New York is an unforgiving place. Derek Jeter knows that better than most.
The Yankees legend made a long-awaited returned to Yankee Stadium on Friday night. The organization honored him prior to the team’s game against the Rays for his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Jeter brought the house down during his speech; he drew roars from crowd. But there was one moment when Yankees fans weren’t so kind.
Jeter thanked Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner and his family, which elicited a mixed response from the Bronx faithful, light claps mixed with more than a few jeers.
Jeter, smooth as ever, let the crowd know how he felt about that response.
“You better cheer trust me”
Derek Jeter tells the Yankee Stadium crowd to stop booing Hal Steinbrenner pic.twitter.com/D0tN09p1KM
— Talkin’ Yanks (@TalkinYanks) September 9, 2022
Jeter then mentioned Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. That brought about a similarly frosty reaction.
Derek Jeter thanks Hal Steinbrenner and the Steinbrenner family. Fans boo.
“Let me tell you something, you’d better cheer, trust me.”
Boos for Brian Cashman too.
Jeter: “I see you guys are ready for the playoff push.”
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) September 9, 2022
Yankees brass hasn’t been all that visible of late. The team is 19-28 since the All-Star break, and with their division lead down to just 3.5 games the Bombers are in danger of blowing an AL East title that seemed all but inevitable as recently as a month ago.
After the game, Jeter detailed his view of the fans jeering members of the front office.
“Yankees fans expect excellence,” he said. “They’re never satisfied, which is a good thing. Yankees fans boo because they want to cheer.”
“Yankee fans boo because they want to cheer”
– Derek Jeter on Yankee fans booing Hal Steinbrenner during his speech tonight pic.twitter.com/9RhuQsIB8t
— Yankees Videos (@snyyankees) September 9, 2022
They had much to boo in New York’s 4-2 loss to second-place Tampa Bay, including left fielder Aaron Hicks. His dropped fly ball in the fourth inning (the play was scored a double) allowed what proved to be the winning run to score.
WHAT A GRAB BY AARON HICKS!! HEADS UP BASEBALL WITH THE SEASON ON THE LINE WOW! pic.twitter.com/4rizybrJAl
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) September 10, 2022
Hicks has three years plus a club option remaining on his seven-year, $70 million contract extension after this season.