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Derek Jeter thinks his “temperament would be all right to manage” … but don’t count on it

May 23, 2014, 12:48 PM EDT

Jeter presser

With the Yankees in Chicago to play the White Sox the local media asked Derek Jeter what he thinks about former teammate Robin Ventura becoming a manager in his 40s.

Jeter praised Ventura, saying his laid back demeanor is right for the job, but then made it very clear he has no plans to go into managing once he retires:

My temperament would be all right to manage. But I’m not. No. Write that down. I will not manage.

Rarely do truly elite, Hall of Fame-level players get into managing. Jeter as manager with Alex Rodriguez as the hitting coach and Andy Pettitte as the pitching coach could be interesting, though. And maybe make Jorge Posada the bench coach or something. Bring the whole band back together.

  1. thetoolsofignorance - May 23, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    Mariano Rivera as GM

  2. aceshigh11 - May 23, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    Is there a good reason why truly elite, Hall of Fame-level players rarely get into managing? Is it looked at as a step down from being a great player? Or is it just burnout with the game?

    • Caught Looking - May 23, 2014 at 1:26 PM

      Perhaps that they’ve made a ton of cash already and if they want to stay close to the game they get a job as an analyst or talking head.

      • 18thstreet - May 23, 2014 at 3:05 PM

        It also seems to me that manager is a really stressful job by any standard. Being a talking head on MLB Network or Baseball Tonight (at least for the explayers, not for the reporters) seems very, very easy.

    • billybawl - May 23, 2014 at 1:40 PM

      With some exceptions, they would usually start as a coach or in the minor leagues. I don’t see Jeter wanting to trade his post-retirement life for that. I mean, have you seen his crib?

      One knock on Ted Williams as a manager was that he was so great it was difficult for him to adjust his expectations of lesser ballplayers. No idea whether that’s true or not in his case or in general.

    • bigharold - May 23, 2014 at 1:46 PM

      I don’t think it’s the game that burns then out it everything that goes along with it that isn’t the game. Mostly the travel and missing out on family stuff. When I first started going on business trips earlier in my career it was exciting and I liked the travel. After about three trips, it was just living out of a suitcase, spending way too much time in airports and on planes and being away from the framy. If you multiply that by 82 games a year for 20 years I’d bet Jeter has had his full of that aspect of baseball.

      It’ll be interesting if Jeter has a change of heart in a few years, though it doubt it. Players always say they miss being with their teammates and the comradely along with the shared sense of purpose and mission. No player ever says he misses crappy hotel food and redeye flights to the coast. If Jeter gets back in the game I think it’ll be as either an owner or at least a team exec. I don’t ever see him in uniform after this year in ant official capacity.

      • jm91rs - May 23, 2014 at 2:16 PM

        I don’t think they eat the same crappy hotel food that you and I eat. I’m sure though that they don’t enjoy some of that travel and hotel life and if you don’t need the money why bother.

    • 4cornersfan - May 23, 2014 at 3:42 PM

      The theory is that the sport comes a little easier for them or their work ethic is better than the average player and they get impatient and frustrated with their players. Don’t know if that’s the case but it seemed to be the case with Ted Williams and Frank Robinson.

    • barrywhererufrom - May 24, 2014 at 12:00 AM

      Truly elite players can’t relate to failure that average players go through. That’s why career minor leaguers jim leyland,buck showalter, earl weaver or average to below average major leaguers tony Larussa, Joe girardi are the types of former players who have the most success. The greatest player-hitter who managed had limited success as a manager. I think the best former player who had success as a manager was Joe Torre.

  3. shanabartels - May 23, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    Managing and coaching are relatively thankless jobs with awful travel schedules and endless responsibilities at all hours. It’s understandable that the Derek Jeters of the world wouldn’t want to sign up for that. He certainly doesn’t need the money and if he wants to finally have some time to relax and start a family (which is what he said in the statement about deciding to retire), I don’t begrudge him that one bit.

  4. Detroit Michael - May 23, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    Jeter doesn’t want to manage because he’s not confident that he can kick Brad Ausmus off of the #1 slot in Craig’s list of best-looking manager.

    [just kidding]

  5. 4cornersfan - May 23, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    Jeter wants to be an owner. Maybe the Steinbrenners will be selling in a few years.

  6. Carl Hancock - May 23, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    Not true about HOFers not coaching and managing. It’s only really been once players starting making huge money did newer Hall of Famers not be as interested in coaching or managing. For obvious reasons. They already made a mint playing the game and are set for multiple lifetimes over. That isn’t the case for previous generations.

  7. natstowngreg - May 23, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    Look what happened with Cal Ripken last winter. He made an off-hand comment that he might like to manage some day. Then came the rumors that the Nats were going to hire him because, well, he’s Cal Ripken. Never mind that Ripken never actually did anything to try to become a manager.

    Same thing would happen with Jeter if he EVER uttered a syllable about considering managing at any point in his lifetime.

    Meanwhile, Tony LaRussa (132 G, .199/.292/.250) goes into the HOF, along with Bobby Cox (220 G, .225/.310/.309). They join the likes of

    Walter Alston (1 G, .000/.000/.000)
    Sparky Anderson (152 G, .218/.282/.249)
    Leo Durocher (1637 G, .247/.299/.320)
    Whitey Herzog (634 G, .257/.354/.365)
    Tommy Lasorda (26 G, 0-4, 6.48, 1.87 WHIP)
    Joe McCarthy (no MLB playing experience)
    Earl Weaver (no MLB playing experience).

    Joe Torre (2209 G, .297/.365/.452) joins the list of Hall of Famers who had success as both players and managers. Such as Lou Boudreau, Joe Cronin, Frankie Frisch, and Bill Terry.

    Meanwhile, the list of HOF players who had short, unsuccessful managing stints is quite lengthy. Some examples: Mordecai (Three Finger) Brown, Bill Dickey, Rabbit Maranville, Eddie Mathews, Christy Mathewson, Tony Perez, George Sisler, Ted Williams.

  8. byjiminy - May 23, 2014 at 5:12 PM

    Interesting question. Here’s my totally baseless speculation.

    Pro athletes tend to be incredibly competitive. A smart, dedicated, hardworking athlete who never reached the top just might be more likely to have an unfulfilled, burning, competitive desire to win. Coaching could give him the opportunity to fulfill his dreams; and a team of other, more physically talented players might give him the tools he never had as a light-hitting utility infielder or catcher.

    A hall of fame caliber player, on the other hand, has already accomplished a great deal and can retire satisfied with his achievements. To return as a coach would likely be less satisfying than playing. His players would all be less talented than he was, making every moment a frustration. And for a person who once controlled and dominated every encounter, it might be unpleasant to have virtually everything out of his control. What a step down.

    Still, you’d think a few would be so addicted to competition that they would take whatever they could get. Pete Rose, for example, I could see managing, if he were allowed to.

    Of course, Michael Jordan is insanely competitive and would probably make a terrible coach–perhaps the overwhelming urge to crush others is just not that helpful when your job is to nurture the fragile egos of your lessers?

  9. byjiminy - May 23, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    Jeter already has his hands full anyway — literally — with other physical activities.

  10. miguelcairo - May 23, 2014 at 8:29 PM

    Jorge should manage.

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