On Monday we asked for your questions from Derek Jeter. Nearly 300 people responded. It was hard to whittle them down to 10 interesting questions. But Derek graciously agreed to answer 15.
If your question was not selected, please do not be offended. I tried to mix up serious baseball questions with some fun stuff. I purposely left out any questions regarding his relationship with Alex Rodriguez because, frankly, it’s a tedious subject.
This feature is exclusive to the blog and isn’t in the newspaper today. Hopefully this add some value to your on-line experience. The plan is to hold these fan Q&A sessions throughout the season on the blog.
Here is your interview with Derek Jeter, both the transcript and the audio. We spoke in front of his locker:
Lane: “You’re considered the best opposite field hitter in the game today. When was it you decided to focus on being such a hitter?”
Jeter: “I always did that I guess. … I think it’s one of those swings you have. I used to work on it because that’s what I used to do. But it wasn’t like I just sat down one day and said ‘Well, I’ll hit the ball to the opposite field.’ ”
Frank: “Does clutch exist or is that something fans and media like to think exists?”
Jeter: “I don’t know. I don’t really think about that, to be honest with you. It probably exists. I think sometimes people … the bigger the moment sometimes nerves kick in. I never even think about it.”
Lissy: “What is your favorite song of all time?
Jeter: “My favorite song of all-time? I don’t know. I’ll have to get back to you on that one.”
(He never got back to me.)
Nancy: “If there was a movie made about your life as a Yankee, who would you want to play you?”
Jeter: “Will Smith.”
Jeff: “Have you ever Googled yourself?”
Jeter: “Google? Um, yeah I have actually. I was doing it to see what comes up first because we have a website for the foundation.”
John: “Now that your locker is next to Phil Hughes, have you had a chance to talk to him and give him any advice?”
Jeter: “Probably a little bit more as the spring moves on. Right now, at the beginning, pitchers and hitters are on two different programs. We’re on different fields, we’re not even in here at the same time. Once people start weeding out a little bit we’ll get together.”
Dean: “Do you wear any of the four rings?”
Jeter: “No. They’re locked up.”
Joan: “When you get done playing, are you planning to go back to the University of Michigan?”
Jeter: “I would like to. I went to school at Michigan my first offseason. I don’t know if I can picture myself sitting down in the classroom but I’d like to.”
Rich: “A lot of shortstops, including Cal Ripken, changed positions when they got older. Have you given that any thought?”
Jeter: “Not yet. It’s not something I’ve thought about yet because hopefully I can still play this position for a while. Eventually … shortstop’s a game where you’re moving around a lot. One day you’re not going to be able to play but I haven’t thought about it yet.”
Gustavo: “What is your least favorite spring training activity?”
Johannes and Rebecca from Norway: “How far could a Major League Baseball player throw a snowball?”
Jeter: “I have no idea. … If it packs well … if it doesn’t pack well.”
Follow up: “Could you throw a snowball from shortstop to first base?”
Jeter: “Oh, yeah. No question. Good snow, yeah.”
JPJ: “Is there a piece of baseball memorabilia that you really enjoy having?”
Jeter: “Memorabilia … I just like the World Series trophies, some of those trophies. … I got a picture of (Phil) Rizzuto signed for me. It’s a picture of when he threw out the first pitch, I believe of the playoffs in ’99. He personalized it. I like that.”
Fernando: “Is there a former Yankee you’ve never played with that you would like to play with?”
Jeter: “I don’t know if I can pick just one. I’d like to play with Gehrig, Ruth, DiMaggio, Mantle, Yogi. I think all the old-time greats I’d like to play with. Not one guy in particular.”
Bob: “What was going through your mind the first time you heard Bob Sheppard announce your name?”
Jeter: “You get chills. You get chills. For me, my first game was on the road in Seattle. So its almost like you hadn’t arrived until you heard Bob Sheppard announce your name.”
Follow up: “So you were paying attention?”
Jeter: “Oh, no question. Oh yeah. I was a Yankee fan growing up.”
Jim: “Do you think your defense has improved as a shortstop with Alex playing third?”
Jeter: “No, it’s different because you don’t really do things with the third baseman. You do more things with the second baseman in terms of double plays and stuff. The third baseman, no I don’t think that has … Usually when I move, he moves.”
I thanked Derek for taking part and he said he was happy to. We spoke later and he said he enjoyed the questions. “They’re not the ones I usually get,” he said.