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Derek Jeter prepares for his final home opener and says something intriguing

Apr 7, 2014, 11:33 AM EDT

Jeter presser

Just about everything this side of eating breakfast will be some notable “last” for Derek Jeter this season. Today is his last home opener. Which occasioned a press conference about it all, of course. Indeed, he won’t have the last of his press conferences until sometime in the mid-2020s by my calculations. You can see the whole presser here.

The highlight: Jeter said Yankees fans are the greatest in the world. He quickly followed that by saying that, in claiming Yankee fan superiority, he means no disrespect to any other teams’ fans.

Which, as usual, is a pathetic example of the controversy-courting Jeter looking to stir the pot by saying audacious things. It’s the single biggest reason he’s been so darn unpopular throughout his career.  Also:

  • Jeter said he’d try to enjoy his farewell season and farewell tour, but he doesn’t know how he’s going to balance it all given that his priority each day is the game. Getting ready to play every day, which takes a lot more work than, say, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera had to deal with when they had their last season.
  • He mentioned that the expectation that the Yankees had to win every year started after 1996, and noted that in 1996 the Yankees “may have snuck up on some people.”

That’s a rare and candid acknowledgment from a Yankee. Since the mid-90s there has been a pretty strong drumbeat that such expectations have always existed in Yankees-land. Those of us who remember the 80s and the early 90s know better. Those older, who remember the late 60s through the mid-70s know better too. When they weren’t winning in those periods, there wasn’t some national “how can the Yankees not be winning?!” thing in the air. They were treated just like any other team. One that has good stretches and bad stretches and life goes on. Perhaps the expectations lasted during the DiMaggio-Mantle years, and they certainly have existed for the past 15-17 years or so, but it hasn’t always been the case. And if the Yankees were ever to experience another decade in the wilderness, the expectations would adjust downward once again.

Anyway: happy home opener, Captain.

  1. renaado - Apr 7, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    :-( ;-( :-( :-(. I thank you truly Derek Jeter for being a role model to the younger generation…

    • renaado - Apr 7, 2014 at 12:01 PM

      Any idea on how to do a crying face here?

      • 18thstreet - Apr 7, 2014 at 12:21 PM

        With words.

      • renaado - Apr 7, 2014 at 12:29 PM

        I’m not that good writing emotional statements… only logical ones… :-0

  2. darthicarus - Apr 7, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    I really hope for his last series at Fenway the Red Sox give him a gift basket with some autographed baseballs.

    • jcmeyer10 - Apr 7, 2014 at 2:35 PM

      Or something from 2004. Like an autographed picture. Just want it to be snarky.

      • jerze2387 - Apr 7, 2014 at 4:42 PM

        Curt schillings sock or a signed 8×10 of Pedro tossing don Zimmerman by his head

      • jcmeyer10 - Apr 7, 2014 at 4:43 PM

        All of it.

      • anxovies - Apr 7, 2014 at 11:49 PM

        Maybe the door to Manny’s bathroom?

  3. lukedunphysscienceproject - Apr 7, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    As someone who has been a Yankee fan since the 70’s, I find it laughable when people tell me “you don’t know what it’s like to root for a team that isn’t in contention every year”. Do me a favor- google “list of New York Yankee seasons” and check out the dumpster fire from 1982-1994. BTW, that encompassed my life from 15-27. Good times. The first 10 years of my life (66-76) were no picnic either.

    • dlf9 - Apr 7, 2014 at 12:09 PM

      Some dumpster fire … during that stretch you just named, the team averaged a .518 winning percentage or an average of 84 wins per season. They finished in the top three six seasons and in the bottom three of the ALE four times. The Yankees of that time were thoroughly mediocre, but mediocre means average, not bad. Bad is the Pirates or Royals of the past two decades, or if you are of a historical bent, the Phillies of the 40s or Spiders of the 90s, not the pre-Jeter Yankees. A Yankee fan just can’t point to ANY period of sustained poor play since the Colonel bought Babe from Frazee.

      • tigersfan83 - Apr 7, 2014 at 12:13 PM

        I was just about to post this. The argument that they were a “garbage fire” is asinine.

      • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 7, 2014 at 1:05 PM

        I’d like to add the Baltimore Orioles from 1998-2011 to this list.

      • anxovies - Apr 7, 2014 at 11:51 PM

        The Raiders anytime lately.

      • professor59 - Apr 8, 2014 at 12:41 PM

        The stats just prove the point of how spoiled Yankees fans are. In some towns, that would be known as the “golden era”.

    • lukedunphysscienceproject - Apr 7, 2014 at 12:48 PM

      Sorry, sometimes I forget how low other fan bases set their expectations.

      • grumpyoleman - Apr 7, 2014 at 1:02 PM

        We sometimes forget how big of a payroll you have to throw around that makes it harder for teams to sign their own players or some key free agents.

      • kruegere - Apr 7, 2014 at 1:04 PM

        And…thats exactly the type of comment we expect from Yankee fans.

      • lukedunphysscienceproject - Apr 7, 2014 at 1:10 PM

        Didn’t want to disappoint.

      • lukedunphysscienceproject - Apr 7, 2014 at 1:14 PM

        Oh, grumpy, I doubt you ever forget that.

      • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 7, 2014 at 1:16 PM

        How FAN BASES set their expectations? I’d love nothing more than to rip into this comment but I’d say @kruegere nailed it. Typical Yankee comment.

      • lukedunphysscienceproject - Apr 7, 2014 at 1:34 PM

        I was going to post a clip of Tony Montana’s “Bad Guy” rant from Scarface, but there’s waaaayyy too many F bombs. Too bad, I think that would have been funny.

      • electstat - Apr 7, 2014 at 2:59 PM

        and I’d be pissed at my favorite team if they chose to not spend their allocated money on players…like many of the bottom teams do.

    • evanpenn - Apr 7, 2014 at 10:57 PM

      A Yankee fan complaining about being “only” a slightly above average team for 12 years, lol.
      It was funny how Yankee fans lost their minds when Cano fled. Every other team’s fans are used to losing their best players to free agency, but Yankee fans hadn’t experienced it before. Friggin hilarious.

  4. proudlycanadian - Apr 7, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    As the noble Captain prepares to ride off into the sunset, the sunset for the dynasty of The Evil Empire approaches.

    • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 7, 2014 at 1:18 PM

      Eh… as long as they can continue to keep the cash flowing in FA, I only see a slight regression in the Evil Empire. They will Strike Back. And I will probably take that pun to my grave as one of the worst of all time.

      • schm1471 - Apr 7, 2014 at 7:41 PM

        http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pun

      • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 8, 2014 at 8:00 AM

        Really… you took time out of your busy schedule to correct me… feeling better now?

      • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 8, 2014 at 8:04 AM

        Actually @schm since you seem to be an English major please explain how that was not a pun. I put a play on the phrase Strike Back, referencing the Star Wars movie the Empire Strikes Back. Seems to fit the description to me. But by all means, if you could please drop a knowledge bomb on me to clarify not only how it’s not a pun, but also what exactly you would call this, I’d appreciate it.

      • schm1471 - Apr 8, 2014 at 1:49 PM

        Puns are a play on words that have multiple, disparate definitions. Referencing a movie title is not a pun. But, you’re right, it’s not cool to drive-by correcting comments – the misuse of pun is just a weird pet peeve of mine. I apologize.

  5. sandwiches4ever - Apr 7, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    I came of age in the “decade of wilderness”. My fandom was probably at a peak in the 1990 season. My god, that was an awful, awful team. It’s weird to think about how unusual 1995 seemed at the time, when the Yankees finally made the playoffs.

  6. Jason @ IIATMS - Apr 7, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    Hell, just living the 1986 season was brutal for Yanks fans. World Series b/t Metsies and RedSox? I skipped October that year. As did the Yanks.

  7. JP - Apr 7, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    So where is the intriguing part?

    • cackalackyank - Apr 7, 2014 at 12:39 PM

      To paraphrase: ‘He keeps using that word, I do not think it means what he thinks it means.’

  8. barrywhererufrom - Apr 7, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    Since I have been a fan since 76.They may have not always won Championships but that was George’s Message to fan’s since they went to their first World Series under his ownership in 76. I know their were teams in the late 80’s that had no shot of winning one but George’s mantra never wavered. It could also be that George was sent to his ‘baseball Elba” and had no chance to give the ‘championship or bust speech’

  9. happytwinsfan - Apr 7, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    the only period i remember where the yankees were at the bottom of the heap instead of just not on top, are the years, not inconincidently, just before steinbrenner and reggie jackson kicked off the whole free agent thing

  10. chiadam - Apr 7, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    My mistake. I assumed Craig would share the intriguing part with us. He’s probably busy rooting through Bill Plaschke’s garbage cans for another snarky blog.

  11. raysfan1 - Apr 7, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    “Derek Jeter had his last bowl of Wheaties before a home opener as a player…”

    There you go, Craig; now breakfast is covered too.

    • anxovies - Apr 7, 2014 at 11:55 PM

      Will the last gift basket be given away soon. Will he fire his chef and be seen at the Burger Chef window in his pajamas with his hair grown out in a comb over?

  12. imthewiz77 - Apr 7, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    Posted this earlier on another article but wanted to share it again. My friend is a cop in the Bronx, he took a picture of a Lamborghini being loaded into Yankee Stadium two days ago. I’d imagine as an opening day gift to Jeter.

  13. genericcommenter - Apr 7, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    The Last Gift Basket

    • Francisco (FC) - Apr 7, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      Actually that one will probably continue until he marries.

  14. billiam55 - Apr 7, 2014 at 6:09 PM

    love how all the yankee haters come on here to comment,

    • Bob Loblaw - Apr 7, 2014 at 10:48 PM

      I don’t think the NBC servers could handle the bandwidth of “all the yankee haters” 8)

    • professor59 - Apr 8, 2014 at 12:45 PM

      Love how all the Yankee apologists come here to comment.

  15. jayquintana - Apr 8, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    You forgot to include the intriguing thing he said. And before anyone thumbs down, I like Jeter as much as the next baseball fan.

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