WFAN radio mogul Mike Francesa will officially wrap up a career that spans over 30 years with the station on Dec. 15, and before signing off for the last time, he’s made it a priority to catch up with old guests of the show and reminisce on the air.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Sports Pope spoke with former Yankee great and current Miami Marlins’ co-owner and chief executive officer, Derek Jeter.
Here are some highlights from the 10-minute interview, which can be accessed below.
Since retiring in 2014, Jeter hasn’t missed taking the field
“When I first retired, people said, ‘Wait until spring training, you’re going to miss it.’ Spring training came along, I didn’t miss it,” Jeter told Francesa. “Then they said, ‘Wait till around the All-Star break, you’re going to wish that you were out there playing.’ That didn’t happen. And I think if I could just come back and play in the postseason, I think that would be worth it. But playing day-to-day, I haven’t actually missed being on the field. I miss being around teammates. You develop relationships with guys over the years, so you miss that. But in terms of the grind of the season, I have yet to miss that.”
Jeter wants his retooling Marlins to resemble the Yankees’ mold
“We want this to be a first-class organization,” he said. “Coming up in New York with the Yankees, one thing that was always preached to us is accountability — accountability and responsibility. Those are things that were drilled in our head from when I was in the minor leagues. So bringing that to the organization. Listen, I’m going to be held accountable for the decisions that I make, and I think everyone in this organization should be held accountable.
“One thing I’ve always been at good at, I’ve been good at knowing what I don’t know. There are a lot of things that I need to learn. I’m not coming in here saying I know everything about the business or the baseball side, but I’m willing to put in the time to learn. I think just knowing there’s a lot of aspects of running an organization, you need to hire great people. We have brought in some great people to help and there are also a lot of superstars in the organization. So, getting that blend of the right people in place is the only way to be successful.
“I think you have to be patient. In order to build a franchise — which we are going to do here and we’re going to build a first-class organization — it takes time. We have to build our minor league system, player development, and scouting. I think a lot of times, people want immediate success — which all of us do — but at the same time realizing that it’s going to take time. So I will have patience.”
Jeter approves Yankees’ selection of Aaron Boone as next manager
“Good for Aaron. Good for him,” Jeter said. “Obviously, I played with him for a short period of time, which I enjoyed getting the opportunity to play with him. People don’t realize how great of a career Aaron Boone had before his injury. And then for him putting in the time in the broadcast booth, I’m pretty sure he learned quite a bit about the inner-workings of a lot of organizations. He has a lot of experience, and I think Yankee fans are going to be happy.”
1996 season stands out the most, but Jeter’s still bitter about 2001
“You remember doing things for the first time,” Jeter said in regard to the Yankees’ first of four championships during the late 1990s and 2000. “They tend to stick out a little bit more. So if I had to pick one, I’d say ’96. It was new for me. The Yankees hadn’t won since ’78, so just going through that experience with the Yankee fans in the city was pretty special.
“2001, in my mind, if we played that game a hundred times, we would’ve won the other 99. I think that one being so close — Game 7, bottom of the ninth — I wish we could replay that one.”
Jeter’s excited to work with another former Yankee captain, head coach Don Mattingly
“When you say surrounding yourself with good people …,” Jeter said. “When I first came up in ’95, Donny was still playing. And obviously, having him coming back from the coaching staff, working with him and getting to know him over the years, I have the utmost respect for Donny. And I’m looking forward to sitting down and going through players and hopefully moving this franchise forward.”
Jeter as a future skipper in the majors? Count him out
“No, no, no. The travel is too difficult,” he said. “You spend that many years playing, I’m not complaining whatsoever, but getting into cities at three or four o’clock in the morning, playing every day, it’s a tough schedule. I don’t think people realize how difficult it is to do, to go through an entire baseball season. And being a manager, you’re going to spend more time at the stadium. So, no, I think schedule-wise, I wouldn’t be up for it.”