Derek Jeter said 20 years in the major leagues will be enough. He just wouldn’t really say why.
The New York Yankees captain responded to questions for nearly half an hour Wednesday in Tampa, a week after announcing this will be his final season. But he provided few answers.
‘‘You can’t do this forever. I'd like to, but you can’t do it forever, and I feel as though the time is right after this year,’’ he said. ‘‘There’s some things that I look forward to doing.’’
On the day the team’s position players reported for spring training, Jeter spoke in the pavilion behind the third base stands, where closer Mariano Rivera said last March that 2013 would be his final season.
Owners Hal and Hank Steinbrenner sat in the front row, manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman in the second. Teammates, who said his decision shocked and saddened them, were in the rows after that.
Wearing a navy Yankees pullover and shorts, it was the start of the final season for No. 2, the last of the single digits to wear a Yankees uniform. He spoke from a table with arms crossed most of the time. He spoke directly and dispassionately, much like every interview since he first reached the major leagues in 1995.
‘‘Trying to get me to cry?’’ he said after one question. ‘‘I have feelings. I'm not emotionally stunted. There’s feelings there, but I think I've just been pretty good at trying to hide my emotions throughout the years. I try to have the same demeanor each and every day.’’
Accessible, yet opaque, as he has been throughout his career.
‘‘I know I haven’t really been as open with some of you guys as you would have liked me to be over the last 20 years, but that’s by design,’’ he said. ‘‘It doesn’t mean I don’t have those feelings. It’s just that’s the way I felt as though I'd be able to make it this long in New York.’’
Jeter, who turns 40 in June, was limited to 17 games last season, hitting .190 with one homer and seven RBIs after breaking an ankle in the 2012 AL Championship Series.
Reds, Bailey agree
The Reds agreed with starter Homer Bailey on a six-year, $105 million contract a day before his scheduled arbitration hearing. Bailey was the Reds’ final player left in arbitration. The 27-year-old pitcher made $5,350,000 last season. He asked for $11.6 million in arbitration and the Reds offered $8.7 million. The deal includes a $25 million mutual option for 2020. The hard-throwing righthander went a career-best 13-10 with a 3.68 ERA in 2012, completing his breakthrough season by throwing a no-hitter in Pittsburgh. He threw the 16th no-hitter in franchise history last June, a 3-0 win over San Francisco at Great American Ball Park. Bailey went 11-12 with a 3.49 ERA last year . . . Padres third baseman Chase Headley said contract talks with the team are going nowhere and he’ll likely become a free agent next winter. ‘‘Unless something drastically changes, I think we’re just going to focus on playing this year and reevaluate when the season’s over,’’ Headley said . . . Righthander Ubaldo Jimenez and the Orioles finalized a $50 million, four-year contract. The 30-year-old gets salaries of $11.25 million this year, $12.25 million in 2015, $13 million in 2016, and $13.5 million in 2017 under the agreement. He can earn a pair of $400,000 performance bonuses each year, for 32 starts and 200 innings. If he wins a Cy Young Award or is MVP, his salary in each remaining year of the contract would escalate by $500,000.