Well, that didn’t take long. Less than three years after retiring, Derek Jeter might be returning to baseball, this time as an owner. Jeter, 42, is reportedly interesting in buying the Miami Marlins with Jeb Bush.
Would it be good for baseball if Jeter became an owner?
“It depends what team he were to buy,” MLB.com Yankees reporter Mark Feinsand said in studio on CBS Sports Radio’s Reiter Than You. “Buying the Marlins, I think, would be a good thing for the sport to put a guy with the reputation of a Jeter and the notoriety and the goodwill of a guy like Derek Jeter and put him at the head of a franchise that, quite frankly, could use some good will at times. It’s amazing to think the Marlins have won two World Series and both times blown it up and just said, ‘All right, we got that, now let’s sell everybody off.’ And all the goodwill you have from the World Series is blown to smithereens.”
Jeter, a five-time World Series champion, brings a certain cachet to the game that, say, Jeffrey Loria does not.
“Jeter has always said he wants to be the guy calling the shots,” Feinsand said. “I assume that’s part of his deal of getting involved with investors and putting together an ownership group. He will be the face of an ownership group. He will be the guy making the calls when it comes to the baseball stuff.”
Feinsand also believes that Jeter’s presence in the organization could help the Marlins attract future stars.
“If Jeter is involved in the day-to-day, then absolutely I think it would,” he said. “A player who’s going to hit free agency in the next 5-10 years grew up watching Derek Jeter play baseball and in all likelihood had a poster of him on his wall – or went to the ball park and booed the hell out of him because he hated the Yankees. But he was a respected figure to kids of that generation. I think it has to help. I don’t think it hurts.”
Have we mentioned the five rings yet?
“Put it this way,” Feinsand said. “If you’re a guy playing on the Marlins and Derek Jeter comes down and says, ‘I don’t like the way you’re conducting yourself,’ or, ‘I don’t like the way you did that,’ what are you going to do, say, ‘Well, what the hell do you know? You never played (the game).’”
“(A player would think), ‘Oh, wait a second, you’re in the Hall of Fame and you’re a first-ballot guy and you’re maybe the most respected player of the last 30 years,’” Feinsand said. “So I think it would help the franchise and help the sport in general. It’s never a bad thing for a sport to have a guy who is as revered as Jeter has been by fans, by his peers and by everybody in the game involved again.”
In other news, Feinsand weighed in on umpire C.B. Bucknor, who made a pair of horrendously bad calls this week – one behind the plate and one at third base (on a fly ball to the outfield).
Did Bucknor simply have a bad week, or is he just not a good umpire?
“Well, that depends on who you ask,” Feinsand said. “I think there are certain players who would probably look at the latter. I don’t like to criticize umpires, not because I don’t have any reverence for them, but because I would never want to have their jobs. I think replay has made their jobs harder in some ways, but in some ways it’s easier because you can make the call knowing that if you get it wrong, they’re going to replay it. They’re going to challenge it, and they’re going to, in most cases, get it right. But C.B.’s having a bad week, there’s no question about that. The last umpire who had a week this bad was probably Jim Joyce when he blew that (Armando) Galarraga perfect game.”