Derek Jeter has amazed the baseball world yet again, but this time it was with a surprise announcement that he would no longer be the Florida Marlins‘ CEO as the parties had mutually agreed to go their separate ways. In 2017, the retired Yankees legend was part of an investment group that paid $1.7 billion for the team, and he became a minority shareholder in the Marlins and was tapped to be the next CEO.
But the his winning ways on the baseball diamond never seemed to follow him to the boardroom. Jeter may have won 5 World Series championships and had 14 All-Star appearances over a 20-year playing career, but the Marlins have enjoyed the worst winning percentage in the National League ever since he officially joined their C-suite in 2018.
“We had a vision five years ago to turn the Marlins franchise around, and as CEO, I have been proud to put my name and reputation on the line to make our plan a reality,” Jeter said in a statement via The Players’ Tribune. “Through hard work, trust and accountability, we transformed every aspect of the franchise, reshaping the workforce, and developing a long-term strategic plan for success.”
“That said, the vision for the future of the franchise is different than the one I signed up to lead,” he continued. “Now is the right time for me to step aside as a new season begins.”
Bruce Sherman, Marlins chairman and controlling owner, reputedly questioned Jeter’s long-term commitment to the team. Nevertheless, he wished Jeter the best and said he appreciated Jeter’s with the club.
“We have a deep bench of talent that will oversee both business and baseball decisions while we work to identify a new CEO to lead our franchise,” Sherman said in a statement. “The ownership group is committed to keep investing in the future of the franchise — and we are determined to build a team that will return to the postseason and excite Marlins fans and the local community.”
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred gave his own statement on Jeter’s surprise exit, calling the former Yankees’ captain “a winner on and off the field.” He also said Jeter was “a pillar of our game” and hinted that the 47-year-old’s relationship with the sport is far from over.
One person who is excited about Jeter’s breakup with the Marlins is ESPN sports analyst Stephen A. Smith. “As far as I’m concerned, this is great news because I’ve got news for you – he never should’ve been there!” he said on First Take. “I mean, outside of the weather and [the fact that] there’s no state income taxes in Florida, he never should’ve been there!”
Instead, Smith thinks it’s time for the Bronx Bombers to welcome Jeter back home. “Now what really should happen is that the Yankees should be picking up the phone and asking [Jeter], ‘What kind of relationship do we need to have with one another in an official capacity moving forward?’ Because Derek Jeter [being] with anybody but the Yankees just seems sacrilegious to me.”