DETROIT - Derek Jeter grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan, went to a number of Tigers games as a kid at the since demolished Tiger Stadium and is an unabashed University of Michigan fan.
Yes, trips to Detroit for the shortstop have always felt like a homecoming of sorts.
But Jeter said his first memory of the Tigers isn't a positive one.
"We were coming here on a road trip, and that's the day me and Mo got sent down," Jeter recalled with a smile before Tuesday night's game against the Tigers. "I had everything packed and ready to come to Detroit, I had family and friends coming and then we got demoted to Triple-A, so that's the first memory that comes along with Detroit."
It was June 11, 1995.
Rivera, at the time a starter, allowed four earned runs and seven hits in 2 1/3 innings of a 10-7 victory over the Mariners at the Stadium. After the game, Jeter and Rivera were sent to the minors.
"I think I was guilty by association," Jeter said, again smiling.
The shortstop smiled more than a few times during his 15-minute meeting with the local media before the game.
He was asked several different times about his plans next season and beyond and each time Jeter declined to be specific. Then a reporter asked if those plans might include something like hang gliding.
"I don't think I'm going to flirt with death, not the first thing I'd choose to do is hang gliding," Jeter said to laughter. "I don't want to make plans. I think that's the thing, is just having the freedom to do whatever you want to do, but cautiously do whatever you want to do. But I just don't want to make plans. I don't know what it is. But when I decide, I will not tell you, because I don't want to be followed by you. So I will try to keep it as private as possible."