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Even the Yankees were caught off-guard by Derek Jeter’s retirement plans announcement

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To be somewhat surprised by Derek Jeter’s announcement on Facebook on Wednesday that he intends to retire at the conclusion of the 2014 season is a fair and reasonable reaction. And yet, it had to happen sooner or later and the fact that the longtime New York Yankees shortstop had a 2013 campaign marred by injuries — he only appeared in 17 games with the Bronx Bombers — made it reasonably clear that after 19 seasons, it may be time to put an end to his Hall of Fame career. On his terms.

While the announcement in of itself was arguably surprising, the timing of it certainly caught a lot of folks off-guard, even some of the Yankees brass.

According to a New York Daily News report, only Hal Steinbrenner was made aware of Jeter’s impending announcement on Facebook before the rest of the world.

Steinbrenner reports he was notified by Jeter when the Captain gave him a call on Wednesday morning.

“Derek called me this morning to tell me that he planned to retire following the season,” Steinbrenner told the Daily News. “In our conversation, I told him that I respected his decision because I know he put a lot of thought into it. I also let him know that I thought it was great that he was letting fans know now so they will have a chance to say goodbye to him.”

But the rest of the Yankees? They learned like the rest of us: By reading his 15-paragraph, heartfelt announcement on social media.

Yankees President Randy Levine reports: “We found out about it the same way you did.”

Given the tremendous amount of success Jeter had a more-than-integral role in helping the Yankees achieve over his brilliant career, making the announcement on his terms without consulting with the team probably is — or should be — fine by them.

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