LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Derek Jeter has navigated an almost impossible path in his time as Yankees shortstop: The most public of people leading the most private of lives.
He has enjoyed humongous fame in the country's largest city at a time when interest in celebrity has never been higher. Yet Jeter has managed to essentially hide in plain sight. Sure, there is a tally of those starlet girlfriends, but in a blabby era none has come forward to have her 15 minutes of fame by telling all about the shortstop on Oprah’s coach or in the pages of a glossy weekly.
By the time he arrived, young but wise, Jeter had mastered the art of talking often and saying nothing. He was not Baskin Robbins. He has had just one flavor these past 15-plus years: vanilla.
Jeter has been a genius at controlling the message, crafting his reputation the way he desires mainly through the discipline to keep his inner circle small and his comments uncontroversial.
That is why Jeter was so annoyed at these contract extension negotiations with the Yankees — because the team refused to follow his script.