Derek Jeter said he will drive himself to work Thursday, just as he has for the past 19 seasons. He will pull into the players' parking structure, take the same path he has walked since the team arrived at the new Yankee Stadium and enter the clubhouse hours before the game one last time.
Beyond that, Jeter insisted he hasn't thought about what it will be like to play his final home game Thursday, what it will be like to say goodbye.
It will mark the first time that Jeter will take the field in the Bronx with a team that has been eliminated from playoff contention. With the average price for a ticket more than $600 on StubHub, it might be the most expensive meaningless game ever played in New York.
There will be no postseason for Jeter. Thursday, he seemed to have a hard time fathoming that, almost as if deep down he believed there would be some sort of miracle, that the Yankees would run the table, all of their wild-card opponents would collapse and he would slip magically into one final postseason. Jeter has led such a fairytale life in the Bronx that it seemed almost impossible for him to comprehend that it was going to sputter to an end like this.
Jeter went 0-for-4 as the designated hitter in a 9-5 loss to the Orioles, ending a seven-game hitting streak and dropping his average to .253.
Afterward, he met with reporters at his cubicle, and his mood clearly was not good. For more than six minutes, he stood with his hands jammed into the front pockets of his jeans and politely but firmly deflected any questions about what he expected to transpire on his last day at the Stadium.
"We just lost. We're not going to the playoffs,'' Jeter said. "That's what's on my mind now. It's not what's going to happen tomorrow or games moving forward. Right now, it feels bad. We didn't play well enough. That's the bottom line. I can't tell you what tomorrow's going to feel like. I really can't.''
Jeter knows there will be a time when it all sinks in, when he can take a look at the upside of the 2014 season, such as being able to come back from a serious injury last year and play one more year. Yet it was clear that that time hadn't come.
"Right now, it's hard to do because I'm disappointed,'' he said. "I'm sure when all is said and done, I'll find some positives. But right now, it's hard to do.''
And with that, Jeter walked away.