New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter addressed the media this morning. Like he has for his entire career, he seemed somewhat irritated by his media obligation but was a true professional, answering every question honestly and respectfully.
He made the entire room laugh. One reporter asked him what he wants to do after baseball. Jeter half sarcastically asked him, “Did you read my letter?” Another reporter asked him about getting emotional with his career coming to an end, to which he replied, “Are you trying to make me cry?”
Amidst questions about his health, his reasons for retiring and what he’d like his legacy to be, Captain Clutch had one overarching messaging: He still has one more season to play.
Jeter repeatedly talked about how his ankle is fine and said it was 100 percent at the end of last year. It was the rest of his legs that weren’t strong enough which is why he kept pulling muscles. His legs are now totally healthy and ready to play ball.
He reiterated how the game has always been fun for him and will continue to be fun. He said last year wasn’t fun because he couldn’t play and made him question how much longer he could do it. He concluded that after this year was the right time to go – emphasis on the after.
When asked about his legacy, he begrudgingly stated that, ideally, he’d like to be remembered as a good teammate and someone who always played hard. He can’t say for sure, though, because he’s still playing.
He emphasized how 2014 should not be about him and proved he meant it. In typical fashion, Jeter downplayed the significance of the moment, insisting that the teammates who were there to support him go get their work done in preparation for the upcoming season.
When asked about those teammates wanting to win the World Series this year to send Jeter out on top in his final season, he said “We’d all go out on top.” When asked about his favorite moment of his career, he didn’t even have to think about it: “Every time we win.”
I think everyone wishes that Jeter could play baseball forever. It’s sad that he can’t, but he’s still got one year left.