Media still loves Derek Jeter, still hates Miami Marlins

(Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images) /
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If one thing is clear in the wake of Derek Jeter leaving as CEO, it’s that the national media still loves The Captain … and still hates the Miami Marlins.

Habits are hard things to break. That’s true for any of us. But I would argue that’s particularly true of narratives in reporting, and is especially the case when it comes to narratives concerning the Miami Marlins baseball franchise.

This Monday, Derek Jeter suddenly left his job as CEO of the Miami Marlins in what was described as a mutual parting of the ways. That kind of phraseology can cover a lot of ground- certainly more than Jeter was able to cover at shortstop over the course of his Hall of Fame career. Mutual parting of the ways can mean an amicable split between the two parties. It can also be what you say when one party failed at their job in multiple ways, but you want to do them the courtesy of not firing them. Or yes, it could mean you stormed out because you felt betrayed by the organization that promised you things that were no longer happening and etiquette requires you to not start kicking and screaming.

Within an hour of the news breaking Monday though, it was only that last possibility that was being given the time of day by almost any pundit in range of a camera or a keyboard.

One report surfaced that Jeter left because majority owner Bruce Sherman had decided to spend less this offseason. Other rumors surfaced that the New York Yankees legend was taking a stand with the players during the MLB lockout- with that stand being directly tied to “some clubs” not spending enough on players. No less of an authority than Stephen A. Smith of ESPN would seem to pretty much have him pegged as the future of the Yankees front office. The examples go on and on.

And all of this, with all due genuine respect for many titans in the industry compared to this humble blogger, kind of smacks of the journalistic equivalent of kicking your foot when the doctor taps your knee with that little hammer of theirs. Because as of right now, this is entirely reflex. There are a lot of reasons Jeter might have left, or might have been shown the door, that aren’t about the size of the Miami Marlins payroll in 2022, or a change in vision for the Miami Marlins franchise.

SportsGrid’s Craig Mish is probably as plugged into the Marlins beat as anyone in the industry, and has basically spent the last 24 hours saying as much on multiple platforms. This was quite likely much more about money being allocated to Derek Jeter, not the Marlins payroll. This is not just categorically a case of Miami being Miami.

But that’s not the story, at least not the one that was picked up and run with first. No, the story was just this being another case of Marlins penury. Sure, there is a history there. Yes, I suppose it did dovetail nicely with the fact that the entirety of baseball’s players are currently really peeved about the amount of spending ownership is willing to do. And okay, I can see a rush of adrenaline getting to write about anything baseball related that wasn’t this interminable lockout.

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The only problem is there really isn’t any current evidence to support that position. Put bluntly, the only part of the Miami Marlins “vision” that has unquestionably changed this week was that Derek Jeter needed to be bringing that vision to fruition.