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Randy Levine rejects idea that Yankees are overdoing celebration of Derek Jeter's final season

Yankees president Randy Levine speaks during the announcement

Yankees president Randy Levine speaks during the announcement of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 8, 2013. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

How much is too much when it comes to the Yankees' celebration of Derek Jeter's final season -- and the revenues it is generating?

Team president Randy Levine rejected criticism Thursday from some fans and journalists that the Yankees and Jeter might be overdoing it a bit.

"I think we've done it the Yankee way -- always the right way," he said during an appearance at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit in Manhattan. "I think that Derek Jeter is a great player. We've honored him as a great player. He deserves the day we're giving him on Sunday. He deserves a patch. He's an iconic Yankee. So I think we've handled it completely appropriately."

Is it a delicate balance? "We're very careful and Derek has a lot of dignity and he understands that his whole career he's held himself in the perfect way and we respect that," Levine said. "So he's a great star. People want to celebrate him. They want to be close to him and the Yankees, so this is a memorable event.

"We're very conscious of honoring his legacy."

Levine declined to comment on a Newsday.com report that the team is considering retiring Jeter's No. 2 during the ceremony honoring him Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

"You'll see what happens on Sunday," he said. "I'm not going to comment on that."

With the Yankees facing a second consecutive playoff-free October for the first time since the early 1990s, Levine was asked what financial impact failing to reach the postseason would have.

"I think right now we're three games out of the wild card," he said. (The Yankees entered Thursday night four games out.) "We play well, we have as good a chance as anybody to be there. So I'm not going to get into anything like that."

Despite their on-field struggles, the Yankees' attendance is up over last season at this point. "I think we put a great product on," Levine said. "We've got the best fan base in the world, the best stadium that's ever been built. We give them a great experience to see great players."

New York Sports