played at Yankee Stadium this season, 63 of them have been Jeter-free. The last time the Bronx saw so little of Jeter was in 1995, when Tony Fernandez was the starting shortstop.
"Growing up playing here, I didn't miss many games," he said. "So it's been kind of an odd year."
Yes, it's certainly odd when guys named Reid Brignac and Alberto Gonzalez -- or any of the other three shortstops used in Jeter's absence this season -- are positioned between second and third wearing pinstripes. But Jeter reclaimed his territory at short Friday night, playing alongside Alex Rodriguez for the first time at home this season.
Jeter, who fielded a line drive and a chopper at short, is hoping his stay lasts a little longer than in previous returns.
"That's enough comebacks," he said. "I'm happy to be back."
Not exactly the lyric, but close enough.