Of all the gifts Derek Jeter's received during his farewell season, there's probably one parting present he's still holding out hope for: clear skies on Thursday night.
Rain threatens to spoil Jeter's scheduled Yankee Stadium finale against the Orioles on Thursday night, with showers in the Bronx's forecast for much of the evening.
"I would suggest you make some plans because I think we're going to be here for awhile," Joe Girardi said to reporters Thurday afternoon.
The game is slated to start at 7:05 p.m. and, as Thursday evening draws closer, there appears to be increasing optimism that the game could begin on time. The tarp that covered the field at Yankee Stadium for much of the day was removed for a short period, but was then placed back on the field at 3 p.m.
As of 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Weather.com's forecast showed a zero percent chance of precipitation at 7 p.m. -- down from an earlier forecast that had a 100 percent chance of showers at game time. The chance of showers rises through the night until midnight Friday, when it goes up to 50 percent.
Ultimately, it will be MLB's call on whether Jeter's final home game is played Thursday.
Major League Baseball will do everything within its power to make sure the game is played -- regardless of the delay -- because a makeup on Monday would be a logistical headache for everyone involved if it was needed to determine the AL's best record for the playoff-bound Orioles.
"I heard that it's supposed to rain, but I'm not a meteorologist," Jeter said on Wednesday. "So hopefully it cooperates."
The Yankees are scheduled to end their season -- and Jeter's career -- with three games in Boston this weekend.
-- with David Lennon