By Tom Robinson
For the Daily Item
MOOSIC -- Matt Daley's mere presence on the roster could not draw the New York media by the dozens to PNC Field. His moves were not cause for in-game updates on ESPN's SportsCenter.
Ticket sales did not soar and produce the second and third sellouts of the season for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders based on speculation about when Daley would appear next.
Twitter, Facebook, text messages and camera phones did not track where the former Bucknell University pitcher bought his coffee, ate his meals or stopped for a little postgame relaxation throughout the past week.
Derek Jeter, the all-time hit leader of baseball's most famous and successful franchise, has been at the center of all that adulation while bringing attention — and crowds of 10,000 — to northeastern Pennsylvania during the past week.
Two other all-stars — Curtis Granderson and Michael Pineda — have, like Jeter, used the New York Yankees Class AAA farm team as part of the process in trying to return from injury to productive Major League careers. Granderson could be back in Moosic, along with Alex Rodriguez, before the season is over.
All are trying to return to the highest level of the sport after being injured.
When Jeter left Monday's game after five innings, the other switch RailRiders manager Dave Miley made at the time involved Daley.
As Walter Ibarra was warming up at shortstop to replace Jeter, Daley was jogging past him from the left-field bullpen, heading to the mound and the continuation of another battle back from injury. For Daley, for many reasons, the process is a much slower one.
Jeter's injury and re-injury were serious by the standards of ankle troubles. His age, however, probably has more than his ankle to do with any skepticism about how strong Jeter's game will be in New York after a few rehab appearances.