Derek Jeter's farewell tour is well underway as we enter the middle third of May. As expected, in each of his final stops in road ballparks he's been the recipient of surprise going away presents. However, on Friday night in Milwaukee, he was in for a much more startling surprise as a fan sporting a Ryan Braun jersey jumped from the stands and approached him at his shortstop position right in the middle of the game.
The incident was not shown on television, but it's reported that Jeter didn't spot the fan until he was getting dangerously close. Once he did notice the fan, Jeter appeared to be unfazed and didn't back away even as the fan moved in with his arms wide open.
"His face was calm," Jeter said. "He was saying he wanted a hug. I was thinking I wasn't going to hug him. That was pretty much it. It happened pretty quick. I didn't even see him until he got past the third-base line."
Unlike Carlos Gomez and Brian McCann before the game, the fan did not get his hug. However, he did get tossed around a bit by security before being dragged off the field.
Jeter warned the guy he had made a big mistake.
''I told him, 'You're going to get in trouble,''' Jeter said. ''Then he repeated that he wanted a hug. I said, 'Look out.'''
Jeter was even nice enough to warn the guy of his impending fate. How unselfish can the Yankees captain possibly be?
All kidding aside, obviously this was a scary scene for everybody involved that once again reminds us how vulnerable athletes can be on the field. All it takes is one determined lunatic to create a bad situation. Fortunately, this fan was pretty much harmless, but for a few seconds Yankees manager Joe Girardi's heart was in his throat.
"I was like, 'Derek, move,'" Girardi said. "Derek just kind of stood there. Obviously, he didn't feel threatened. It's not what you want because you never know what people are up to. It's an unfortunate part of the game."
Breathe, Joe. It's OK now.
Also OK was the result for Girardi's squad. Masahiro Tanaka moved to 5-0 with six and one-third innings of two-run ball, while fellow rookie Yangervis Solarte delivered a three-run homer to provide the difference in the 5-3 victory. Jeter, who was greeted by a standing ovation from the 40,123 in attendance during his first plate appearance, finished 0 for 4. His average fell to .252.
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