After a great year for the New York Yankees with a new stadium and another World Series title, Captain Derek Jeter believes the State of the Yankees Union is strong. But the mantra hasn't changed for Jeter or the Yankees: the only thing that matters is winning another title.
"I would never want to be with an organization that's happy to go home," he told Harold Reynolds of MLB Network. "I don't like to play with people that accept losing. If you don't win, you shouldn't be walking around with a smile on your face."
The Yankee Captain is still as competitive as ever. Despite his great affection for Joe Torre, he pledged to show no mercy toward his old manager when the Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers meet in interleague play this year.
He seemed excited to play with newcomer Curtis Granderson, a great guy who has really improved his game, according to Jeter. But he is genuinely sad about the loss of Hideki Matsui, one of his favorite teammates, a professional who, like Jeter, never made excuses. "I really will miss him."
Jeter is famous for not paying much attention to his individual stats, but he expressed pride and happiness about becoming the all-time Yankees hits king, a "mind-boggling" feat, and being named the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year. "What an honor."
The Yankee shortstop also takes a lot of pride in his work ethic and he told Reynolds he worked at changing his workout routine to increase flexibility, mobility, agility and lateral movement in response to criticisms of his defense. "I always accept criticism as a challenge," Jeter said. "It's not saying I'm out there trying to prove somebody wrong, but I'm just trying to make myself a better all-around player."
As the Yankee Captain closes in on 3,000 hits, he's doesn't appear ready to retire anytime soon. "As long as I'm having fun and I'm having the time of my life right now," Jeter said.
Thanks to chris.ptacek via Wikipedia for the photo.