Home News Derek Jeter will be as good as he wants as Fox MLB analyst

Derek Jeter will be as good as he wants as Fox MLB analyst

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It is not a question if Derek Jeter could be good as a Fox MLB studio analyst, it is will he be.

Jeter has all the pedigree you would want in a marquee analyst. It is not only that he is a first ballot Hall of Famer, a five-time World Series winner, a Yankee captain with Madison Avenue appeal, it is also that he was just a top Marlins executive meaning he should know the current game.

On Saturday, like the good ol’ days, next to his all-time frenemy, Alex Rodriguez, Jeter will make his Fox Sports analyst debut during the pregame from London prior to the Cardinals-Cubs game.

As a player, Jeter showed no inclination about wanting to be a broadcaster. He even said he didn’t watch baseball, which was always funny. 

But with his 49th birthday on Monday, the man who hired him, Fox Sports executive producer, Brad Zager, told The Post that Jeter is committed to his new role. 

“In this job, if I’ve learned one thing, you don’t want to beg somebody to do the job,” Zager said. “If you have to beg them to do it, then it probably means they don’t want to do it.

“If you’ve listened to what Derek has said recently and you talk to him, he’s at a different point in his life than he was when he was playing for the Yankees every day with a camera in front of face, being the captain of that team. When we sat down and talked, he now wants to do this. He’s at a point in his career where he wants to talk about baseball.”

Derek Jeter speaks to the crowd as the Yankees honor is induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame during Derek Jeter Day on Sept. 9, 2022.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Jeter will be on this Saturday, the All-Star Game and then featured during October; especially the World Series. He replaced Frank Thomas on Fox’s MLB studio set. It is not heavy lifting and will likely enhance the Jeter brand, leading to more commercials and opportunities. 

(To be clear, he doesn’t necessarily need to promote himself, but it helps to be on TV.)

When players become broadcasters, especially those who said as little as possible during their careers, like Jeter, the question that many ask is: Will he be critical?

That’s the wrong question for Jeter to succeed. Jeter does not need to be a cross between Chris Russo and Stephen A. Smith. He just needs to be insightful and fun.

The way the Fox show is structured will help him succeed. Kevin Burkhardt is a tremendous point guard, who helped make A-Rod’s career. David Ortiz is very natural on TV. Jeter can be quick on his feet and, probably will be especially so, when he cuts on A-Rod.

Alex Rodriguez working the World Baseball Classic for Fox.
Alex Rodriguez working the World Baseball Classic for Fox.
Getty Images

“We’re not asking Derek to carry the conversation,” Zager said. “We’re asking for Derek’s perspective on an already high-level baseball conversation. We loved our conversations with Alex, Kevin and Frank before. Adding Derek Jeter to the type of show we do, elevates it more”

Fox loves to add the biggest names. While Jeter did not receive a $375 million contract, like Tom Brady. Fox sought Rodriguez’s approval for the move, which may not be unusual when bringing in a new analyst to a team, but was noteworthy because of the A-Rod-Jeter history that Jeter went into during his ESPN documentary.

While Jeter will debut on Saturday and then be in Seattle for the All-Star Game on July 11, Fox got Jeter for October. Jeter brings glamour to the show. 

Burkhardt just called a Super Bowl. A-Rod was statistically a better player than Jeter. And Ortiz has displayed a personality that matches his Hall of Fame playing credentials. Fox already had a good thing going.

Come Saturday, though, Jeter will be on set. He will be the show’s biggest star. And he’ll be as good as he wants to be.

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