Derek Jeter didn’t say much in his introductory Miami Marlins press conference that we didn’t already know, except for this strange tidbit.
Last Sunday’s regular-season finale at Marlins Park was the first time since his high school days that Jeter has watched a baseball game from the stands or an executive suite or anywhere else but the dugout. That’s what he said, anyway.
Fairly amazing, but it goes right along with an anecdote from Tom Verducci’s book “The Yankee Years,” in which Alex Rodriguez visits Derek’s New York apartment and is stunned to learn that the Yankees captain did not have the MLB TV package.
“Derek will never watch a baseball game other than the one he’s playing in,” said Mike Borzello, the Yankees’ former bullpen catcher.
Not a World Series game? Not a World Baseball Classic game? Not a Little League game? Nothing?
That’s almost certainly an exaggeration, but the whole concept is just plain weird, especially for a guy who is running a major league baseball franchise now.
What would you think if Tom Cruise decided to produce a major-studio film and it was revealed that he had never watched a movie unless he starred in it.
What about a famous painter who announced that he had never set foot inside an art museum unless his own exhibit was being featured and he was being paid to be there?
Or a politician who said that he very rarely voted, and when he did it was only for himself.
It’s a mixed signal at best when a person at the top of their industry fails to show the same high level of interest in its widespread trends and development as the average citizen does.
There are a lot of Jeter fans out there, and with good reason, but anyone would agree that any other baseball CEO who admitted he rarely watches the game would be looked at with a very skeptical eye.
This new era of Marlins ownership may turn out to be a whole different kind of adventure, with a famous boss that we still really don’t know all that well, even after 20 years in the celebrity limelight.