Jeter plans career in book publishing after Yankee days end

By on November 15, 2013
Derek Jeter.

Howard Simmons/New York Daily News

Derek Jeter, 39, calls his publishing partnership with Simon & Schuster ‘an exciting way for me to discover and develop new books.’

He will be 40 next June, is coming off an injury-riddled season that limited him to playing in just 17 games and he is the last Core Four teammate still suiting up in pinstripes.

And he also announced Thursday that he will partner with publishing house Simon & Schuster to start his own imprint at the venerable company.

Are signs pointing to 2014 being Derek Jeter’s swan song season?

“Man, I’m trying to focus on getting ready for the middle of February. I have not even thought about that,” Jeter said Thursday night. “My No. 1 focus is to get healthy. And what I mean by get healthy is get strong, get my strength back. I’m headed in that direction.”

Jeter mainly went backward this past season while he tried to return from a broken left ankle suffered in Game 1 of the 2012 ALCS. Jeter had predicted he would be ready for Opening Day 2013, only to miss that game and most of the season, suffering setback after setback.

But while Jeter’s critics will spout that his age and the demands of the shortstop position should prevent him from returning to his 2012 form – when he had 216 hits and batted .316 – the Captain begs to differ. What, you were expecting a different response?

“My job is to get ready to play. That’s what my job has always been. I don’t make up lineup cards. All I can do is get ready in the off-season, come (to spring training) and be ready to play,” said Jeter, who attended his former manager Joe Torre’s annual Safe at Home Foundation charity event in at Chelsea Piers. “My job is to play short, it’s always been my job since I’ve come up, and continues to be my job. I understand the concerns, because of everything that went down last year. But I’ll be ready to go.”

Derek Jeter is the last of the fabled Yankees' Core Four but is starting to think about post-baseball plans.

Mark Bonifacio/New York Daily News

Derek Jeter is the last of the fabled Yankees’ Core Four but is starting to think about post-baseball plans.

Hal Steinbrenner indicated this week at the GM meetings in Orlando that the club would look into possibly signing other infielders to play short, including Brendan Ryan, who played a handful of games for the Yankees this past season. It’s also possible that Jeter could be asked to be the designated hitter more often in 2014, to lessen the day-to-day punishment on his body and ankle. Asked if he would be amenable to such a role, Jeter reiterated his mantra – play every day if possible.

“If, if, if – I can’t comment on if. You guys know me – I like to play every single day. I get the fact that some days are DH days, some days you have off,” he said. “That happened two years ago – I DH’d a lot. My job is to be ready to play and I’ll be ready.”

Torre, who managed Jeter from his first season (’96) until 2007, said that he thinks Jeter will “play baseball as long as he feels he’s benefiting the team – whatever role.

“He’s not going to hang around because he’s Derek Jeter,” Torre said.

And Jorge Posada, one of Jeter’s closest friends, said Thursday night that “you can’t count Derek Jeter out” amid the talk the Bombers will seek other infielders for insurance. “I believe in him. I think he’s able to do a lot of things,” Posada said. “I think he’s getting ready for (the competition for shortstop). That’s what he’s preparing for. If you ask him, he’s going to get ready for a full season.”

Jeter laughed when asked what his role will be with the new publishing venture. “I run the show – the CEO. I call the shots,” he joked, before turning serious.

“I understand how important content is this day and age,” he said.”You get an opportunity to share people’s stories – it doesn’t necessarily have to be baseball – that I find interesting, I’m happy I get an opportunity to do it. I’m looking forward to it. This is my publishing imprint. It has my name on it. I’m going to try and make everyone proud.” Jeter’s imprint will publish adult non-fiction and children’s books.  

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