It was about two hours after Andy Pettitte’s retirement press conference that Derek Jeter sat behind the microphone yesterday as the only Core Four player expected back with the Yankees next season. The video above is the beginning of that press conference, when Jeter talked about his old friends and what it means to see them walk away.
Eventually, Jeter was asked when he’d first realized that he, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada were part of a unique situation that we might never see again.
“Now,” Jeter said. “You have to remember, when we came up, we felt as though if we didn’t do our job, we were gone. We felt as though we had to prove ourselves each and every year. We never had an opportunity to get comfortable. We played for an owner that would get rid of you, and in my opinion, that was a good thing. We always felt as though we were competing for our jobs, and we had to prove ourselves each and every year, and that’s what we continued to do.”
As the Yankees move into a new era — with Jeter near the end of his career, and his long-time teammates having already decided to call it quits — the Core Four might be an unfair standard, an unreasonable expectation in an age when players rarely stay with one organization long enough to build a true dynasty.
“I don’t really think you can use us as examples,” Jeter said. “You’re talking about four guys that played together in one place for I don’t know how many years. Andy left for a couple of years, but you’re talking about parts of 17 years until Jorge left, 19 for us three that are left here now. You’re not going to see that again, I don’t think. I could be wrong, but it’s pretty difficult for one guy to stay with one team for that period of time, let alone four guys.
“What’s the future of the organization? You hope that we have a lot of young players who can come up and contribute. I don’t know if it will be to the extent that we have, and what I mean by that is the time frame. I don’t know if you’ll see that again.”