TAMPA, FL—During a post-workout press conference at the Yankees spring training facility Thursday, shortstop Derek Jeter once again rejected the idea of moving from shortstop to center field, citing the fact that he's Derek F---- Jeter and he'll play whatever f------ position he wants.
"I can see how people might think that moving to center field would be the right thing to do," the 36-year-old said. "I can also see—quite clearly, as a matter of fact—that none of those people are named Derek Jeter. You know, the same Derek Jeter who led the New York f----- Yankees to five World Series titles and restored the entire g--d--- organization to prominence after a decade and a half of mediocrity. That Derek Jeter ring a f------ bell for anyone?"
Jeter, who signed a three-year contract with the Yankees this offseason amidst criticism of his defensive quickness and throwing arm, said he would be open to moving to the outfield if he were not 11-time All-Star and future first-ballot Hall of Famer Derek Jeter. However, according to Jeter, that's who he sure as f---- was the last time he looked in the mirror.
"So, I'll be playing whichever ~~~~~ position I g~~d~~~ feel like," Jeter added. "Hell, maybe I'll play shortstop, third base, catcher, second base, and first base all at the same time. Have my own little around-the-horn c~~~ j~~~ for five f~~~~ hours if the mood strikes me. How'd that sit with everyone? Good? Good."
During the hour-long press conference, Jeter repeatedly clarified that he was only saying what he was saying because he is Derek F~~~~~ Jeter and he can say whatever the f~~~ he wants. When questioned about his inability to cover all parts of the shortstop position, Jeter asked reporters if they were five-time Gold Glove winners, and said that if they weren't, maybe they should just shut their f~~~~~ mouths.
At one point during the press conference, Jeter interrupted himself, stopping to see if he could remember which MLB player is the only one in the history of the game to win the All-Star Game MVP Award and the World Series MVP in the same year.
"Oh, that's right, it was New York Yankees shortstop and Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Derek Jeter," the 16-year-veteran said. "Oh, wait! I'm Derek Jeter. I won the f~~~~~ MVP awards. Me. The same m~~~f~~~~ who dove into the stands for a pop fly against the Red Sox and came out bloody and bruised. So there's no way I'm the guy Brian Cashman keeps talking about—the guy who sounds like a f~~~~~ quadriplegic who can't move two steps to field a f~~~~~ ground ball."
Jeter conceded that there are probably other people named Derek Jeter who would love to play center field for the New York Yankees, and encouraged team management to go out and try and sign one of them. However, he said, because he's the Derek Jeter who last won the league's highest defensive honor in "oh, I dunno, 2000 and f~~~~ 10," he felt that shortstop suited him just fine.
In addition, Jeter said that the last time he checked, not only were Yankees backup shortstops Ramiro Pena and Eduardo Nunez not named Derek Jeter, but they more than likely had never put the most successful baseball organization in the history of the sport on their back season after g~~d~~~~~ season, and probably had never passed Lou F~~~~ Gehrig to become the Yankees all-time hits leader.
"That's Lou Gehrig, the baseball player," Jeter said. "Not Lou Gehrig, the Nuts 4 Nuts guy who sells honey-roasted almonds and gives free b~~~ j~~~~ outside the stadium."
Jeter went on to note that being the Derek Jeter—the same one whose class and commitment has won over even the staunchest Yankee haters—is also the main reason he'll be the team's leadoff hitter for as long as he wants. It doesn't matter, he said, if the Yankees sign the next incarnation of Rickey F~~~~ Henderson, for that matter.
"I bet nobody ever told Yogi Berra that he should stop catching, or told Joe DiMaggio that he should test the market to see if he could get a better offer," Jeter said. "And if they did, they were f~~~ p~~~~ back then, too. You don't tell Yogi F~~~ Berra he can't catch, and you sure as shit don't say in the media that Derek Jeter isn't as fast or as good as he used to be, even if it's f~~~ true."
"You let the guy who's been the captain of your team for the past eight years leave with a little bit of g~~d~~~~ dignity," Jeter added. "For Christ's sake, the last thing any of us have at the end of our careers is our dignity, and I swear to f~~~~ God, if anybody tries to take that away from me again, I'll play on this team till I'm 95-f~~~~-years-old and have a colostomy bag tucked under my uniform. I don't care if we lose 162 games a season."
Jeter added that if anybody had a problem with anything he had just said, they could all go f~~~~themselves, especially that "fat f~~~ Hank [Steinbrenner]."