Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter says he will not attend Marlins series against the New York Yankees in the Bronx

MLB


MIAMI — The Miami Marlins opened a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night at Marlins Park. But it’s their next series that has CEO Derek Jeter atypically off his game.

The Marlins are set play a quick two-game series against the Yankees, Jeter’s former team, beginning Monday in the Bronx. Jeter says he will make the trip but will not attend either of the games, this despite being a fan-favorite over his illustrious 20-year career donning pinstripes.

“I went to a spring training game when we played New York, but it would be an awkward situation for me to actually go to Yankee Stadium,” Jeter said.

The last time Jeter stepped foot in Yankee Stadium he was having his number retired and his plaque adorned in the stadium’s famed Monument Park last May.

Jeter, who has always been economical with his words, was rather matter of fact when addressing his possible attendance.

“I’m just being honest with you guys, so that’s why I’m not going,” he said.

While many Yankees fans will lament the fact that their team’s former captain will not be attending that series, Jeter has his own attendance issues to deal with — as in the Marlins’ fan attendance and lack there of at Marlins Park.

The team posted abysmal attendance numbers this week, averaging 6,556 fans in a three-game series with the New York Mets.

It was its lowest reported totals since 2006, and the lowest since moving to Marlins Park in 2012.

However, reported attendance numbers by the Marlins have been suspect for years. Many games had a noticeably lower number of fans in the stands than the official attendance reported.

Having a more accurate count is something the new ownership group, led by Jeter, seeks.

“One of the qualities of running a first-class organization is honesty, and we have been and we will continue to run this organization, we’re going to be transparent and we’re going to be honest about it,” Jeter said. “And reporting paid attendance as the number of tickets sold is the way we’re going to report it. Our focus will continue to be increasing the turnstile numbers here at Marlins Park.”

Jeter is not happy with the low attendance numbers.

“We’re going to report tickets sold as our paid attendance,” he said. “I don’t want to get into what was done in the past, but that’s how we’re going to do it here. We’re not happy with it. We have to grow those numbers, but I think reporting it that way gives us an opportunity to show some growth over time.”

The Marlins are last in the majors in attendance at 12,641 a game and have the second-worst record in baseball entering Friday at 3-9. This weekend’s series with the Pirates could be another series of low attendance numbers.

“Our No. 1 focus is how we can win more games in this park, and winning more games is a part of it,” Jeter said. “We have to win some more games. I’ve heard people say, ‘Miami is a tough sports town.’ I think that’s every sports town. If you put a winning product on the field, then people will come. We have some exciting young players and hopefully we can get on a little streak starting tonight.”

The Marlins have struggled with a cast of new faces after stars Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich, and Dee Gordon were dealt in the offseason when Jeter took over.

“I like the grit and the fight the team is showing,” Jeter said. “We’ve been tied or had the lead in 10 of those 12 games. We’re developing a winning culture here. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time, but I like how the guys are at least going about their business. No one is happy with the results. If you go in the clubhouse, they’ll tell you the same thing, but it’s a long season.”

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.



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