Derek Jeter’s surprise addition to FOX’s MLB coverage team was the big story coming out of the network’s marathon Super Bowl LVII pregame show. But it sounds like the Yankees great will be coming off the bench here and there, rather than leading the show.
Fox’s pregame is less about analysis and more about goofing around. Jeter is pretty good at the one-line jabs so he could fit it.
He will be teamed on the set with [Alex Rodriguez], David Ortiz, Frank Thomas and host Kevin Burkhardt. Jeter and Rodriguez were longtime frenemies during their playing days, but the ice has melted post-retirement.
Jeter is likely only going to be at big events, like the All-Star game, the playoffs and the World Series. It is doubtful you will see him working FS1’s pre-games.
That makes a lot more sense than Jeter becoming a FOX regular, which is how it was presented initially. He was a notoriously bland quote during his playing days, doing everything he could to avoid controversy. And while he has been more open since retiring, he has never suggested he wants to be a lightning rod. Plus television involves a good amount of time and work. It is lucrative, sure, and no one would confuse it with ditch-digging. But flying to Los Angeles every week to hang out with A-Rod would not seem to be something up Jeter’s alley. And apparently it will not be.
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We were always skeptical about Jeter doing media, just because it never seemed very Jeterian to us. But now that it has happened, the commitment and platform makes sense. Jeter gets to parachute into the big moments and does not need to put himself out there as much when it comes to analysis and opinions. And a guy of his stature was never going to start out on YES Network. Jeter earned the right to cut the line and go straight to the top.
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.