Think about the number of times Derek Jeter has taken batting practice in his life. Do you think today’s BP felt different? It was just another routine day at the minor league complex for Jeter, but it was also the first day since the announcement that he will retire at the end of the season. Even if Jeter’s known for a while, surely something changed the moment he made that decision official.
“I said last year I feel blessed to play with Mariano,” Francisco Cervelli said. “(To play) with Andy and with the Captain, it’s an experience that I’m going to tell all my kids and the people that I know because I think (Jeter)’s the greatest player I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Predictably, Jeter didn’t say much today. As he pulled out of the minor league complex in his Mercedes, Jeter did stop for a while to sign a few autographs, and he answered just a few questions from the massive crowd of reporters who gathered around him (I tried to get some video of the scene, but it was a bit chaotic). Jeter was asked whether he felt good about yesterday’s announcement.
“I do,” Jeter said. “I’ll address it when we get over there, the first day of spring. It’s easier that way.”
For Jeter, the first day of spring is Wednesday when position players officially report to Yankees camp. Pitchers and catchers report tomorrow.
“I know from the other dugout, with other people, and the last three years being around (Jeter), there’s the utmost respect you can have for a baseball player or any athlete on the field,” pitching coach Larry Rothschild said. “That’s not just from me, that’s from anybody who watches his career and how he’s handled it. I’m not that comfortable talking about it, because he’s in that spot where I think he needs to answer the questions and I don’t think I should be answering questions that probably he should answer. All I know is that when you put him in the conversation, of maybe one of the greatest Yankees, I don’t know if you have to say much more than that.”
Associated Press photo