Jeter says he has more left, but other things to do

Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:42pm EST
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By Larry Fine

(Reuters) - Yankees captain Derek Jeter faced the media on Wednesday to explain the retirement announcement he made last week on Facebook, and said he decided to make 2014 his final season because it was simply time to do other things.

Jeter, who played just 17 games in 2013 because of a series of injuries to his legs and ankles, said he worked harder than ever to get ready for the upcoming season and was fit to play, but that it was time to move on after what will be his 20th season.

"I felt it was the right time," Jeter said to a standing-room crowd including teammates and Yankees owners and executives at the club's spring training complex in Tampa, Florida.

"This will be parts of 20 seasons in New York, 23 if you count the minor leagues. I want to do other things in my life."

Jeter mentioned his foundation, TURN 2, dedicated to motivating young people to embrace healthy lifestyles, and his desire to have a family, but would share no details.

He said he preferred to focus on the upcoming season.

"This has absolutely nothing to do with how I feel physically," insisted Jeter, who will turn 40 during his last campaign. "Physically, I feel great and look forward to playing a full season.

Jeter, the starting shortstop since 1996, in 2011 became the first player to collect 3,000 hits for the Yankees and his total of 3,316 hits puts him ninth on Major League Baseball's all-time list. He is a 13-time All-Star, winner of five Gold Gloves for fielding and was most valuable player of the 2000 World Series.   Continued...

Feb 19, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees infielder Derek Jeter (2) speaks to the media during an media availability at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports - RTX194TU