Nearly five months after stepping down as CEO of the Miami Marlins, Derek Jeter indicated he would be open to a return to the sport in some capacity.
The Hall of Fame shortstop and New York Yankees legend discussed his baseball future, among other topics, during an interview with ESPN’s Hannah Storm ahead of the July 18 premiere of the seven-part ESPN docuseries “The Captain.”
“I love the game. I really do love the game,” Jeter told Storm when asked if he wants to stay involved with the sport. “I think it’s the greatest game in the world. So yeah, at some point, I’m sure I’ll do something.”
Jeter, who won five World Series rings during an illustrious 20-year career with the Yankees, joined the Bruce Sherman-led group that purchased the Marlins from Jeffrey Loria for $1.2 billion in September 2017. Jeter was given a stake of only 4% in the franchise — a stake he gave up with his departure — but was tasked with running business and baseball operations. In four full seasons under Jeter, the Marlins went a combined 218-327 but surprisingly made the postseason during the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season.
Jeter, 48, announced he was leaving the organization in a Feb. 28 statement sent through a news-release distributor rather than the Marlins, saying it was “the right time for me to step aside as a new season begins.”
Asked to explain how his exit from the Marlins materialized, Jeter told Storm, “It’s just like the statement I made, I think that the direction of the organization had changed and that was not what I had signed up for and you know you have to believe in the direction, especially if you are going to be the forward face.
“I just couldn’t move on and if I didn’t agree with the direction that the organization was going.”
Jeter, who starred on Yankees teams that perpetually boasted one of the highest payrolls in Major League Baseball, had previously admitted to being innately impatient while overseeing a franchise with shallower pockets and shorter contention windows. The Marlins’ payrolls ranked within the sport’s bottom four at the start of each of the last three seasons.
During his interview with Storm, Jeter reflected on why he decided to share his story, and what he gleaned from the experience of making the docuseries.
“The only thing I could do during this documentary is to let you know how I felt and how I dealt with things at the time,” he said. “Now, your mind changes, you look back and you say, ‘Hey, look, maybe there are some things I should have done a little differently,’ but that’s what got me through New York. In this town, for this organization, if you don’t do your job, they’ll get someone else. I played in New York for 20 years and how I dealt with it worked.”
Over his two decades in New York, Jeter established a reputation for being very guarded and private — a tendency that enabled him to steer clear of controversy in one of the world’s most scrutinizing media markets.
As he explained to Storm, “My job was to limit distractions. I was in front of my locker before and after every single game. I would address things once and I just wouldn’t talk about them again because that was my way with dealing with it.”
He said his “No. 1 priority” was what the Yankees did on the field — and that was winning.
That’s not to say he didn’t have his “fair share of fun” along the way.
“20 years old, I was in New York, we won four World Series in my first five years. We were the toast of the town. There was a lot of fun in there as well. Nothing ever came in the way of trying to win.”
Jeter also touched on his decision to finally join social media, a move that has netted him a combined 687,000 followers on Twitter and Instagram.
“I tried as much as I possibly could, to maintain a certain sense of privacy throughout my career,” he said. “People have been trying to get me to start social media for a long time, and ultimately I [decided I wanted to show] a different side of me, so to speak.
“I guess I just ran out of excuses.”
Information from ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez was included in this report.