Derek Jeter hails Yankees as ‘best team in MLB,’ uplifts fan spirits

Former Yankees Derek Jeter
Amanda Paula
Saturday June 8, 2024

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Prior to the second game against the Dodgers, Derek Jeter declared the Yankees the best team in Major League Baseball. This declaration sparked a wave of reactions, with some fans believing the team will win the World Series. Jeter’s statement was confirmed by Alex Rodriguez, who said, “I think the New York Yankees are the best team.”

The Yankees’ duo Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez returned to Yankee Stadium on Saturday for Fox Sports’ national broadcast of the middle game in the highly anticipated three-game series. The former Yankees teammates were joined by ex-Red Sox rival David Ortiz and anchor Kevin Burkhardt, forming Fox’s MLB studio team.

Yankees fans react with passion and optimism

Former Yankees players Aaron Judge and Derek Jeter on Fox Sports for pregame coverage
US Weekly

Derek Jeter’s bold claim and Alex Rodriguez‘s endorsement sent ripples through the baseball community, energizing the Yankees‘ fan base and igniting debates across the league.

Reactions from Yankees fans have been passionate and varied. On, fans shared their excitement and optimism following Jeter and Rodriguez’s statements.

Mark DeCarlo humorously highlighted a moment between Jeter and Rodriguez, tweeting: “When A-Rod said Big Papi had a better chance of being in Monument Park than him I almost lost it. Jeter couldn’t keep a straight face either.” This lighthearted exchange underscores the camaraderie and competitive spirit that define the Yankees’ legacy.

Another fan expressed cautious optimism, recognizing that strategic decisions will be crucial for a successful season.

Fan Jay displayed unwavering confidence in the team’s potential, stating: “Dodgers might win the series but it won’t change the fact I know this team is better than them when Soto is in the lineup.”

His comment reflects the belief among fans that the Yankees have the talent and depth to outperform their rivals, even if they face setbacks along the way.

Reminiscing about playing days

Former players of the new york yankees: derek jeter and alex rodriguez

Before Saturday’s game, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez reminisced about their playing days, returning to their old positions on the left side of the Yankee Stadium infield and sharing favorite memories.

“For me, I’ve got to go back to 2009,” Rodriguez, 48, said on the Fox pregame show. “Game 6 [of the World Series] against the Phillies. Andy Pettitte on the mound, Mariano Rivera to close. That last out—a ground ball to Robinson Cano to Mark Teixeira—and Joe Buck’s famous call. I just raised my arms. I’d been waiting 34 years for that moment.” That victory marked Rodriguez’s only World Series championship. He hit 351 of his 696 career home runs during his 12 seasons with the Yankees.

Derek Jeter highlighted his first of five championships, won as a rookie in 1996. “That’s what you play for,” said Jeter, 49, who spent all 20 of his MLB seasons with the Yankees and ranks sixth in MLB history with 3,456 hits.

During the light-hearted segment, Derek Jeter, Rodriguez, and Ortiz joked around. Jeter recalled a 2006 pop fly that both he and Rodriguez missed, an infamous moment in their sometimes tense relationship as teammates. Jeter remarked that the drop “led to a lot of headlines.” Ortiz acted out his favorite Yankee Stadium memory by simulating a home run trot around third base.

“You shouldn’t be on this segment,” Rodriguez quipped to Ortiz. “You’re messing up the memories!” The quartet also visited Monument Park, where Jeter’s No. 2 was retired in 2017. There, Jeter and Rodriguez spoke about franchise greats like Rivera, Reggie Jackson, and Yogi Berra.

“When we were winning those championships early on, I used to tell Yogi, ‘You have 10 rings, but back in those days, you went straight to the World Series. With the playoffs now, you really only have about five rings,’” Jeter said. “Yogi turned to me and said, ‘Come to my house and count them any time.’ He humbled me real quick.”

Yankees and Dodgers Lead Their Leagues

Entering Saturday, the Yankees had the best record in the American League at 45-20, while the Dodgers led the National League West at 40-25. Both teams made significant additions last offseason, with the Yankees trading for Soto and the Dodgers signing Japanese superstars Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto. The Dodgers won Friday’s series opener, 2-1, in 11 innings, thanks to seven shutout frames from the 25-year-old Yamamoto.

The teams boast five former MVPs: Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton for the Yankees, and Ohtani, Mookie Betts, and Freddie Freeman for the Dodgers. The Yankees and Dodgers have met in the World Series 11 times, with the Yankees winning eight of those matchups. The Dodgers won the most recent one in 1981. This is the Dodgers’ first trip to Yankee Stadium since 2016.

Derek Jeter, who retired in 2014, was a partial owner and the CEO of the Miami Marlins from 2017-22. He joined the Fox Sports panel last year. Rodriguez played for the Yankees from 2004-16. Their presence on Saturday added more excitement to a series many see as a potential World Series preview. Apple TV+ carried Friday’s game nationally, while ESPN will broadcast Sunday night’s game.

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