It was a special moment for WFAN in New York over the past weekend. The first 24-hour sports radio station to ever come into existence in 1987 commemorated their special achievement with a programming schedule that was chock full of special guests. What better of a guest to help celebrate WFAN than a player who has become a dominating topic of discussion on the station for around 17 years? Derek Jeter. The captain checks in to talk about the current state of the New York Yankees, who are weathering through a plethora of tough injuries to their pitching staff and yet are still in first place in the AL East and battling for the best record in baseball. Derek Jeter joined WFAN in New York with Mike Francesa to discuss being named the No.1 sports personality over the last 25 years on WFAN, the New York Yankees weathering through the injuries of C.C. Sabathia and Andy Pettitte, his career flying by faster than he could have imagined, the awkwardness of Mariano Rivera not being around the Yankees this season and his memories of George Steinbrenner.
You are the fans No.1 sports personality for the last 25 years on WFAN. Congratulations for that. You and WFAN have been around New York for a long time and the Yankees have been the most successful team:
“Thank you. I appreciate it. We have been around for a long time and congratulations to you too. 25 years is quite an accomplishment. I don’t know if anyone would want to listen to me for 25 years.”
To have both lefties (C.C. Sabathia and Andy Pettitte) go down on the same day for a team that has been playing great. I don’t remember anything ever happening like that before?
“Yeah it’s a tough break for us, but you know if you think about it no one is going to feel sorry for us. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. You play 162 games. The best teams and the best organizations win and you are going to have to get contributions from a lot of different people, so these two guys went down along with Mariano Rivera and David Robertson was down for a little while. We need other guys to step up.”
Does it seem like your career is flying by faster than you would have thought?
“Without question. It is hard to believe that we are almost at the All-Star Break here. It seems like the games are just flying by, but when you think about 1996 is a long time ago and 1995 when I first came up. To be sitting here now in 2012 still playing here in New York? It’s been quite a ride so far.
Does it seem odd to not have Mariano Rivera around the team this year?
“It does. He pops in every once and awhile, but I think everyone is use to seeing Mo and when you have a guy that has been here that long. It’s the same as Jorge Posada. You had a guy here for that long that has had that type of contribution and all of a sudden they are gone it’s a little awkward at first.” In the 25 years of WFAN, which we are spending time on today the Yankees have gone to 7 World Series, won 5 of them and you have been a part of all of those.
The Yankees finish on top of all of our polls. When you think about George Steinbrenner what comes to mind?
“The boss. That’s the first thing that comes to mind. He expected us to go out and perform every single day. He was a tough owner. He was a tough owner, but we had the uttermost respect for him. He had the old football type mentality where he expected us to win every single day, which is hard to do on a 162-game schedule. He expected perfection. He expected accountability and it rubbed off on us as players.”