It’s spring at last for Derek Jeter, Mar­lins

For­mer Yan­kees great goes to camp as a rookie team ex­ec­u­tive

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - Baseball - By Clark Spencer

Derek Jeter hasn’t shown his face at spring train­ing since 2014, be­fore he played the last of his 20 sea­sons as a short­stop with the New York Yan­kees. He was to end his hia­tus Wed­nes­day, though, when he shows up in street clothes to check out the Mar­lins — HIS Mar­lins — open camp in Jupiter.

“I’m sure it’ll be kind of dif­fer­ent and odd,” Jeter said.

Af­ter four months of ad­just­ing to his new cor­po­rate role as the CEO and par­towner of the Mar­lins, much of it spent sit­ting be­hind a desk and go­ing around the com­mu­nity, shak­ing hands and pos­ing for self­ies, Jeter fi­nally gets to re­turn to the di­a­mond and ex­am­ine a cre­ation of his own mak­ing.

It will be the first Mar­lins spring train­ing not in­volv­ing for­mer owner Jef­frey Lo­ria since 2001.

It will be the first spring train­ing for the Mar­lins not in­volv­ing Gian­carlo Stan­ton since 2009, the year be­fore his big-league de­but. He was traded un­der the new regime, as were Chris­tian Yelich, Mar­cell Ozuna and Dee Gor­don.

In their places will be a sea of new and un­fa­mil­iar faces, prospects ac­quired in those deals, as Jeter and ma­jor­ity owner Bruce Sher­man go about the process of a topto-bottom makeover of a fran­chise that hasn’t en­joyed a win­ning sea­son since 2009 and hasn’t tasted the play­offs since 2003.

“If you think about it,” Jeter said Tues­day dur­ing a press con­fer­ence at Mar­lins Park, “we took over the or­ga­ni­za­tion on Oct. 2, and there were no games to be played. It took us some time to get to know the play­ers, and we still haven’t seen them play. For us, it’s like we’re a rookie go­ing to spring train­ing, as well.”

Most of the at­ten­tion on Jeter and the Mar­lins to this point has been on the trades they’ve made, the un­load­ing of a MVP and home run cham­pion (Stan­ton), a stolen base leader (Gor­don), and two oth­ers (Yelich and Ozuna) who helped form one of the best out­field trios in the ma­jors.

But Jeter said he has left most of those de­ci­sions to his front of­fice staff, fo­cus­ing in­stead on try­ing to re­vive a rev­enue-chal­lenged fran­chise that strug­gles to fill seats and gain the com­mu­nity’s trust.

Jeter said Tues­day that own­er­ship has added new in­vestors since the takeover, but re­fused to of­fer specifics as to the num­ber, their iden­ti­ties, or the amount of their con­tri­bu­tions.

Jeter main­tained, how­ever, that the or­ga­ni­za­tion is not cash-poor.

“This is a well-cap­i­tal­ized own­er­ship group,” he said. “If we don’t add an­other in­vestor, every­one is fine. So don’t think this is not a well­cap­i­tal­ized own­er­ship group.”

Jeter also touched on a num­ber of other top­ics.

He’d like to see the re­tractable roof left open for more games. He hasn’t made a de­ci­sion yet on whether to keep the Home Run Sculp­ture. He said he has spo­ken with the fam­ily of late pitcher Jose Fer­nan­dez about some sort of trib­ute.

“We will honor Jose and what he’s meant to this or­ga­ni­za­tion in the near fu­ture,” Jeter said. “How we do that is still up for dis­cus­sion.”

He even said play­ers, in a de­par­ture from the strict pol­icy in­volv­ing fa­cial hair with the Yan­kees, will be per­mit­ted to grow beards and mus­taches, as long as they are “well groomed.”

Jeter on Tues­day also in­tro­duced the team’s new pres­i­dent of busi­ness oper­a­tions, Chip Bow­ers, whom he hired away from the NBA cham­pion Golden State Warriors.

Bow­ers’ task — gen­er­at­ing more rev­enue.

“If you think about it ... For us, it’s like we’re a rookie go­ing to spring train­ing, as well.” Derek Jeter

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.