By RONALD BLUM, AP Sports Writer
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ Derek Jeter decided to retire after the upcoming season when he concluded “this is the right time.”
The New York Yankees captain held a news conference Wednesday, a week after making an announcement many of his teammates said shocked and saddened them.
“You can’t do this forever. I’d like to,” he said. “There’s some things I look forward to doing,”
On the day the team’s position players reported for spring training, Jeter spoke in the pavilion behind the third-base stands, where closer Mariano Rivera said last March that 2013 would be his final season.
The Steinbrenner family that owns the team sat in the front row, manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman in the second and what appeared to be the entire team in rows after that.
Jeter, wearing a blue Yankees pullover and speaking with his arm crossed on a table, wasn’t emotional and admitted he tried to mask his reactions throughout his career.
“We still have a season to play,” he said. “I have feelings. I’m not emotionally stunted.”
Jeter, who turns 40 in June, was limited to 17 games last season, hitting 190 with one homer and seven RBIs after breaking an ankle in the 2012 AL championship series opener.
“My ankle was back to 100 percent,” he said, thinking back to his aborted return last summer. “It’s just everything around my ankle wasn’t strong enough.”
He is a 13-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove shortstop who led the Yankees to World Series titles in 1996, `98, `99, `00 and `09. Jeter enters his 20th big league season with a .312 average, 256 homers and 1,261 RBIs.