MIAMI (WSVN) - Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter provided an update on the team before Wednesday’s first day of Spring Training.
Jeter was joined by Marlins president of business operations Chip Bowers. Both spoke on the state of the team and what to expect during the upcoming 2018-19 season.
“It’s really not something that I focus on. I mean I understand that there’s a lot of attention that’s being paid to me and our ownership group coming in here. You know, ultimately we wanna put players on the field that will go out there and perform, compete and handle themselves in a first-class manner,” said Jeter.
Jeter has been under scrutiny by fans for his trades of slugger Giancarlo Stanton and outfielders Christian Yelich and Marcel Ozuna. While others have expressed their doubt, the Marlins CEO said the trades were justified.
“It’s not a team that has won,” said Jeter, “so if you don’t win, you have to make changes. I think everyone understands that. It may be hard for them to grasp it, or it might be a tough pill to swallow at times, but the bottom line is what I’ve heard from our fan base is they want a team that has an opportunity to win year in and year out, not just one year.”
During the press conference, Jeter touched on in-season additions to Marlins Park, including a possible Jose Fernandez statue to commemorate his time with the team.
Bowers was in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors as their chief marketing officer before Jeter recruited him to the Marlins. In Miami, Bowers said he is looking forward to working alongside Jeter.
“Derek Jeter, a man with great integrity, who is about winning,” said Bowers. “The ownership I was very lucky to work with in Golden State are very much like the group here.”
Pitchers and catchers report to the first day of Spring Training on Wednesday, and Jeter hopes fans realize that he and the organization is ready to build something special in South Florida.
“We haven’t lost a game yet,” said Jeter. “0-0, I mean, everyone has projections and what they assume is gonna happen, but the bottom line is when you compete, you have an opportunity to win, and our players will compete.”
“Bottom line is every decision that we make is for the betterment of this organization,” said Jeter, “and popular or unpopular, you hope people understand that we’re trying to build something here that can be — we’ve mentioned it over and over and over — a sustainable, winning organization, and you know, it’s a process. It’s gonna take some patience.”
Jeter added that he will adapt some of his former traditions from his time with the Yankees for the Marlins.
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