One thing Derek Jeter has not forgotten in retirement is how to not answer a question he doesn’t want to answer.
Jeter, after his number retirement/Monument Park plaque ceremony at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, declined to give an update on his reported involvement with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in a group that is trying to buy the Miami Marlins.
“There’s nothing to report on that,” Jeter said. “Absolutely nothing. I think sometimes stories, people get ahead of themselves. There was a story that people got way ahead of themselves a few weeks back. There’s nothing to report. If there’s something to report, I’ll let you know.”
The story that Jeter said got ahead of itself was that the Bush/Jeter group was close to winning the bidding for the Marlins, who may be valued at as much as $1.3 billion.
An Associated Press report on Friday said that the Bush/Jeter group was no longer the front-runner. A group led by Tagg Romney, the son of former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, had moved ahead in the sweepstakes, the AP said.
Jeter was saying nothing.
“There’s no reason to even get into that right now,” he said when asked a second time about the Marlins bid. “Today is about the Yankees. If I see you at another point, I’ll answer those questions. Right now, it’s about the Yankee organization.”
In the final years of his career, Jeter spoke about his desire to become a team owner. He is involved in many ventures now, including publishing, but his ultimate goal is to follow in the footsteps of his Nike pal Michael Jordan and own a franchise.
Major League Baseball would love to have Jeter as part of an ownership group, but likes cash more. The group that gets the Marlins likely will be the one with the deepest pockets since the club is said by the AP to have about $300 million of debt.
But it’s not over yet. Jorge Posada, Jeter’s closest friend from their playing days and a Miami resident, said it would be great to see Jeter in the owner’s box at Marlins Park.
“He wants to keep winning,” Posada said. “I think the Marlins, if it happens, it would be a great move for not only the organization but the whole city, having Jeter around. We’ll see if it happens.”
Tino Martinez, a former hitting coach with the Marlins, said Jeter would be attracted to owning a team because of “the challenge it represents. Trying to win a championship. Trying to build a team, put a team together to win championships. I think that’s really what he wants to get involved in.”
Alex Rodriguez was not among the teammates who joined Jeter on Sunday. But A-Rod did post a picture of himself with Jeter on Twitter with the caption: “Thank you for the pleasure of playing alongside you for so many years. Congrats, Captain. #JeterNight”.