Short takes on Derek Jeter's announcement
February, 12, 2014
By ESPNNewYork.com staff
What was your first reaction when you heard that Derek Jeter is planning to make 2014 his final season with the New York Yankees?
HAL STEINBRENNER, Yankees owner
Derek called me this morning to tell me that he planned to retire following the season. In our conversation, I told him that I respected his decision because I know he put a lot of thought into it. I also let him know that I thought it was great that he was letting fans know now so they will have a chance to say goodbye to him.
He is unquestionably one of the greatest Yankees ever. He has meant so much to fans, the organization, my father and our family. I’m glad we have this year to celebrate everything he has meant to us and all the great things he still stands to accomplish.
BRIAN CASHMAN, Yankees general manager
It has been an incredible honor having a front-row seat for one of the great players of all time. Derek has been a winner every step of the way. I am already looking forward to an exciting final chapter of his storied career.
JOE GIRARDI, Yankees manager
Derek Jeter has been a great representative of what the Yankees have stood for over the years. He has been a team player who has only cared about winning. He has also been a fine example both on and off the field over his long tenure as a Yankee. It has been a real pleasure to manage him and play alongside him.
BERNIE WILLIAMS, former Yankees teammate
I'm so happy that Derek will get to go out on his terms -- and his way. He was as special a teammate as any player could ever have. I'm blessed to have played with him. Yankees fans and baseball fans all over the world will have a lot to celebrate this season.
JORGE POSADA, former Yankees teammate
It was an honor and privilege to have Derek next to me for all those years. He made me a better player and a better person. I'm so proud of our friendship, and I love him like a brother. Derek was a true champion and the greatest teammate I ever had.
IAN O'CONNOR, columnist
I was returning from walking my dog, running a tad late for a trip to the airport and a flight to Florida when my wife stopped me in the street. "Derek Jeter just announced he's retiring at the end of the season," she shouted from the front door. "Say that again," I shouted back. There was no need. She was hoping this wouldn't interfere with a few days in Fort Lauderdale ahead of the storm. "You don't have to write, do you?" she asked. I assured her that, yes, with one of the all-time Yankee greats retiring, it would be a pretty good idea if I wrote, even if I had to finish the column on a floor inside Newark Airport.
JOHNETTE HOWARD, columnist
William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY SportsEmotions flowed throughout Yankee Stadium as Derek Jeter, left, and Andy Pettitte, right, pulled Mariano Rivera in the closer's last home outing.
My first thought when Derek Jeter made the stunning announcement Wednesday that the 2014 season will be his last: the sight of Jeter and Andy Pettitte walking out to the mound to remove Mariano Rivera from the last game he would ever pitch at Yankee Stadium. Jeter had grown up as a man and a baseball player with both players. Now Andy had pitched his last game in New York and Mo, fighting back tears, was officially done, too?
After the game, Jeter's feelings seemed even more shuttered than usual. While Yanks manager Joe Girardi openly wept -- first when he hugged Rivera in the dugout, then again at a postgame news conference -- Jeter had the distracted air of a man who knew he was getting an emotional test drive of his own baseball funeral. And the look on his face was poignant. His legs are unreliable; his range diminished. The Yankees shortstop didn’t tip his hand that anything like this was coming that day. Speaking of Rivera and Pettitte, but surely himself, too, all he said was: "It's a shame all good things must end."
DAVID WRIGHT, Mets third baseman
I was fortunate as a young player in this town to be able to watch how Derek Jeter conducted himself on and off the field. I had the privilege to call Derek a teammate during the World Baseball Classic and got to see firsthand how to lead by example. I've always been a big Derek Jeter fan for what he has done on the baseball field. I became an even bigger fan after getting to know Derek and learning there is more to this game than what goes on between the lines. Excluding the Subway Series, I wish him all the best in his final season.
MATT HARVEY, Mets pitcher
When you grew up watching baseball, that was the guy that you watched and wanted to be like. The amount of respect that he has in the game and in New York, it’s going to be sad to see him leave. But he’s had such an amazing career. Obviously, he’s ready to move on with whatever he is interested in, but as a fan of New York sports, it’s going to be a sad thing to see him leave.
Congrats to Derek Jeter on the announcement of his retirement today! A class act & character both on & off the field. A role model to many!— Joe Torre (@JoeTorre) February 12, 2014
He's one of the best. To play as a Yankee for that time, on the big stage, and to be able to deliver each time. He's everyone's role model. ... As kids grow up playing baseball and want to be a shortstop, everyone wants to be Derek Jeter. For this to be his last year, everybody will miss him, but he had a great run and hopefully he can end it on a positive note.
RAY FELTON, Knicks point guard
Just heard about it. Long career, great career. It's a good time. He's definitely a scholar. It's definitely the way you want to carry yourself.
J.R. SMITH, Knicks guard
Pissed. I'm pissed. You know, he gave us a lot of years. You got to bow down to Jeter. He's the greatest ever.
ANDREW MARCHAND, reporter
I was surprised when I heard the news that Derek Jeter was retiring. A text from my friend Josh Krulewitz, [who] alerted me to the story while I was at the airport waiting for my flight to Tampa. Krulewitz, who works in ESPN's public relations department and is a die-hard Yankees fan, sent me the link to Jeter's Facebook post. Since Jeter isn't known for being into social media, I thought it might be a fake.
I immediately called a Yankees source, who said the club hadn't been informed yet. Then Jeter's agent, Casey Close, confirmed to me that the Facebook post was real. Later, team president Randy Levine told me Jeter had called Hal Steinbrenner with the news in the morning but asked Steinbrenner to keep it a secret.
Jeter really is retiring, and, if you are of a certain age like me -- I was born 13 days before Jeter -- you feel a little older.
RYAN RUOCCO, ESPN New York 98.7 FM
There's only one person I've ever idolized outside of my family, and that's Derek Jeter. I literally have taken moments and thought to myself, "What would Derek Jeter do in this situation?" And tried to follow his course.
He is the picture of security and confidence. His competitive fire is legendary. Over the last two decades, he has been the face of New York sports. For people of my generation (I'm 27), saying goodbye to Derek Jeter is like saying goodbye to our childhood. I'm just glad we're going to get to do so properly.
IAN BEGLEY, reporter
Stunned. One of the greatest competitors many people my age (31) have ever seen is on his way out. The first thing that comes to mind is Jeter sprinting toward the mound and with his hands in the air after the final out of the 1996 World Series. A look of pure, unfiltered joy. One of the great things we have in sports. Here's to hoping young stars see Jeter as an example of how to carry themselves on and off the field.
MIKE MAZZEO, reporter
A few days before DJ became DJ3K, my editor told me that if Jeter's 3,000th hit was a home run, it would be my job to chase down the fan who caught it. Given Jeter's flair for the dramatic, it came as no surprise when that's exactly what happened. Of course it did. They don't call him Captain Clutch for nothing.
DAN GRAZIANO, reporter
It made me feel old! I covered Jeter from 2000-08 and remember so many great moments, but what amazes me is that he was able to play so long as a superstar in New York without ever once embarrassing himself or the team on or off the field.
ETHAN DONALDSON, associate editor for ESPNNewYork.com
"From the time I was a kid, my dream was always very vivid and it never changed: I was going to be the shortstop for the New York Yankees," Derek Jeter wrote in The Facebook Post Heard Around the World on Wednesday.
Truer words have never been spoken ... about me! As a kid growing up in Ohio, my dream was the very same. Thing is, Jeter lived it. Even better, The Captain played every out of every game like he was on borrowed time, as if he'd wake up one day and it all would be gone.
After the 2014 season, the alarm will finally sound on my childhood sporting hero's storybook career. And thankfully, this is one dream that no one will soon forget.
KIERAN DARCY, reporter
Facebook??? That was my initial reaction. Then I read what Derek Jeter wrote and it all made sense.
You have to renounce your fandom in order to cover a team objectively -- but my son doesn’t. Aidan is 5½ months old now, but he actually attended his first Yankees game while still in the womb. (God bless my wife.)
Deryn and I went to the gift shop before first pitch, looking for a souvenir. I was never a jersey-wearing kind of guy, but Aidan can be if he wants. And you can bet I’ll be picky about whose jersey he wears.
I’ll never forget whose jersey he wore first: No. 2. Derek Jeter. And I can’t wait to tell Aidan all about him.
MATT MARRONE, senior editor for ESPNNewYork.com
Derek Jeter's heroics have made the Stadium shake -- from the Jeffrey Maier game in '96 and Mr. November in '01 to the Dive against the Sawx, the Speech in '08 and hit No. 3,000 in 2011.
But though I was on hand for so many of his greatest moments, I was also sitting in the stands when he had to be carried off the field during the 2012 ALCS, when his ankle finally gave way following one of his most incredible seasons.
Never have I heard such silence in the Bronx. Walking out that night had the aura of a funeral procession, the polar opposite of how Jeter has made Yankees fans feel for nearly 20 years. His absence reverberated like no other Big Apple ballplayer’s I've seen.
Everyone there that night -- or watching on TV or listening on the radio -- knows exactly how much he'll be missed.
Use the comments section to give us your short take, or tweet us at @ESPNNewYork.