Derek Jeter Doesn’t Owe the Yankees A Thing
Since retiring from the Yankees following the 2014 season, Derek Jeter has kept a low profile around his former team. So for those clamoring for him to get more involved, I say, why should he?
It’s not like the greatest shortstop in Yankees history has been sitting on a beach somewhere in the Caribbean, sipping Mai Tai’s alongside his supermodel wife. I mean, he could — he has every right to do just that. After 20 wildly intense and successful seasons as the face of the New York Yankees, Jeter deserves to do whatever he damn well pleases with the rest of his life!
Whether that’s through his many businesses interests, such as The Players’ Tribune, a publishing partnership with Simon & Schuster, or as a brand development officer for Luvo Inc., the 42-year-old first-time daddy-to-be should in no way, shape, or from feel obligated to give back to an organization that mutually reaped the benefits of employing the Kalamazoo, MI product.
My issue with people who clamor for Jeter to give back to the Yankees hits a fever pitch when they say blasphemous things like, ‘Well, without them he would never have made $265.1M in career earnings.’ First off, without No. 2 up the middle, the Yankees don’t win five World Series titles from 1996 through 2009.
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Secondly, and this is pure speculation, one would venture to say that the organization made ten times the amount they paid Jeter over the span of 20 seasons. Is the club not worth $3.4 billion, with average revenues exceeding $500M according to ESPN?
On Tuesday night in Tampa, as part of the second-annual Captains Camp, Jeter dined with 20 of the brightest Yankees prospects in all of their farm system.
Justus Sheffield briefly told Mike Mazzeo of the New York Daily News about his interaction with the Yankee great.
"“I think the biggest thing was somebody asked a question about the 0-for-32 (slump in 2004). He said he just stayed positive. He said he didn’t like to think negatively. He liked to look back to when he did have success. He pretty much said, ‘If I had success then, then I can have success now.”Jeter mentioned that he likes watching guys who play hard in his post-retirement days, including Boston star Mookie Betts."
Yet for whatever the reason, I’ve read a list of comments today from ravenous fans who feel this isn’t enough. They want Jeter more involved — more present at Yankee Stadium — to take up a Magic Johnson with the Lakers type of role. Someone even mentioned replacing Randy Levine (though this one made me smile).
Can’t we just let the guy enjoy his retirement? He’s only been out of the spotlight for three years. With all his other obligations (Jordan Brand, Whistle Sports Network) and philanthropic pursuits (Turn 2 Foundation), why must we press the man for more? Especially now with his ever-expanding family dynamic.
Manager Joe Girardi recently told NJ.com that Jeter does things how sees fit in retirement.
"“He talks to our players, he calls our players,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He’s not always here physically, but he has involvement.”"
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So for all of you out there claiming that Alex Rodriguez has more of a connection to the Yankees than Derek Jeter, I point out the main reason as to why that is. A-Rod is still being paid $21.5M this season. Genuine connection or not, I guarantee if you paid Jeter that sum, he’d be at camp three times a month too. I for one am glad that Jeter is willing to do whatever he finds time for in order help the next generation of Yankees. Just because he’s a team icon doesn’t mean he’s obligated to act as a mentor too.