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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Jeter already at camp in Tampa

"The youngest Yankees are spread over the four fields at the team’s minor league complex for pre-spring training workouts. Derek Jeter, the Yankees’ oldest position player, is here, too, just like every other early February for the past 20 years.

It’s the Old Man and the Sea of Prospects.

When Jeter first started coming to spring training early in 1993, there wasn’t even a roof over the batting tunnels. The facility has changed, players have changed, the House of Steinbrenner has changed. But Jeter’s work ethic hasn’t, and that’s what makes him so special. He will turn 38 in June, but once again he is the first player in camp.

Position players officially report Feb. 25, but Jeter doesn’t have time to waste. His baseball clock has started.

“You see all these kids out here now,’’ Jeter told the Post as he looked out over the perfectly manicured fields, where prospects such as outfielders Dante Bichette (19) and Mason Williams (20) were working. “When I first came down here, it was just me. They didn’t do this when I started. I came on my own and I dragged my roommate down with me, R.D. Long. The only people down here were rehabbers. Then they started bringing people down and now they have this.’’...photo, "Derek Jeter shows a young boy how to field a ground ball Friday in Tampa. Jeter, as always, was the first to arrive at Yankees camp." B. Martinez, NY Post

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