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Sports Derek Jeter understands frustrations of 'unpopular' moves

09:51  08 february  2018
09:51  08 february  2018 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Derek Jeter wearing a suit and tie© (Getty Images) Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter knows why Marlins fans are angry.

The former Yankees star and current Marlins CEO told fans Wednesday to be patient because there is a "long-term strategic plan to make this organization sustainable over time."

"The only way to do that is to invest in our minor league system, player development and scouting," Jeter told a few hundred people who attended a 30-minute question-and-answer session at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Trustee Luncheon, via the Associated Press. "The only way you can be sustainable is you have to have a pipeline of players that are coming up through the organization.

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"From my initial press conference, I mentioned that there were going to be some unpopular decisions that are going to be made, but just know that every decision that we make is for the betterment of this organization. I played for 20-plus years and, trust me, when I was a player I didn't have a lot of patience. It was pretty simple. You either win or you lose. And it's the same thing now in an ownership position, is you win or you lose.

"And even though there have been some unpopular decisions, every decision we make is to make the Miami Marlins organization the best organization, a first-class organization, from the players to the front office to our fans," Jeter continued. "This is an organization that will be in envy of other major league franchises over time. I'm learning that you have to have some patience, because nobody wants it to happen sooner than I do, but we will have to have some patience. And what I mean by patience, that does not mean we will not be competitive. We will be competitive. Every single person that takes the field for this organization is going to be playing like they're playing to keep their job. That's the attitude I had when I played and that's the attitude everyone will have to have in the organization."

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Since taking over the Marlins last September, Jeter jettisoned several of Miami's best players. Last year's entire starting outfield of Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton are gone, as is second baseman Dee Gordon.

"I understand the frustration of a fan," Jeter said. "The bottom line the way I looked at it was, it's been a challenge for us getting people to the stadium for years. And from everything I have heard, the challenge is because there has not been a winning product on the field. So, if there is not a winning product on the field, you have to make a change.

"It's a team that has not been to the postseason since 2003 and hasn't had a winning record in years. And in my mind, that's unacceptable and it should be unacceptable for the fans. The only way for us to fix that is to make some changes. Like I said, I know it's unpopular."

Jeter knows he has to give fans a reason to come to the stadium and hopes young players like Lewis Brinson, a Florida native acquired from Milwaukee in the Yelich trade, can do that. While Jeter promised the Marlins could be competitive this season, he also recognizes the uphill climb facing the team in 2018. He said Miami's new expansion MLS team is in a better position to win sooner than the Marlins.

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"We are starting from a deeper hole than he is," Jeter said. "He is starting from scratch. We had some things that we need to fix."

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