Derek Jeter is obviously best known for being the five-time World Series champion while playing shortstop for the New York Yankees.
But for a few years post-retirement, he was part-owner and CEO of the Miami Marlins.
Jeter had longed wanted to own a team after his playing career, and at the opportunity came in 2017 with the Marlins, but he parted ways with the club before the start of the 2022 season.
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The Hall of Famer tried to revitalize a team that continues to rank near the bottom in attendance and struggles to make the postseason (they made it once in Jeter’s tenue during the expanded postseason of 2020, which was their first appearance since 2003). But it didn’t work.
One of Jeter’s first orders of business was to fire the team president, David Samson, who told Front Office Sports that he received an alert of his firing from ESPN before Jeter had even contacted him.
Samson criticized Jeter’s front-office leadership and said that he’s a better spokesperson for Subway than a baseball executive.
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“Derek Jeter was the perfect person to buy a team because he didn’t use his money. And he had someone in the name of Bruce Sherman who let him do anything he wanted with absolutely no accountability. And if you can get that kind of job, you might as well go get it,” Samson said.
“He was able to bring in all his own people, and he thought that everything that I did was bad. So, he erased anything I had done, and figured he could do Costanza, which is opposite day. Anything I did, he did the opposite and assumed it would work. He assumed that he could get a bigger TV deal. He assumed he could get a big naming rights deal, that he’d get tons of season-ticket holders, that he would make the team a winning team. And after four years, I think he realized that being a shortstop and being an executive are two totally different things. … And I think he realized quickly that being a pitchman for Subway was probably going to be more up his alley than running the team every day and being accountable for that.”
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During Jeter’s time in Miami, the Marlins continued their usual ways. Since their first season in 1993, they have finished above .500 just six times (again, one of those was in 2020), and they’ve made the postseason just three times. Jeter underwent a full rebuild upon his purchase of the team by trading away Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich and J.T. Realmuto.
Miami is currently 10-9 on the young 2023 season.