It’s been five years since Derek Jeter last played for the Yankees. When the former Yankees Captain bowed out with his walk-off heroics, fans in the Yankees universe, and across baseball, all sang his praises. Jeter was a true Yankees and baseball legend. The numbers don’t lie. I don’t need to spew those out. Everyone has google and baseball-reference at their disposal. The point of this piece is to discuss his polarizing nature today.
When Jeter bought his 4 percent stake in the Miami Marlins in September of 2017, some fans were upset. They labeled him a traitor and a turncoat. The whole critique seemed misguided. Jeter had every right to be a businessman, in his post-playing career. What is puzzling to me, is Derek’s distance from the Yankees. The organization he loved. I understand he has a job to do, and I don’t begrudge that. I just wonder if Jeter viewed playing as a business more than a complete love for it.
When Derek used to speak to the media, he seemed rehearsed. We never got to see the real Jeter. With that being said, he didn’t have to show it to us. Jeter was always very protective over his image, almost obsessively so. He is a good man and was raised right. It just makes you wonder, was he as pure as people thought? I’ve heard stories of Jeter scoffing at fans who asked for autographs, as well as certain encounters that didn’t go sweet. Alex Rodriguez was always deemed the jerk. Not saying Jeter is, but maybe, just maybe, Rodriguez was just a bit more human.
Perhaps Jeter just doesn’t choose to get misty-eyed over old timer’s day. Maybe he chooses to keep his time with the Yankees closed off. That is ok. I just wonder why. He does have a job to do, as part-owner of the Marlins. Yet those years with the Yankees can never be stuffed away in a box. I suspect someday all this will come out in Derek’s memoirs.
I just hope he finds time to reflect, one day. He was part of something bigger than he realizes. The best years of my sports fandom.
Best wishes to Captain Clutch.