Sunday, February 25, 2007

Who REALLY Cares About Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez

Who REALLY Cares About Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez
Written by Beezer McBeeze
Sunday, 25 February 2007

I'm not the one with the problem.

On Friday, Dateline ran a special report about a phenomenon that has gripped the nation in recent months: "Celebrity Obsessions." The segment focused on Britney Spears, whose penchant for shedding panties and hair locks made headlines around the country. It also talked about the death of Anna Nicole Smith, who has become the most highly-discussed corpse in recent memory.

In the end, there was only one conclusion to be drawn from the report: Americans are nuts.

And that goes double for Yankees fans.

Or it should, anyway—especially after this winter's Yankee-Infield-gate, when Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter went public with their falling out. The folks who read every article detailing the demise of A-Rod’s once thriving friendship with Jeter were no doubt nodding along in agreement as the Dateline pundits explained our collective obsession with famous people.

But not me.

As I listened to the talking heads prattle on about celebrity worship and the decline of quality journalism, it suddenly struck me: It’s not me who cares about locker-room infighting and press-conference feuds. It’s not me who would give anything to be a fly on the clubhouse wall, and hear what Derek tells A-Rod after the latter takes his annual October vacation.

It’s YOU.

That’s right. I don’t care at all about Derek Jeter the person. As soon as Mariah Carey helps him out of his uniform (are they still together, by the way?), he is temporarily done being a baseball player. At that point, I really couldn’t give a rat’s ass about what goes on in his penthouse atop Trump International Tower on 48th and 1st.

But apparently YOU do.


Honestly, you make me sick. When I think about you and your pathetic little life, it makes me want to turn on the gas in my fireplace, wedge myself inside the chimney, and strike a match. You genuinely care about these men, most of whom are younger than you, and their inability to cope with a lifestyle you wish you led.

Both A-Rod and Jeter could quit their jobs tomorrow, never talk to each other again, and live off their hundreds of millions of dollars while sleeping with new supermodels every night. And that drives you nuts. So you discreetly read about it on the Internet while your boss is out getting lunch with someone more important than you.

YOU are a loser. A big-time loser.

Does your kid play tee-ball or Pop Warner? If he does, I bet you probably go to about half his games, maybe three-quarters—because you're lazy. But you probably sat glued to your television during the Terrell Owens overdose saga. Why? Because nothing in the entire history of your life could possibly be as cool as the stuff that T.O. does on a quiet night out.

The bottom line: He’s just better and more important than you.

Which is why YOU are full of regrets, and why every celebrity scandal slightly validates the fruits of YOUR inadequacies.

Suffice it to say here that I think you are the least worthwhile human being on the planet, and the fact that you care about things like A-Rod’s struggle to determine his ethnic identity while secretly gauging the likely popularity of the World Baseball Classic—

Well, that just makes me sick.

YOU obviously need a life.

And if you find one, please let me know where you got it.

© 2006 Bleacher Report. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Jeter Was Once Rebuked for Ties to Rodriguez

February 22, 2007
Jeter Was Once Rebuked for Ties to Rodriguez

TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 21 — Chad Curtis collected 1,061 hits across 10 seasons in the major leagues, he hit a game-winning home run for the Yankees during the 1999 World Series and he was a part of the memorable team that won 125 games in 1998. But to some fans, Curtis is remembered mostly for being the teammate who dared to challenge Derek Jeter in public.

Long before Alex Rodriguez started spring training by saying that he and Jeter are not as friendly as they once were and Jeter responded by refusing to discuss their relationship, Curtis helped ignite the first controversy involving them.

During a brawl between the Yankees and the Seattle Mariners in August 1999, Curtis was irked when he noticed that Jeter was acting nonchalantly off to the side with Rodriguez. Jeter smiled when Rodriguez told him he would get him if there was another skirmish in the game. One Yankee had been punched and another had been plunked, and Curtis felt Jeter should have shunned an opponent like Rodriguez, even though they were close friends at the time.

Curtis confronted Jeter near the dugout and in the clubhouse. With teammates and reporters watching, Curtis scolded him. Curtis told Jeter he was a good player, but that he did not know how to play the game.

“I constantly self-evaluate,” Curtis said Wednesday in a telephone interview. “Was I wrong? Did I do something wrong? Maybe what I said was proper. The way I said it, where I said it and when I said it, wasn’t proper.”

Jeter’s relationship with Rodriguez has been scrutinized anew this week, so the incident with Curtis is a worthwhile footnote.

Jeter is proud of the polished way he plays and is repeatedly lauded, so he was angered by Curtis’s criticism, so much so that he and Curtis barely spoke afterward. One of Jeter’s attributes is his ability to eliminate any and all distractions. The Yankees traded Curtis to the Texas Rangers after the 1999 season.

Although Jeter would not address it, Rodriguez said the chill in their relationship came after his critical comments about Jeter in an interview with Esquire magazine in 2001. Rodriguez said Jeter “never had to lead” and was “never your concern” when playing against the Yankees. After Rodriguez drove 95 miles from Port Charlotte, Fla., to Tampa in the spring of 2002 to apologize, he said, “I thought it was over.”

But by finally being candid Monday, saying that the friendship with Jeter was not as intimate as it once was, Rodriguez liberated himself. Now Rodriguez, who is more concerned than Jeter about how others view him, does not have to act as if he and Jeter still hang out regularly.

The former Yankee Gary Sheffield, now with the Detroit Tigers, said Rodriguez is one superstar who still seeks the approval of others.

“If he doesn’t get that, this is what happens,” Sheffield said Wednesday in Lakeland, Fla. “Because he has to talk about things that he normally wouldn’t talk about.”

Interestingly, when Sheffield spoke to Jeter on Monday, he said Jeter never mentioned Rodriguez’s remarks. Sheffield said the intensity of the news media coverage had fueled the fascination with the relationship between Jeter, the Yankees’ shortstop and captain, and Rodriguez, their third baseman.

“Their situation is what it is,” Sheffield said. “I don’t know what triggered it to get to this point.”

Curtis said Rodriguez, his Rangers teammate for two years, must always determine whether people want to be his friend because he is A-Rod, the $252 million man, or because they truly like him. People in that lofty position, Curtis said, gravitate toward people in the same stratosphere. For Rodriguez, one of those people was Jeter.

“Not to get all Dr. Phil-ish, but we don’t want our friends thinking bad about us,” Curtis said. “It’s not that we’re looking for their approval. We’re looking for their friendship.”

Two days after Curtis challenged Jeter in 1999, he apologized for the manner in which he made his point. Jeter told Curtis that he had done nothing wrong, so there was no reason to apologize.

Curtis said that the last time he went to a Tigers-Yankees game in Detroit, he spoke with Jeter, who was “cordial and nice because that’s who he is.” But after Curtis said he did not think Jeter held a grudge, he added that he ended the conversation feeling there was “something there.”

“I think he thinks, ‘This is the guy I had that incident with,’ ” Curtis said. “That’s the part I regret.”

Now a teacher and a weight-lifting coach at North Point Christian School in Grand Rapids, Mich., Curtis said he has reflected on how and why he confronted Jeter. Curtis, a 45th-round draft pick, said his “old school” upbringing considered it taboo to fraternize with opponents.

Yet after watching Jeter and Rodriguez play a respectful, entertaining style for so many years, Curtis pushed aside some of his old-school ways and said, “Maybe the Derek and Alex version of the game is the right way.”

Maybe it is. Still, the friendship that Curtis once questioned is officially a memory after what Rodriguez and Jeter said this week. The relationship they had eight years ago has changed.


The Yankees’ starters will throw batting practice to the hitters Thursday, with the top prospects Phil Hughes and Humberto Sánchez joining the projected major league rotation. The team will hold an intrasquad game Tuesday before the first exhibition game two days later.TYLER KEPNER

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

Friday, February 23, 2007


February 22, 2007 -

- TAMPA - Joe Torre and Brian Cashman can't get Bernie Williams on the phone, but Derek Jeter can.

"I have talked to him, he called me back," Jeter said. "I don't want to talk about what we talked about. It appears he is not coming [to camp]."

Repeated efforts by Torre and Cashman to get an answer from Williams, who was invited to camp on a minor-league deal, have failed.

"It's sad but not surprising that I haven't heard back from him," Torre said.

While Williams is working out at home in New York and willing to help the Yankees, it won't be without a guarantee he will make the team. And that won't be forthcoming, according to Torre and Cashman.

It's fitting that the aloof Williams isn't retired but isn't in camp.

"Half the time you don't even know he is here," Jeter said. "Bernie can be in the corner one minute and a week later you see him in the corner and you haven't seen him any time between. It's typical Bernie in terms of not doing everything by the book."


Asked to respond to yesterday's Post exclusive in which Gary Sheffield said Torre "took the fire out of me" by not starting him in last year's Game 3 of the ALDS, Torre refused to get into a back-and-forth with his former right fielder.

"Every player is allowed, and I certainly respect, their opinion. You would like to believe that every player you manage would always have nice things to say to you," Torre said. "I really don't comment on things like that. It takes away from people being able to say what they want to say and feel the way they want to feel. You do the best you can and hope you touched everybody. If it doesn't always work that way, so be it. If that's the way he feels, that's the way he feels."

Today is a day hitters loathe. That's because they face pitchers in batting practice for the first time. Even though the hurlers will be working with an "L" screen in front of them, the hitters will moan about their hands stinging when they make contact.

On the main field will be Chien-Ming Wang, Andy Pettitte, Mike Mussina, Kei Igawa, Carl Pavano, Phil Hughes and Humberto Sanchez.

"They will throw 30 to 40 pitches and the hitters will have a wonderful time," Torre predicted.

After two days of batting practice, Jason Giambi is happy about how his surgically repaired left wrist has held up.

"It's good. I swung a little harder today," Giambi said. "I will take it easier [today]."

Copyright 2007 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.


February 21, 2007 -

- TAMPA - These have not been questions about his relationship with Jessica Biel or Mariah Carey or whatever starlet of the moment Derek Jeter was romancing.

When it comes to that, Jeter is right. His off-the-field associations have nothing to do with on-the-field results. Thus, he has decided to make them off-limits and I totally respect him for that.

But this was not about Page Six. This was about E-6, error on Jeter for malfeasance as a leader. His relationship with Alex Rodriguez has mattered because Rodriguez matters so much to the success of the Yankees, and A-Rod has cared deeply about Jeter's approval.

Rodriguez attempted to recast the bond between the two and, perhaps, the power dynamics Monday when he admitted that their association had dwindled from "blood brothers" to "a working relationship." It was, perhaps, a liberating moment for Rodriguez, a chance to stop having to act as if something existed that does not any more.

Jeter's opportunity to take the cathartic baton came and went yesterday with the Yankee captain defiantly sticking to his cover story that nothing is wrong, and nothing has ever been wrong. Jeter is not dumb, so we must assume he just continues to play dumb. The ice prince wants to freeze A-Rod out, and then haughtily dismiss any discussion of the subject.

As he did last year, Jeter returned to the nonsense that "I don't think it's my job to tell fans to boo or not" when it comes to A-Rod. Well, first of all, Jeter did exactly that in June 2005, instructing the fans to start cheering the beleaguered Jason Giambi for the good of the team. And, at that point, Giambi had been shamed as a drug cheat and someone who pulled himself out of a World Series game. The difference, of course, was Jeter likes the easily likeable Giambi.

But reducing this to lecturing the fans about etiquette is just obfuscation. Jeter did not have to tell the fans what to do. He simply had to make Rodriguez feel more comfortable, more welcomed. Instead, Jeter has shown the unforgiving nature of a Soprano.

"I don't see the relevance of it," Jeter said of his relationship with Rodriguez. "It has no bearing on us playing baseball."

Of course, it does. Rodriguez permits outside distractions to impact his play in a way Jeter does not. Shame on Rodriguez for that. He is, after all, a 31-year-old man and should not be enslaved by what others think. This also, ultimately, is his fault. It was his envious, misguided words in a 2001 Esquire article that created the rift. But for the true feelings of the two, perhaps it is best to return to the onset of the rift.

Back in spring 2001, when A-Rod recognized the ramifications of the story, he immediately drove from where he was training with the Rangers in Port Charlotte to Tampa. Jeter knew A-Rod was waiting at his house, but refused to cut short a meal and made Rodriguez squirm for hours. When the two finally met, a teary-eyed Rodriguez asked for forgiveness.

But that forgiveness has never really come, not even yesterday. Ironically, one of the shots A-Rod took at Jeter in the Esquire piece was that Jeter "never had to lead" because others from the championship era carried the weight. Years later, when Rodriguez needed Jeter to lead, he discovered that Jeter is more qualified at being the captain to those he likes, such as Giambi.

When it came to Rodriguez, Jeter said yesterday that he did ask last year if he could support the third baseman better and was told by A-Rod no. What did Jeter expect, for Rodriguez to say, "yes, be nicer to me."

That is just more playing dumb for a guy who isn't. And there is a penalty for this. Jeter is forever protecting his image, moving cautiously as to never damage Jeter Inc. and all the endorsement dollars that flow to an athlete perceived as a good-guy winner. But Jeter has suffered some dents in that persona now. It turns out that in hurting A-Rod with indifference, Jeter also has hurt himself.

Copyright 2007 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007



February 20, 2007 -- TAMPA - Alex Rodriguez confirmed yesterday what everybody has known for years: The relationship between Rodriguez and Derek Jeter has grown icicles.

Skin tight before Rodriguez slapped Jeter in a 2001 Esquire article, the superstars drifted apart. No more dinners. No more nights at the China Club. No more standing around talking as their Mariners and Yankees teammates fought. That didn't change when Rodriguez landed next to Jeter in the Yankees' infield.

For six years they danced around questions about their relationship. After taking a physical at Legends Field, Rodriguez yanked the plug on the music.

"We were the best of friends, 10, 13, 14 years ago and we still get along well. We have a good working relationship,'' said Rodriguez, who dropped 12 pounds and shaved his body fat from 16 percent to 7 percent. "I cheer very hard for him and he cheers hard for me. And most importantly we are both trying to win a world championship and we will leave it right there."

Of course, Rodriguez knew the topic wasn't going to morph into questions about reaching 500 homers (he needs 36) or having Andy Pettitte as a teammate. There were queries about him opting out of the final three years of his contract but Rodriguez understood when he put Jeter in play nothing else came close.

Why did Rodriguez choose yesterday, 24 hours before the first full-squad Yankee workout, to be frank about his relationship with Jeter?

"I think it's important to cut the bull. It is what it is," Rodriguez said. "I think when you get into all the BS, people start assuming things are a lot worse than they are, which they are not. Obviously they aren't as great as they used to be, which we were like blood brothers."

While Rodriguez was talking in the first base dugout, Jeter was taking a physical. By the time Rodriguez was done opening an emotional vein, Jeter departed from the ballpark. Today, Jeter will be begged for a response to Rodriguez's words and don't expect Jeter to be as deep as Rodriguez because it's a topic Jeter enjoys as much as swallowing phlegm.

"The reality is that there has been a change in the relationship and hopefully we can put it behind us," Rodriguez said. "You sleep over somebody's house five days a week and now you aren't sleeping over."

Jeter was criticized last summer for not coming to Rodriguez's defense when Rodriguez was drowning in a sea of Yankee Stadium boos. According to Rodriguez, he didn't need Jeter's support last year and won't this season.

"Absolutely not," Rodriguez said. "I am a big boy. I am 31 and I should be able to help myself out there."

For the first time since Joe Torre dropped Rodriguez into the eighth spot for Game 4 of the ALDS against the Tigers, Rodriguez addressed the move.

"I wasn't excited about it,'' said Rodriguez, who expects to hit in the middle of the card. "For me it was very disappointing to see my name there. Again, it's not my job to judge or even have an opinion on that. Personally, I didn't like it but I have to look at myself in that mirror and say, 'What the hell did I do to get myself in the situation?' I never once questioned Joe. I have to look at myself in the mirror. Yes, I was embarrassed."

NEW YORK POST is a registered trademark of NYP Holdings, Inc. NYPOST.COM, NYPOSTONLINE.COM, and NEWYORKPOST.COM are trademarks of NYP Holdings, Inc.

Copyright 2007 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Is Tom Brady the New Derek Jeter?

Is Tom Brady the New Derek Jeter?
by Andrea Canning, ABC News

Is New England Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady giving America's No. 1 sports hunk, Derek Jeter, a run for his money when it comes to scoring off the field as the next big thing?

Brady seems to be acting the part. The Super Bowl champion with the million dollar smile and all-American good looks is now said to be dating supermodel Gisele Bundchen, who has been linked to surfer Kelly Slater and actors Josh Hartnett and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Brady's failed relationship with his girlfriend of three years, ABC's "Six Degrees" star Bridget Moynahan, may have paved the way for a new romance with the 26-year-old Victoria's Secret sweetheart.

Does Brady's new cool life sound familiar?

New York Yankees' shortstop Jeter, who also boasts movie star looks and a mega bank account, trades in young starlets more often than baseball cards.

Jeter has been linked to "TRL's" Vanessa Mannillo, actress Jordana Brewster, singer Mariah Carey and, most recently, actress Jessica Biel.

Could Brady be moving in on Jeter's turf as the athlete men want to be and women want to marry?

It's All About Stats

With three Super Bowl titles, 29-year-old Brady stands at 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 225 pounds. The California boy has a laid-back style, hazel eyes and an enviable body. He's held the honor of being one of People magazine's 50 most beautiful. In 2005, Forbes ranked him No. 52 among the 100 most powerful and rich celebrities. Brady has had endorsement deals with Nike, Visa and Sirius Satellite Radio.

With four World Series rings, 32-year-old Jeter stands at 6 feet 3 inches, and weighs 195 pounds. The New Jersey native, with sparkling blue eyes and glowing skin, was also named one of People's most beautiful. In 2005, Forbes ranked him No. 38 on that same 100-most-powerful-and-rich celebrity list, and placed his worth at more than $100 million. Jeter has represented companies like Nike, Gatorade and ConAgra.

Ashley Rothschild, a Los Angeles image and lifestyle expert told ABC News, "The longevity of a sports star's earning potential is short, and Brady should take full advantage of whatever new fame he can capitalize on now."

Rothschild added, "The NFL star is highly promotable, and landing in the tabloids has only raised his profile with women."

Millions have swooned over Jeter for years, but Nichole Bigley of Atlanta told ABC News, "Jeter is yesterday's news. Brady is cuter with 'charming' looks, but I hope the new bachelor will stay wholesome."

Still, Bettina Hill of Baltimore, said, "I'm no Yankees fan, but Derek seems really charming and likable. When he hosted "Saturday Night Live," I could tell he had a really good sense of humor. With looks and personality, he has the total package."

The Image of Fame

But is Brady's and Jeter's fame among the masses gaining steam because of their image or the image of the famous women they date?

Katrina Szish, contributing ABC News correspondent and Us Weekly contributing editor said, "A single Tom Brady wouldn't make celebrity headlines unless he had a supermodel or an actress on his arm.

"Derek Jeter has made entertainment headlines solely because of the high-profile women he dates. He only makes the headlines when he's dating a celebrity."

"Among the celebrity-obsessed, no one really cares about who Derek or Tom are dating, but they do care about who Gisele and Jessica Biel are dating," said Szish.

"These men may be handsome and successful, but they only make the celebrity A-list because of who they're dating, or at least rumored to be dating. Being photographed with a gorgeous woman is never a bad way to raise your profile -- kind of a win-win situation for these guys.

"As athletes, they are somewhat immune from the intense scrutiny that mainstream celebs get, but they undoubtedly profit from their liaisons."

The latest issue of Us Weekly reports that Biel and Justin Timberlake are rumored to be romantically involved, so it looks as if Jeter hasn't sealed the deal with Jessica.

Tamara Derosia of Madison, Conn., told ABC News, "I will continue to be a fan of both Brady and Jeter as long as they don't date Paris Hilton or Tara Reid."

What about Cameron Diaz? She's single -- stay tuned.

Copyright © 2007 ABC News Internet Ventures

Posted by R. Smith

All content © Copyright 2001 - 2007 WorldNow and KTRE, a Raycom Media Station.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Yanks' Jeter offer views on Bernie, Clemens, Pavano

Yanks' Jeter offer views on Bernie, Clemens, Pavano
By Michael P. Geffner
Times Herald-Record
February 17, 2007

Tampa, Fla. — Derek Jeter, making his first appearance in Tampa this spring, had this to say yesterday "¦

On Bernie Williams: "I've talked to Bernie a lot. I won't say what we talked about. And I can't say that I'm trying to talk him into coming here, because, the thing is, I can't relate to what he's going through. Nobody can. But I feel for him. It must be tough. This team is all he's known, and I know he wants to end his career here. For selfish reasons, I hope he shows up, hope he gets an opportunity. It won't set in that he's not here anymore until things start and I don't see him around. It'll feel weird.

On Roger Clemens: "If I had to guess, I'd say he's going to pitch this season. When? I don't know. He might be a September call-up."

On Carl Pavano: "I don't have any problem with him. How can I? He hasn't been around here."

With all the craziness going on in camp already, with controversy leaking out of every locker stall, with lips incredibly loose, GM Brian Cashman insisted that media training — accompanied by a videotape on the subject shown to the players — is still an important part of spring training.

"Dealing with the media is part of everybody's job description here," Cashman said, "and if you think we're not proactive about it you're wrong. We do everything we can to understand what media guys do on a daily basis, so we can communicate better through you guys to our fan base. If you can't understand the process, then this place might not be the one for you. We all need to understand that our words to you guys have weight and meaning."

Kei Igawa played something called "shogi," or Japanese chess, against one of the Japanese media members by his locker all morning yesterday. "I do it to help my concentration and in reading opponents," he said through his interpreter. Igawa apparently also throws a mean game of darts, to where he's even beaten some dart pros. "For concentration as well," he said. And in both, he added, "I hate to lose."

George Steinbrenner's son-in-law and designated successor to run the Yankees was scheduled to appear in court March 15 to face charges of driving under the influence.

Yankees general partner Steve Swindal was arrested by St. Petersburg police at 4:26 a.m. Thursday. He was booked for a misdemeanor and released from jail after posting $250 bond.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Record Online is brought to you by the Times Herald-Record, serving New York"s Hudson Valley and the Catskills.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Tier teen meets Derek Jeter

Saturday February 10, 2007
Tier teen meets Derek Jeter

TAMPA, Fla. Fifteen-year old Justin Topa spent a couple hours Saturday learning the finer points of baseball from Derek Jeter.

Topa, of Hillcrest, was one of four winners of the sweepstakes to take part in a clinic with the Yankee shortstop at Legends Field, the team's spring training home.

"It was the best experience I ever had," Topa said. "Just meeting Mr. Jeter and spending some time with one of my favorite players. He seems to control himself on the field and the way he plays the game. On and off the field he's amazing."

Jeter had a simple message about baseball and sports in general to offer the young athletes. "The biggest thing is to have fun," Jeter said. "It's important to win. It's more important to have fun."

-- The Associated Press

© 2007 Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Jeter mood swing

Jeter mood swing
Looks to forget past with jump on spring

Derek Jeter finds even Europe is no place to escape setback so he gets started on another season of hope.

TAMPA - Even on a European vacation last fall, Derek Jeter couldn't get away from the Yankees' postseason loss to Detroit.

A few days after the upstart Tigers put away the Yanks, cementing another disappointing October in the Bronx, Jeter was at a restaurant with a friend during one stop on his six-day, six-city holiday - he couldn't quite remember the city, London, perhaps - when a Tigers fan reminded him that the Yankees lost a series they had controlled.

"You'd think you could escape it in Europe, you know?" Jeter said yesterday while taking a break from a pre-spring training workout on a clear, sunny morning at the Yankees' minor-league complex here. "You get it all the time here, but Europe?"

In fact, the sting of the most recent Bomber setback is only starting to fade for Jeter, the Yankee captain who grew used to winning every year early in his career. The Yankees are now ring-less since 2000.

Jeter resumed baseball activities three weeks ago for the first time since the end of the season. It's a way to put the disappointment in the past.

"It takes a long time to get over it. That's what people don't realize," Jeter said as several Yankee prospects took batting practice nearby. "It's a whole year you've played. The worst phrase in all of sports is saying, 'Ah, get them next year.' Well, next year is another 12 months. It's not like you're going to have the opportunity to play forever.

"Every year that goes by is one less year on your career, so it takes awhile to get over it. But that's what makes spring training so fun. Everyone starts over."

Yankees' pitchers and catchers report for camp Tuesday and will have their first workout a week from today. Position players such as Jeter will report Feb. 18. But like most of his teammates, Jeter is already working. He took about a month off after last season to "heal up, rest my body. Then I get going again, mostly conditioning, until mid-January."

This week, Jeter has been laughing easily around the batting cage with Jorge Posada and Miguel Cairo, two of the few major leaguers who come to the complex for daily workouts. He exchanged hellos with Japanese pitcher Kei Igawa, who threw for the first time Tuesday.

"That's how you get your new beginning," Jeter said, referring to his return to baseball routine.

Right after the Tigers closed out the series, Jeter admitted, he wondered what might have been. The Yankees had won the opener and were leading, 3-1, going into the fifth inning at the Stadium in Game 2, with Mike Mussina on the mound. But they lost that afternoon and dropped both games in Detroit.

"You think about that for a long time, but I'm not thinking about it now," Jeter said. "You're only focused on 2007 now."

Jeter is excited about the new season, especially with Andy Pettitte returning to the Bronx. "I was disappointed when he left in the first place, but you understand it because he wanted to be close to his family," Jeter said. "I'm glad he got the opportunity to come back. With Pettitte, you know what you're going to get. He's not always going to be successful, but you know he's not going to be overwhelmed by New York, by any situation.

"He's been here when we've won, when we've lost. Good times, bad times. He knows how to deal with the media. On the field, you just hope he stays healthy. If he does, he's going to be fine."

He added that the season would seem "weird" without Bernie Williams, who may or may not be in spring training with the Yanks. "He was always older than me, so he was a mainstay before I even got here," Jeter said. "I watched Bernie play when I was in high school, before I even got drafted. I don't know what the situation is; I haven't talked to Bernie lately. But you hope he'd come back. It would be strange without him.

"I have not spoken to him about whether he would play somewhere else, but I can't picture it."

But plenty has already changed for Jeter and the Yankees, as that Tigers fan was happy to remind him.

"You've got to want to win. You've got to enjoy competing. That's the only thing you need to stay motivated," Jeter said. "We won before, and any time you have, you realize how special it is and what a good feeling it is and that it's the complete opposite when you lose.

"You want to get back to that winning feeling, so motivation has never been a problem for me. When you start to lose that motivation to compete, that's when it's time to go home."

T.J. Quinn will be blogging from Ghana, where he's traveling with Mets GM Omar Minaya, Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, former Yankees GM Bob Watson, former Giants and Cubs manager Dusty Baker, and former major leaguers Reggie Smith and Al Jackson (an original Met), as they tour the West African nation spreading the glories of the American pastime. For the latest news and video reports, check out the Sports iTeam blog at

Originally published on February 7, 2007

All contents © 2007 Daily News, L.P.

Derek Jeter Fragrance A Hit For Avon

Derek Jeter Fragrance A Hit For Avon
by Christine Bittar, Wednesday, Feb 7, 2007 5:01 AM ET

DIRECT BEAUTY SELLER AVON YESTERDAY reported a 9.4% jump in revenue in the fourth quarter to $2.6 billion, on $184.1 million in earnings, or 41 cents a share--representing a small increase of a penny a share versus the year prior.

Product-wise, fragrance was one of Avon's bigger successes--with its new men's fragrance, Derek Jeter Driven, bringing in $10 million in sales, according to Avon. The partnership with the Yankee baseball player is one of Avon's first efforts with licensed fragrances.

The improved sales results come as Avon has been stepping up its ad spend. This last quarter, it boosted its media outlay by a significant $43 million to $89 million for the October through December period. The additional advertising was put toward new product introductions such as Anew Clinical ThermaFirm and SuperFull Mascara, in addition to its direct selling launch in China.

Avon's total media spend last year was $249 million--up 83% from 2005. The company's creative is handled through its in-house advertising department, and the planned increased advertising was meant to directly improve sales.

In fact, even as Avon had been cutting staff, it's also working to strengthen its global marketing and advertising function, with two new executive hires announced at the end of the year--one to oversee media planning and buying and the other to take charge of Avon's global image, from its brochure to packaging to creative.

In addition, in the last year, Avon has been restructuring, cutting staff, and stepping up other marketing efforts as well as luring new rep recruits.

The number of Avon reps--its major distribution channel--increased 5% globally in the fourth quarter and 1% in North America.

Previously, CEO Andrea Jung announced that one of the ways Avon would look to increase efficiency is by slimming down its product assortment, dropping as much as 40% of its SKUs this year via its "Product Line Simplification." Christine Bittar can be reached at

©2007 MediaPost Communications. All rights reserved.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Gabrielle Union Says She Isn't Dating Derek Jeter – Unfortunately

Gabrielle Union Says She Isn't Dating Derek Jeter – Unfortunately
By Debi Springer

Gabrielle Union isn't dating baseball star Derek Jeter – much to her chagrin.

"I'm linked to a lot of people," the actress, 34, told PEOPLE at a Super Bowl weekend kick-off party at Bongos Cuban Café in Miami on Thursday. "It'd be great to be dating Derek Jeter. As far as fake relationships go, I'm moving up."

The New York Post's Page Six reported last week that Union and the New York Yankees shortstop, 32, were spotted flirting and dirty dancing at a Bahamas nightclub. Her rep told the paper: "They are friends, but they did not hook up."

But even Union's mother was convinced the two were an item. "My mom asked me if he was coming for Easter, I said, 'Mom! I barely know him,' " Union told PEOPLE with a laugh.

"Trust me, if I were dating Derek Jeter, I would hold my own personal press conference to announce it to the world. I'm actually getting a little nervous about when our fake breakup is coming."

Next up, Union, whose four-year marriage to NFL running back Chris Howard ended in 2005, will star in ABC's Football Wives, a U.S. version of a BBC soap.

"I play Chardonnay Lane, which is really funny. I was hoping for Pinot Grigio," she said. "I was at one time a football wife, and there is a certain level of bonding that happens between women who are the wives of football players. We're having a lot of fun."

Copyright © 2007 Time Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Thursday, February 01, 2007



January 29, 2007 -- Derek Jeter's batting average was .343 last season - but when it comes to women, he's batting a thousand.

His latest home-run hottie is Gabrielle Union, at least according to Page Six. Her rep says they're "friends but did not hook up."

The sexy star of "Deliver Us from Eva" and the Yankee shortstop were seen flirting and dancing at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas last week, but Union is just the latest in a string of hits for the Bronx baseballer.

Before being linked to Union, Jeter was rounding the bases in late '06 with angelic actress Jessica Biel of TV's "7th Heaven" and the high-flying movie "Stealth."

No 2's previous list of "10"s reads like a wish list for teenage boys everywhere: Actress Scarlett Johansson, veejay and Miss Teen USA 1998 Vanessa Minnillo, singer Joy Enriquez, and actresses Jessica Alba and Jordana Brewster.

He's even dated the millennium's Miss Universe - India's Lara Dutta, who held the crown in 2000.

What is it about Jeter that makes the women go wild? Perhaps the MVP smile, the fact that he's got "good hands," front row Knicks tickets and a $4 million bachelor pad at Trump World Tower.

Or maybe it's his approach.

Jason McIntyre who has chronicled the women of Jeter for says, "All the guys want to be friends with Jeter, and all the ladies want him."

Every woman in New York City has a story, said McIntyre.

"They all seem to go something like this, 'His (insert wingman here) came up and said that he'd like to meet me,' yada, yada, yada - he's such a down-to-earth, nice guy," he said.

"I guess when you play the marquee position on the most popular sports team in America, in the largest city in the United States, you've got to be versatile enough to alternate between dating Miss Universe, an actress, or a hostess at a restaurant," said McIntyre.

"He seems to have mastered that art."

Play on, Derek, play on.

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