Derek Jeter was a much-respected, some would even say beloved, figure while he was the starting shortstop for the New York Yankees. He even received a standing ovation at Fenway Park in his final game there in 2014.
But since leading the group that bought the Miami Marlins a couple of years ago, things have changed. And one of the first decisions he made may come back to haunt him when it comes time for him to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, which should happen next year.
When Jeter took over the Marlins in 2017, he fired former Marlins special assistants Andre Dawson, Tony Perez, Jeff Conine and Jack McKeon. He didn’t even handle it personally, he had then-team president David Samson, who was also fired by Jeter, be the one to fire the four men as his final act with the team.
Dawson and Perez are in the Hall of Fame and when Jeter is inducted, they may boycott the ceremony.
“I sincerely doubt [that I will attend] at this point,” Dawson told Bleacher Report over the weekend. “All indications are likely not. ... I can’t speak for Tony. But I don’t have a sense or feeling like I want to sit on that stage to hear what [Jeter] has to say.”
Perez said he hasn’t made a final decision yet, but that “It wasn’t nice, what happened at the end.”
After firing the players, the Marlins offered them their jobs back at significant salary cuts—from $85,000 to $25,000—and with the conditions that they were to stay out of the big league clubhouse and not dress in uniform as instructors during spring training. Because who would want Hall of Famers or people with longtime ties to the team hanging around all those young players and corrupting them with their baseball advice?
“It was ... a proposition to turn down so they could move forward,” Dawson said. “I would have had no problem at all with them just saying, ‘Look, we’re going in a different direction and it’s not going to look too positive going forward.’ And I can understand that. It’s just the way the whole thing was handled.”
We asked you “Which of the following Dodgers do you think deserve a spot in the Hall of Fame? You can vote for as many as you like: Steve Garvey, Orel Hershiser, Gil Hodges, Don Newcombe, Fernando Valenzuela, Maury Wills.” The results, after 11,166 ballots:
Gil Hodges, named on 96.9% of ballots; Maury Wills, 76.4%; Don Newcombe, 66.4%; Fernando Valenzuela, 51.6%; Orel Hershiser, 39.6%; Steve Garvey, 36.8%.
Your favorite sports moment
What is your favorite all-time L.A. sports moment? Click here to tell me what it is and why, and it could appear in a future Morning Briefing. And yes, if your favorite moment is about the Angels or Ducks or a team just outside of L.A., I’ll count that too.
Today’s moment comes from Mitchell Quaranta:
“I was 12 years old, and my Dad took me to the Dodgers-Expos game on July 22, 1970. The Dodgers were well back in the standings, and we were losing 10-4 in the seventh inning. I started whining about going home early and my Dad said, ‘You never leave a baseball game early. Anything can happen!’
“So we stayed. Dodgers loaded the bases, got a couple of hits to score three runs and with the bases loaded again, they bring in Tom Haller as a pinch-hitter. First pitch he blasts over center field wall for a grand slam (my first ever!), and the Dodgers lead 11-10. Von Joshua comes up next and proceeds to hit his first home run of his career for a 12-10 lead. Jim Brewer cleaned up the eighth and ninth for a Dodger victory. What a game, and what a lesson from my Dad, one which I never forgot!!”