Jameis Winston plays vs. Yankees

Updated: February 25, 2014, 6:38 PM ET
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com

TAMPA, Fla. -- In little more than a month, Jameis Winston went from leading the Florida State Seminoles to the BCS National Championship to serving as a fifth-inning defensive replacement in a spring training baseball game against the New York Yankees.

[+] EnlargeJameis Winston
AP Photo/Chris O'MearaFlorida State's Jameis Winston broke his bat before grounding out against Shane Greene in the sixth, and Bryan Mitchell struck out Winston in the eighth.

It made no difference to the sparse crowd that turned out at George M. Steinbrenner Field -- just about all of it clad in FSU colors -- who cheered as the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback jogged out to his position and again as he came to the plate in the top of the sixth with the Yankees leading 5-0.

"It was fun, man, but I think most of them Florida State fans were Yankees fans, they just had on garnet and gold," Winston said.

The crowd went nuts when he broke his bat in half on a foul ball off Shane Greene, the Yankees' third pitcher of the day. Winston wound up grounding out weakly to second. He received another ovation as he jogged back to the dugout.

In the eighth inning, Winston struck out looking against Bryan Mitchell.

"I gotta get better with the bat," Winston said. "I been struggling this spring, but that's baseball, man. When you get back in the rhythm, you can go 0-for-2 with two strikeouts, but I only got one, so that's the only positive I got out of the day."

Meanwhile, the Yankees got RBI doubles from Dean Anna and John Ryan Murphy and an unusual RBI foul out to the pitcher when Florida State catcher Danny De La Calle left the plate uncovered while chasing Gary Sanchez's popup, allowing Murphy to score from third.

Winston led the football team to a 14-0 season, capped by the 34-31 victory Jan. 6 over Auburn for the BCS title. He also played in 41 games for the baseball team last season, 22 in the outfield, 10 as a DH, and nine as a relief pitcher.

"I'm just 20 years old, man, living my life, and I want to play both [football and baseball] as long as I can," Winston said. "Like I said, it's just me having fun with those guys in the clubhouse. I love both of them, I got a strong passion for both.

"I probably have more success in football, but baseball is a passion of mine and I want to play as long as possible."

Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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