Zimmer, Longoria, Price, Maddon on Jeter retirement
Several Rays had kind words for Derek Jeter on Wednesday after the announcement that he plans to retire after this season. Jeter and the Yankees are scheduled to play at the Trop April 17-20, Aug. 15-17, Sept. 15-17.
From senior advissr Don Zimmer, a former Yankees coach:
"You can't say enough about this guy. Wouldn't know how to put it in words. He's the best. All-around, he's the best. Running, throwing, fielding, hitting, he's the best.''
(Were you surprised?) "Yes, and no. At the age of 40, I wasn't surprised. But what happens if he hits .295, .300 this year. But if he's calling it quits, I'm sure he means it. He's had enough. Twenty years, that's pretty good. And playing every day, every inning. There were times when he shouldn't have been playing, with a sore ankle or something. But that was Jeter.''
From Rays 3B Evan Longoria:
"Derek has been the benchmark for character and class in a baseball uniform. He has inspired a generation to play baseball the way it was meant to be played. It has been an honor to play against him. On a lighter note this means two things: no more clutch hits against the Rays AND, another pooling of funds to buy a Yankee a farewell gift! Cheers to him"
From Rays LHP David Price, who in 2011 gave up Jeter's 3,00th hit:
"Happy to be part of history with a player/person of his caliber!!''
From Rays manager Joe Maddon:
"They created the Hall of Fame for players like him. Never a doubt. Totally earned. He may be the first 100 percenter."