Derek Jeter could see himself playing for another team. We can’t.
You don’t expect to open up the newspaper a few hours after Ichiro Suzuki and Nick Swisher combine for seven RBIs in a 10-7 win over the Blue Jays and see a headline that screams: “Jeter: I could see myself playing for another team.”
Well, that’s what the New York Daily News went with today on its front cover, offering a hat tip to a Q&A that Rick Reilly performed recently for ESPN.com with the Yankees captain in the Yankee Stadium dugout. The actual comment that sparked the front page is about halfway through the interview, but I’ll cut and paste it here:
Me: (Rick Reilly) 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.
And there we go. He’s right, of course. Jeter’s good friend Jorge Posada was in the same situation last winter, and probably could have latched on somewhere (the Orioles, Rays and Phillies were reported to have interest). Posada decided that seeing all those consecutive years on his ledger as a Yankee was more important than hanging on for one more season, and I would guess that Jeter will eventually decide the same thing.
By the way, Jeter said something similar in a recent Q&A with MLB.com’s Barry Bloom, so it’s not like he’s shying away from this line of questioning:
MLB.com: So what’s happened in your career has to be pretty satisfying since it happened for the Yankees.
Jeter: Yeah, I’ve been fortunate. The Draft is a crapshoot, so I’ve been very fortunate to be drafted by the Yankees, and to have spent my whole career here. So far.
MLB.com: So far? Is there any doubt that you’re going to spend you whole career here?
Jeter: I’d like to. But there are no guarantees in anything.
Hey, it doesn’t hurt Jeter to subtly remind the front office that nothing is certain, especially considering how his last contract negotiations went down. After much back-and-forth — remember Brian Cashman telling Jeter to shop around if he could find a better offer? — Jeter signed a three-year, $51 million deal that includes a player option for 2014.
Honestly, I thought the more intriguing part of the ESPN.com interview was that Jeter confirmed he’ll vote to re-elect President Barack Obama. You seldom hear Jeter take a stance on anything of a political nature.
Just for fun, though (and probably because I’ll never get a chance to dig it out again), here’s an oldie but goodie — the slideshow that Beckett Media put together back in the 2010-11 offseason when negotiations grew contentious between Jeter and the Yankees, showing how Jeter would look in every other team’s uniform — like the chill-inducing Red Sox snapshot you see at right. If that happens, let’s just all agree to turn out the lights.