Yankees

Sweeny: Phelps Rooting Harder Than Anyone For Healthy Jeter

Derek Jeter works out at George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 21, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Derek Jeter works out at George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 21, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

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By Sweeny Murti
» More Columns

Certainly everybody wants to see Derek Jeter back and healthy this year for the New York Yankees. I think, however, that David Phelps is rooting harder for that than anyone else.

Phelps is the one that was on the mound in the 12th inning of Game 1 of the ALCS in 2012. Phelps gave up the grounder to Jhonny Peralta. You know what happened next. So does Phelps because he has seen the highlight way too many times.

Everybody wants Jeter to complete his comeback from the broken ankle he suffered that night, and Phelps is right near the top of the list:

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“That’s a clip that gets played a lot. And when I see the ground ball roll towards him, I’m like, ‘That was my ground ball,’ ” Phelps said. “I really want him to get back, I want him to have success again, because I don’t want that to be the last thing people remember.”

Phelps smiles when he talks about what it’s like to have Jeter back on the field this spring. You could tell last year, Phelps said, when Jeter was with the team and when he wasn’t.

“It means a lot to this team, just having him around the clubhouse, keeping guys light,” Phelps said. “Knowing that he’s going to be there day in and day out doing his job is motivation for all of us to go out there and do our jobs.”

Many have predicted — hoped, maybe — that Jeter will go out this year with an ending more fitting than lying on the ground with a broken ankle.

Phelps is definitely one of them.

Sweeny Murti
@YankeesWFAN

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