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Derek Jeter at ease with retirement decision

Yankees' Derek Jeter works out at the team's

Yankees' Derek Jeter works out at the team's minor-league facility in Tampa, Fla. on the morning of Feb. 13, 2014, prior to the official start of spring training. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

TAMPA, Fla. - The decision still stands.

And Derek Jeter said he feels good about it.

The shortstop arrived at the Yankees' minor-league complex about 9:30 a.m. Thursday and went through a workout that included batting practice in an indoor cage but no work on the field because of heavy overnight rains.

With a line of fans on the sidewalk in front of the complex cheering and calling his name -- some of the fans at the head of the line had been there since 4 p.m. Monday -- Jeter climbed into his car at 11:07 a.m.

Jeter, who stunned much of the sports world Wednesday afternoon by announcing on his Facebook page his intent to retire after this season, rolled down his window to sign some autographs and was immediately besieged by fans and media alike.

Jeter is expected to a hold a formal news conference next week at Steinbrenner Field to discuss his decision. The team captain said he met and spoke briefly with the Yankees' newest big-name player, Masahiro Tanaka, who arrived earlier in the morning for his first workout at the complex.

Jeter, who turns 40 in June, joked about hoping to improve his Japanese.

Asked if he felt good about his decision, Jeter said, "I do," but not much else.

"I'll address it all next week," he added. "It's easier that way."

In making his announcement, Jeter said he "could not be more sure" the call he made was the right one.

That, in large part, was because of the injuries he's dealt with the last couple of seasons, primarily the broken left ankle sustained in the 2012 ALCS that never really healed and contributed to him playing in only 17 games in 2013.

"Last year was a tough one for me," Jeter said in his Facebook post. "As I suffered through a bunch of injuries, I realized that some of the things that always came easily to me and were always fun had started to become a struggle. The one thing I always said to myself was that when baseball started to feel more like a job, it would be time to move forward."

Jeter also suffered calf and quad strains to go with the ankle issues. Overall, he had four stints on the disabled list last season, compared with just five total in his previous 18 seasons.

Shortly after Jeter broke the news, tributes from inside and outside the Yankees organization poured forth and haven't let up.

"I said it last year, I feel blessed to play with Mariano, who retired, with Andy and with The Captain," Francisco Cervelli said late Thursday morning after a workout that included catching Tanaka's first bullpen session. "It is an experience I'm going to tell all my kids about and the people that I know because I think he's the greatest player I've ever seen in my life. He's unbelievable, man. I have nothing left to say."

Pitching coach Larry Rothschild has seen Jeter from just about all sides. Rothschild, 59, has been a longtime pitching coach but also saw quite a bit of Jeter from 1998 through early 2001 when he served as manager of the Rays. He's entering his fourth season as the Yankees' pitching coach.

"I know from the last three years being around him and being on the other side before that, it's just the utmost respect that you can have for a baseball player or any athlete," Rothschild said. "That's just not from me, that's from everybody that watches him. When you put him just in a conversation of maybe one of the greatest Yankees, I don't know if you have to say much more than that."


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