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Derek Jeter: “I still have a season to play”

Feb 19, 2014, 12:01 PM EDT

Jeter presser

Derek Jeter met the press today. As he said in his Facebook post last week, 2014 will be his last season. But this wasn’t a ceremony or a retirement press conference as such. The team and Jeter referred to it as Jeter’s “media availability” which he does every spring, and Jeter did everything he could to make it seem like no big deal. Just the usual February meet-and-greet.

And while most of the conversation was about his retirement, it wasn’t like most retirement announcements we normally see. Jeter had no prepared statement. He said he said everything in the Facebook message last week. The reason? He didn’t want to be a distraction and didn’t want his teammates to have to show up for a formal announcement ceremony. He just asked for it to be a normal. “I still have a season to play,” Jeter said.

Jeter’s second question was about how he felt. He said “I feel good. This has absolutely nothing to do with how I feel physically. I feel great.” He said, over and over, that “the time is right” and that he just wanted to do different things with his life. He mentioned wanting to have a family some day. When pressed for reasons for his retirement he half-jokingly, but somewhat seriously, asked the reporters if they didn’t really read his Facebook announcement. Because that was it. Everything he had to say about it was in there.

Still, the questions came. And to some degree Jeter did open up. He said that a lot of his career had become a job in the past year. Not the playing — he said he still likes coming to the ballpark and playing — but meeting with the media. Answering the increasing questions about how long he can go on. He also referred to the rehab from injuries like he endured last year. And though he didn’t say so, it’s not hard to read in the notion that Jeter would expect to have more rehab as he gets older and that he wouldn’t much care for that.

A couple of reporters asked Jeter if he was emotional about it. He sparred with them — “what, are you trying to get me to cry?” he joked. And there were no tears. Jeter referenced the fact that he has always hidden his emotions to some extent, but yes, he has them. He’s not going to be emotional about it now, however, as he still has a season in front of him. “It’s not the end yet,” Jeter said.

But there were a few words that even the stoic Jeter must admit were more reflective of the end of his career. He was asked about being drafted in 1992 and how time has flown. He said if he had a message for younger players it would be to “enjoy it as much as you can,” and implied that he didn’t always do that himself, though such an approach “has always worked for me.”

2014 will be Jeter’s 20th season as a major leaguer. As he enters it, he has a career line of .312/.381/.446 with 3,316 hit, 256 homers and 1,261 runs batted in. He has five gold gloves and five World Series rings.

  1. bfunk1978 - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    This just in (as astutely noted by Craig on multiple occasions): Jeter’s not dead. Or dying, other than how we’re all kind of dying. He’s not even immortal. </3

    • Old Gator - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:54 PM

      Well yeah. In baseball, you kinda have to be dead to be immortal.

      • vivabear - Feb 19, 2014 at 1:09 PM

        You finally gave up after being completely owned in the Cuba brawl post, Old Felcher?

  2. stex52 - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    So much life left to live. So many gift baskets yet to be given. A man must concentrate on priorities…….

  3. yankeesfanlen - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    Certainly Amazing-Beep-Gimpy-Beep does not wish to be a distraction. He will mention this at every weekly news conference.

    • stex52 - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:19 PM

      I’m 62. Nobody gets to whine in front of me about how sad retirement will be.

      • Old Gator - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:55 PM

        On the contrary. You’re gonna love it.

      • stex52 - Feb 19, 2014 at 1:57 PM

        Retired once (pro forma) and immediately went to a new job. Next time (and it’s coming soon) is gonna be different.

      • happytwinsfan - Feb 19, 2014 at 5:47 PM

        can i whine about how sad it is to not be able to retire?

    • jwbiii - Feb 19, 2014 at 5:01 PM

      Only once a week?

  4. banger60 - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    99% of posters whine and bitch about something every day, get a life!

  5. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    Seriously? He announced his retirement on freaking Facebook? I have no hate for Facebook, but good lord what has this world come to? I guess we should be grateful he didn’t announce it on Twitter or do one of those Instagram “I quit” things with the whiteboards.

    • 18thstreet - Feb 19, 2014 at 2:03 PM

      He decided to speak directly to his fans. What’s your problem with this, exactly?

  6. routerunner - Feb 19, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    If you’re going to retire, retire. Totally selfish to go on one of these lame farewell tours and expect fans at away games to bow down to you.

    • zzalapski - Feb 19, 2014 at 3:48 PM

      I must have missed that part of his statement where he expected fans to kiss his ass and opposing teams to shower him with gifts he doesn’t really need.

  7. timpaz - Feb 19, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    As always Jeter was patient and classy withi the NY media, who aren’t an easy bunch to deal with, as for the comments on him announcing on his Facebook page, you all need to join the 21st century.

  8. TheMorningStar - Feb 19, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    What a résumé!

    Its going to be really weird not seeing Jeter in the Yankees lineup, but that’s for the 2015 season.

    • ptfu - Feb 19, 2014 at 4:00 PM

      A-Rod will finally get a chance to play shortstop for the Yankees :-)

      • zzalapski - Feb 19, 2014 at 4:12 PM

        I think there’s a better chance of the Yankees using Soriano at 2B.

  9. cur'68 - Feb 19, 2014 at 6:52 PM

    Its going to be strange without him in baseball next season. First Rivera and now Jeets. Bummer. I hate getting old.

  10. rastaraider - Feb 19, 2014 at 7:08 PM


  11. thedoubleentandres - Feb 20, 2014 at 5:01 AM

    Is he management material? Im fairly new to baseball but surprised it hasn’t really been mentioned, wondering how long he will stay out of the game.

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