Thanks to MLB.com’s live feed, I watched Jeter do the thing he’s least interested in doing: talking to the media. But he carried off today’s “retirement press conference” with aplomb. He was snarky-funny when he viewed the questions as silly. He was thoughtful when reflecting on being a Yankee. He was the consummate teammate when he suggested that instead of hanging around listening to him, the players who were there should go back out on the field to do their work. He was vintage Jeter when asked about his greatest moments: “Winning,” he said.
If it’s possible to enjoy listening to an iconic Yankee discuss why this season will be his last, Jeter made today enjoyable. He reiterated that retirement isn’t until after the season, so there’s no sense in analyzing his legacy or whether he’ll become an instructor at future spring trainings or where he stands in relation to past Yankee legends. He just wants to play. Period.
As for how he’s managed to hold in his emotions during his career and during the press conference, he quipped that it’s not because he’s emotionally stunted – “I have emotions, I just don’t show them” – but because it’s been the only way to sustain his long career in New York with its attendant ups and downs, triumphs and failures. He made so much sense and I loved him all over again.