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Derek Jeter Considers Himself Less Mickey Mantle Than Jim Carrey

Derek Jeter

Look at those pipes! Sign us up for that gym! You know, so we can, uh, look at those pipes.Photo: Getty Images

The Yankees begin full-squad workouts tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean their focus has completely shifted back to baseball yet. Take Derek Jeter, who spent his off-season working on plans for a line of health clubs, the first of which will open this June near Madison Square Park. The Yankee captain says that not only will his name be on the front door, but he’ll often be inside working out. We caught up with him last week and asked whether he was afraid of this additional opportunity for fans to harass him for autographs. “Not at all,” the shortstop laughed. “The more you’re around, the more people get used to seeing you, and probably tired of seeing you.”

See, the way Jeter puts it, he’s enough of a New York staple that the locals more or less leave him alone. “You ever see that movie with Jim Carrey, The Truman Show? I sort of feel like that sometimes. I’ve grown up on television. I’ve sort of grown up with New Yorkers.” Of course, Jeter says it’s not hard to get back into the baseball mind-set. In fact, he basically has his season planned out. First, he wants to play in the All-Star Game, which this year is taking place at Yankee Stadium: “If I don’t make another All-Star team the rest of my career, this is one I’d like to make.” Then, he’ll say good-bye to the current stadium and keep things in perspective when he’s invariably lumped in with the likes of Ruth and Mantle as Yankees who shaped one of the ballpark’s best eras: “I think you get a chance to reflect on your career when it’s over with. When you start doing that while you’re playing, that’s when you get in trouble.” Then, lastly, come October, he hopes to take a page from the Giants’ book — a lesson he surely already knew: “The hottest team wins, so get hot in the playoffs.” —Joe DeLessio

Derek Jeter Considers Himself Less Mickey Mantle Than Jim Carrey