By Chad Jennings
We’ve always known it would take a special kind of guy to replace Derek Jeter. Well, the Yankees are going to try to replace him with a knight.
During an introductory conference call this afternoon, Didi Gregorius explained that his Twitter accountrefers to him as “Sir” because he was actually knighted in 2011 following the Netherlands win in the IBAF World Cup.
“Some people actually call me Sir Didi and everything,” Gregorius said. “I don’t really mind if they just call me Didi.”
Well that’s good of him. Honestly, Gregorius seems to understand that, around Yankee Stadium, the title of The Captain carries more weight than the title of knight.
“Jeter is still Jeter,” Gregorius said. “Everything everybody is going to talk about is Jeter. But for me, I’m learning and there just to play the game, so just trying to focus on the game and trying to win every game, that’s what I can say. Not worrying about what’s going on around.”
Still just 24 years old, Gregorius is known for his defense, and the Yankees believe he can be a better offensive player than he’s shown the past two years in the big leagues hitting .241/.314/.368.
“Honestly, I need to improve on everything,” Gregorius said. “For me, I don’t want to lack in work thinking I know every. I honestly am working hard. People say your defense is really good, but I don’t think it’s really good. If I think, mentally, it’s really good, then I have to stop working on it, but for me, I’m still working on everything because everything, I continue to learn everything. Maybe it will come around and tell you something, and you keep that in your mind and it helps you take a groundball easier or whatever.”
Gregorius said he’s already started hitting back home in Curacao. In fact, he said he feels ready for spring training to start already. As for the way he’ll be treated — not as a knight, but as the replacement for legend — Gregorius said he’s not worried about it.
“Have to wait until I get there,” he said. “Then I’ll find out how (the fans) are going to treat me, but I have some good comments on Twitter saying, just be you, don’t worry about what other people are saying, blah, blah, blah, so I think they are supporting without even knowing how I play the game when I go over there. So I think I have the fans’ support.”