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SportsColumnistsAnthony Rieber

Derek Jeter Retirement Tour to reach peak with final home game Thursday

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter throws during batting practice

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter throws during batting practice before a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium on Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

You remember how the Frank Sinatra song "My Way" starts:

"And now, the end is near,

And so I face the final curtain . . . ''Derek Jeter continued to face his final curtain Monday night as what can only be called "Derek Jeter Week" began in Major League Baseball.

You thought the Jeter Retirement Tour already was getting a lot of attention?

You ain't seen nothin' yet.

And to that we say, bring it on. Jeter deserves whatever kind of send-off he wants. Surprisingly, he does not want to just fade away.

Heartfelt TV commercials for longtime sponsors? A Q&A with well-heeled fans? Intimate photo essay with a magazine? A dugout rooftop interview with NBC's Brian Williams? Tributes on YES, ESPN, Fox, MLB Network? All part of the final bow.

For those who were wondering if Jeter was going to enjoy his last few days as a baseball player, the answer apparently is yes.

But Jeter, as he said in that Gatorade commercial, is going to do it his way. We all assumed that meant privately, quietly. We all assumed incorrectly.

Jeter personally chose "My Way" as the song for his now-famous Gatorade commercial on the streets outside Yankee Stadium. That ad, which hit the Internet last week and TVs over the weekend, signaled a final ramping up of the Farewell Tour.

On Monday, Jeter appeared on Broadway at the Hudson Theatre for a Q&A and meet-and-greet sponsored by a memorabilia company. Tickets went from $149 (balcony seating, no lunch) to $2,500 (lunch, photo op with Jeter, signed piece of memorabilia).

Also Monday, New York magazine came out with a story and intimate photos of Jeter. Well, as intimate as Jeter would allow.

Jeter shaving his head. Jeter getting a massage. Jeter shooting pool. Jeter sitting on his unmade bed. Thrilling stuff.

The story happened to come out a day before Jeter's first post-career venture, Jeter Publishing, releases its first title, a children's book entitled "The Contract" -- and no, it's not about any of the contracts he signed with the Yankees that have earned him more than $265 million in a 20-year career that will end Sunday in Boston.

Jeter Publishing is mentioned prominently in the story, as is another of its books coming out next month: "Jeter Unfiltered," a collection of photos by the same man who took the pictures for the magazine article.

All of Jeter's publicity-seeking endeavors lately debunk the idea that he's this intensely private person. He's never been a look-at-me athlete, but he knows how to use the media to advance his business and philanthropic interests.

Some have characterized Jeter's latest goodbye/commercial ventures as more crass than class. As if the Captain is sullying his good name by trying to profit off it.

To which we say: Good for you, Derek. Putting some extra money in your pocket and in your charitable foundation's coffers while setting up your future career as an entrepreneur is smart business.

It took 20 years of hard work for Jeter to become who he is today. With the way the media and memorabilia businesses are, someone is going to make money off that legacy. Why shouldn't it be Jeter?

As for the coverage, all-Jeter-all-the-time can be suffocating. But there is real emotion attached to this for many folks. It has been evident at Yankee Stadium all season and has only grown to what should be a crescendo for Jeter's final home game Thursday night.

If you don't feel it, fine. Look away. By this time next week, it'll all be over.

New York Sports