NEW YORK -- The Yankee Stadium sellout crowd stood on their feet at 1:22 Monday afternoon and screamed Derek Jeter's name, over and over, while he stood in the batter's box.
Jeter showed little emotion, but as he said Monday morning, don't let the exterior fool you.
"I have emotions,'' Jeter says, "I just hide it. I've just been pretty good trying to control my emotions. You have feelings. There are a lot of "wow'' moments when you're in New York, but for me, I always felt it was easier for me to play if I try to control my emotions.''
Jeter, playing in the final home-opener of his Yankees' career, struck out in his first at-bat, and maybe those emotions got the best of him.
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"You're human,'' Jeter said. "Everyone has emotions. Everyone has feelings. Especially here, we played in so many big games, so many special games throughout the course of my career. I'll be nervous. I'll have butterflies before this game starts, but I do that all of the time.''
This game, of course, was different than any other Jeter has ever played.
It is the last home opener of his career at Yankee Stadium. He was reunited with the rest of the Core Four before the game -- the nucleus that won five World Series titles together. Jeter caught a ceremonial first pitch from Mariano Rivera. Jorge Posada caught Andy Pettitte.
"He's the last one standing now,'' said Rivera, who retired after last season with Pettitte.
The celebrations and tributes won't just stop this day, Girardi says, but continue the entire season.
"I think it will be a love-fest, and appreciation-fest,'' Girardi says, "people trying to soak it all in. I think people will show their appreciation, no matter what, just what he's meant to the Yankees.''
And despite the perception, Jeter corrected reporters Monday, he will fully appreciate every last moment of this season, including all of the tributes and ceremonies.
"I will enjoy it,'' Jeter says. "Every city I go to, every game I play, I will enjoy it. But at the same time, I get the fact that I have to play a game. I have to play a season.
"Not enjoying it is the wrong way to put it, but balancing it is a better way to put it.''
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