Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Cheers go up as Jeter joins Yankees' camp

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TAMPA, Fla. -- Derek Jeter received an ovation that could be heard throughout Steinbrenner Field when he jogged onto the diamond for the New York Yankees' first full-squad workout Monday.

Jeter took part in most of the team drills, including on-field batting practice, for the first time since undergoing ankle surgery last October. The 38-year-old captain, who has been hitting in an indoor cage, also took part in a 25-minute defensive session at shortstop.

"It felt good," Jeter said. "It's the first time I'm doing everything on the field, in terms of hitting on the field, groundballs on the dirt. What I'm doing now is what I would be doing at the beginning of workouts anyway, but I'm a couple weeks behind."

Although he didn't take part in agility or running, Jeter got the day's biggest salute from the several hundred fans present when he first appeared. They also cheered when he lined a ball to right on his first BP swing.

Jeter is likely two or three weeks away from making his 2013 exhibition game debut.

Pedro still popular

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Pedro Martinez might have been the most popular person in a Red Sox uniform during the team's morning workout Monday.

The former ace has rejoined the organization that was the beneficiary of most of his glory days as a special assistant to general manager Ben Cherington.

Martinez, who turned 41 in October, has not pitched since 2009, his final season with the Phillies. He last played for the Red Sox in 2004, when he helped them to their first World Series championship in 86 years.

"It's weird," he said of putting on the uniform again. "But it feels like the first day to me. I get so excited to just be part of this team and be part of the tradition that we have here."

Martinez won two of this three Cy Young Awards while with the Red Sox. In his seven seasons in Boston, he went 117-37, a .760 winning percentage, with a 2.52 ERA.

The time was right, he said, to come back. He will be working with the major- and minor-league pitchers this season and expects to be at Fenway often.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 19, 2013 C6

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