Derek Jeter was often coy with the media as a player, but the Miami Marlins CEO and Yankees legend was rather blunt when it came to talking about the league’s latest labor dispute.
“It’s unfortunate because it was disappointing, embarrassing at times, the back and forth,” he said on the Marlins’ “The Line Drive” podcast. “There’s a lot of trust – there is no trust, I should say, is the best way to put it. Hopefully, things change moving forward. It was pretty sad to see the back-and-forth being played out publicly in a time like now.”
Jeter, 46, pointed to record unemployment numbers and how the contentious, public negotiating may have rubbed the casual fan the wrong way, but he also tried to be diplomatic and empathize with the players.
After all, the Hall of Fame shortstop finds himself in the unique position of having now been on both sides of the negotiating table in labor disputes.
“I get it. I was a player,” Jeter said. “I feel as though the players should fight for everything that they feel as though they should have. I’ll always support them in that case, but in this particular case, I think some things should’ve been done behind the scenes.”
The two sides never did reach an agreement on the number of games, and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred instead had to implement a 60-game season at full prorated pay.
The end result may cost the sport some fans.
“Once everyone understands we’re all on the same side, there is no winner,” Jeter said. “Ultimately, it’s the sport that’s going to suffer. I understand there’s going to be negotiations and people are going to have a difference of opinion, and that’s fine, but I just hope moving forward there is some trust built and we have some civil negotiations.”