I just finished watching the Derek Jeter press conference and came to a realization: We've just seen the transformation of Derek Jeter. Sure he had the cool demeanor we have grown accustomed to seeing in Jeter. But we saw something new out of him: Anger.
I thought that there were a few statements that he made that seemed to stand out more than others. When asked about what if any frustration he felt at the negotiations, Jeter said:
Honestly the thing that bothered me the most was how public this became..This was a negotiation that was supposed to be private...It was an uncomfortable position that I was in...it was not an enjoyable experience...throughout the years I have prided myself on keeping things out of the papers and out of the media and this became a private thing...This was something I was not happy about...I'll let my feelings be known this situation this free agency thing, I never wanted to be a free agent, it was the situation that I was in...I'd be lying to you if I said I wasn't angry at how some of this went
When asked by Sweeney Murti of WFAN on who he was angry at Jeter responded (after an attempted moment of levity directed towards Murti):
I'm not sitting here pointing fingers at anyone...You see we're one big happy family here up at the podium...I was more angry at the process and how I was portrayed...You know there was alot of things said out there...I try not to read the papers and try not to listen to the stories...No matter how you look at it your friends and family are filling you in...I was angry at how I was portrayed through all of this...I've heard greed...I've heard all of a sudden I have ego and arrogance...I don't think that was portrayed correctly because this was a negotiation and from my understanding of a negotiation, one side makes and offer the other side makes an offer and you try to come to an agreement...All the statements of salary demands I'm in no position to demand anything since I basically said this is where I wanted to be, what can I demand...It was just a matter of coming to an agreement between sides...I just thought it was portrayed incorrectly.
Those of you who know me are familiar with how I stand in respect to the whole Derek Jeter contract negotiation. I felt the haughty public stance taken by the Yankees was wrong for a player of Jeter's caliber. Sure he is getting older. He's not the same fresh faced player that we saw come up with the team in 1996. But from what I understood from his words, his stance and his mannerisms, the fire to succeed has not been diminished in any way from then to now. I think the negativity that surrounded his contract renewal will serve to ignite him even more, though he has way too much class to be public about it.
I've never seen Jeter with that look on his face and to be honest I'm glad to see it. I hope he goes out and puts up an MVP type season and shuts the critics up. For all of you out there with your metrics and statistics that are used to measure up players, knock Jeter all you want. At the end of the day, I'll take the Yankee Captain to play the #6 position on the field of Yankee Stadium. If I wasn't a Jeter fan before today, I am now.
- Click Here to access the video footage of the Jeter press conference from the YES Network website
- Click Here to access the video footage of the post-press conference interview with Derek Jeter done by Bob Lorenz and Jack Curry from the YES Network website