This has been a great season for Derek Jeter, as the Yankees captain has rebounded from two down years to hit .323/.367/.443 with 15 homers through the team’s first 149 games. At some point next week he’ll pass Pete Rose for the most hits by a 38-year-old player in baseball history, and after the season he’ll surely get more than a handful of MVP votes. Coming into the season, I don’t think we could have reasonably expected more out of him.
Jeter recently sat down with Rick Reilly for a short interview, some gimmicky thing where the Cap’n was allowed to pass on questions he didn’t want to answer. Most of the interview is typical worthless Reilly nonsense — Jeff Kent is on “Survivor” right now. How would you do on “Survivor”? — but two (questions and) answers stuck out to me. Here’s the first…
Me: Peyton Manning changed teams this season after 14 seasons with one team. Could you see yourself doing that?
Jeter: Well, if I wanted to keep playing, yes. It’s a business. People forget that.
Jeter has made it no secret that he loves being a Yankee and that he grew up dreaming about playing shortstop for the Yankees, but I think it’s pretty clear he’s still miffed about how the negotiations for his current contract went down two years ago. The club took a much harder line than he probably expected, and Jeter seemed a little annoyed by it both then and now.
Now does that mean he’ll actually look to play elsewhere once his current deal is up in two years? I find that to be very unlikely, but you never know. The Cap’n can famously hold a grudge, and if he still thinks he has gas in tank down the road while the Yankees disagree, he could take on the challenge of trying to succeed elsewhere. We’re a long ways off from worrying about his next contract, but this is probably something worth keeping in mind if and when the time comes. Here’s the second thing that caught my eye…
Me: Secret dream job?
Jeter: Own a team.
Me: Which team?
Jeter: A good team.
Again, it’s not much of a secret that Jeter would like to own a team after his playing days are over, but I believe this is the first time he’s actually confirmed it. Previous reports were always citing “friends” and “people close to,” stuff like that. Never actually Derek though. I can totally see him buying into the Yankees once his playing career is over, taking on a role as more of a public face than a key decision maker. Like Magic Johnson and the Dodgers, he’s someone for the fanbase to identify with. I’ve always kinda felt that Jeter becoming part-owner of the Yankees wasn’t just a possibility, it’s inevitable.