Reports of beef between Derek Jeter and Hall of Famers Andre Dawson and Tony Perez have been greatly exaggerated. Jeter told me on Friday that he and the two legends recently broke bread together here in Miami to discuss past issues.
The original conflict started in 2017, when the new Marlins ownership group discontinued the roles of both Perez and Dawson. It was part of a wider restructuring as the Marlins organization tried to lay down an entirely new foundation with Jeter in his role as CEO.
I spoke to Jeter on Friday, and he told me he was confused by the whole situation. However, he really appreciated the opportunity to sit down with Dawson and Perez to hash out what happened.
Jeter would not disclose intimate details of the private conversation, but he made it clear that he felt the situation had been resolved.
I texted with Dawson about the meeting. He told me, “Yes we had lunch, and I just expressed several displeasures and reiterated how there was no direct intentions but matters I addressed were for the Marlins group as a whole. Nothing personal. But, as a whole, you’re part of the group.”
The big question now becomes Jeter’s induction into the Hall of Fame. Last year, Jeter’s teammate Mariano Rivera became the first unanimous inductee. While Jeter is not a shoo-in to get 100% of the vote, he will be making the Hall.
Dawson, who previously had said he would not go, now says “I’ll contemplate.” That’s a sign of progress.
As for Jeter, he continues to display his trademarked humility, which he showed throughout his legendary career. The five-time World Series Champion would only tell me this about his expected Hall of Fame induction: “Let’s not go there quite yet.”
If Jeter’s lunch with Perez and Dawson was able to completely end hard feelings, it will be just another impressive double-play by the Marlins CEO.