As the captain of the New York Yankees, Derek Jeter cemented a legacy for himself within the world of baseball. He’s a 12-time All-Star, a five-time World Series winner, a five-time Gold Glove winner, and a five-time Silver Slugger winner. The success he had over 20 years in the game got his number retired in Yankee Stadium and will get him into the Hall of Fame. His turn as an owner, though, has been anything but successful so far.
Derek Jeter may own just 4% of the Miami Marlins, but he may as well own the whole thing considering he’s now the face of the franchise. Bruce Sherman, the true majority owner, has given him the title of CEO and has trusted him with the day-to-day operations of the team. That means Jeter makes all the decisions when it comes to the talent on the field, but it’s still worth wondering how many of his decisions are his, and how many have been mandated down to him.
In the short amount of time Jeter has taken the reins of the Marlins, he’s managed to become just as hated as his predecessor Jeffrey Loria, one of the most hated owners in MLB history. Given the promise of a new ownership regime, and the guidance of Derek Jeter no less, Marlins fans have had to watch as all their best players are sold off. Dee Gordon went to the Mariners, Giancarlo Stanton was traded to the Yankees (thanks man), and Christian Yelich went to the Brewers.
The idea of trading your good players now in order to get good players later is nothing new. However, the problem is that this is very clearly not a rebuild effort, it’s a selloff. In order to purchase the team, the Jeter-Sherman group had to essentially use up all their free cash to make a deal happen. MLB allowed this deal to go through likely because they wanted Loria gone, but by doing that, they may have made things worse.
Essentially, the franchise went into the offseason with absolutely no liquid assets to work with and a hefty amount of debt already levied against them. No money to improve the team and no money to support it. Instead of trying to get better, the Marlins have been forced to downsize, and the return on these trades have been significantly lacking. Jeter is now about to take every one of his arbitration eligible players to a hearing in the hopes of saving every last penny he can.
So how has this all reflected on Jeter? He’s already managed to discard every ounce of goodwill the people of Miami have given him. He’s managed to piss off his players to the point that they demand a trade. He’s managed to alienate a fanbase that was ready for something new, but are now just getting the same old crap.
Just like in sports, business is a game of PR, and it’s one that Jeter is losing very, very badly. He’s been firing personnel through underlings, dumping scouts still recovering from cancer treatments, publicly appearing at basketball games when he should be making an appearance at a baseball function, and when he does show up for a town hall, his typical non-personality and snark that worked with the New York media has not looked so well in Miami.
When Derek Jeter decided to sit in the owner’s box, fans thought they were getting the do-or-die attitude he exhibited on the field. They also expected him to operate like George Steinbrenner did—free spending, but without the excess bluster to go along with it. Instead, he’s a lot more like Hal, and we have witnessed Jeter’s corporate heel turn in record time, where winning is secondary to profit margins.
Maybe he would get the benefit of the doubt in New York, but he’s finding out the hard way that no one quite worshipped him like Yankees fans did. Derek Jeter also chose to take on this responsibility, and now he’s learning that the attributes that helped him in The Bronx aren’t working out so well in Miami. Now the people who had to put up with the endless cycle of Derek Jeter love are rejoicing at the fall of the king. Now he’s a corporate villain.
Has Derek Jeter’s corporate heel turn changed how you feel about him?
This poll is closed
No, Derek Jeter will always be a baseball god.
Yes, he’s done some things I never expected from him.
It’s not all his fault.
Thanks for Stanton, sucker!
How has Jeter’s tenure as an owner changed your opinion about the man, Yankees fans? Still want him to buy this team?