On-Base Perception

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The Buck Showalter quotes on Derek Jeter

Orioles manager Buck Showalter walks back to the

Orioles manager Buck Showalter walks back to the dugout in the fifth inning during the Yankees' home opener on April 7, 2014 at Yankee Stadium. (Credit: Getty)

Buck Showalter manages the Baltimore Orioles now, but way back when Derek Jeter first came up to the majors in 1995, Showalter was his Yankees manager.

Here's some of what Showalter told reporters Monday as his Orioles were the visiting team to Yankee Stadium for Jeter's final home opener.

Did he envision a 20-year career for Jeter?

“That’s what I thought. If you go back and check the quotes, I thought he’d play at least 20 years. I’m kidding. I’m kidding. Nobody knew. I like the scouts that go, I knew exactly what he was going to be. Nobody’s that good.”

What did you think he would do in his career?

“If you go back to spring training last year, you could pull up all those quotes, talking about Derek. We’re all excited that he’s retiring. We are. Just like Mo. Guys like Derek, it doesn’t surprise you what they do. I’ve said it before, the thing that I’m most proud of, having known him, is the way he’s carried himself. Being a focal point of an organization, regardless of whether it’s the Yankees or somebody else for that long, and being someone that their fans and the game of baseball can trust, on and off the field, he always thought about the weight his words carried, and how they affected his teammates and his organization. That happened long before, that happened with his mom and dad and his upbringing. A lot of people get caught up in the disease of me. Derek never fell into that. so when you think about something that is signature of Derek, it’s substance. It’s the consistency. It’s making a play that’s hard look easy, one that people in the dugout see how hard it is. Not trying to figure out a way to show up on web gems, but he does. Great range in the air – a lot of people miss that – good relayer of the ball, good tagger, isn’t a guy who’s afraid to work on his weaknesses.”

Being there at the beginning with Derek?

“I was lucky. That was an honor. When he walks in the dugout the first time with his mom and dad and his sister, that was pretty cool.”

Glad you’re here today for this event?

“I’d much rather have him not be playing today. Seriously. It’s like your grandmother making you go out and getting switches to whip your own butt with. You don’t want to do that. Yeah, I take it in. You kidding me? But I’m not going to dwell on it. I’ll scream if he jumps out of the way of a ball that’s a strike.”

How rare of a player is he?

“Yeah, you better take a snapshot. What’s the rare part? That’s he been with one club that many years? He’d be the first to tell you that the Yankees made it very easy for him to stay here, Ok. He didn’t do it for free. Derek would be the first guy to tell you that. But that’s a tribute to the things the Yankees can afford and it’s a good decision, obviously. They got a heck of a return for it.”

 

Tags: buck showalter , derek jeter , yankees , baltimore orioles

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