(New York Times) Folded onto the back of J. J. Hardy's chair in the Baltimore Orioles' clubhouse at Yankee Stadium this week was a white towel emblazoned with a No. 2 framed against a Gatorade logo. A teammate had placed it there after the previous night's game.
"It's a Jeter thing," Hardy said, in no apparent rush to remove it. After all, he is also No. 2, a shortstop — and not that he mentioned it — in possession of what Derek Jeter is retiring without: a 2014 division title and entry into the postseason.
But Orioles Manager Buck Showalter, who was Jeter's first big-league manager and knows such amplified Yankee ways, teased Hardy, saying, "That's as close to the Jeter treatment as you're going to get."
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For five seasons in Milwaukee, Hardy wore No. 7. That, he said, was a Mickey Mantle thing, so he wasn't about to cop the attitude that those damn Yankees and Jeter in particular were somebody else's business.
"I didn't pick No. 2 when I got here, but when I did get it, Jeter was the first guy I thought of," Hardy said. "It's definitely going to be a number that will be attached to him for a very long time."