Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Jeter, Rollins and Title Talk

By Jack Curry

Jimmy Rollins won a World Series ring with the Philadelphia Phillies last year. Derek Jeter has won four rings with the Yankees. Since they are teammates on the United States in the World Baseball Classic, Rollins decided to quiz his fellow shortstop.

“Well, I did ask him about defending a championship, and he gave me some advice that I could take back to the team and share with the guys,” Rollins said. “Other people will be trying to steal the formula.”

Jeter’s words for Rollins were undoubtedly innocent, but the notion that he offered advice about defending a title is the sort of harmless gesture that would have irritated George Steinbrenner in his heyday. The back-page headline may have been, “Boss to Captain: Zip Your Lip!” Jeter discussed his “advice” to Rollins in a playful manner.

“I told him everything wrong,” Jeter said. “Everything you’re not supposed to do, I told him. I told him don’t worry about winning, just try and put up stats.”

The always cautious Jeter made it clear that he and Rollins were rapping about what it took to remain a champion. It was nothing more than that.

“It really wasn’t like I was having a team meeting with the Phillies to try and pump them up and win again,” Jeter said.

Jeter, who is trying to help the Yankees win their first championship in nine years, then added, “I won’t tell them everything.”

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