Either the injected youth develop starting this summer into something notable — or they fail.
Jeter stood in the plaza above left field at Marlins Park, a day before going to spring training for the first time since he played, and said what owners always say and some, like Jeffrey Loria, can't hold themselves to.
"We're not going to deviate from the plan," he said.
He's made errors. Loud errors of presentation more than deed, if you study it. But they always make errors, all the new owners. H. Wayne Huizenga, who owned three South Florida teams, saw sports as business to the point he called a run "a transaction," and later said it took him years to understand running at team.
Dolphins owner Steve Ross went from the silly orange carpet and celebrity owners to dropping those so everyone could see he primarily cared about making the product better.
Jeter's prime error was not seeming to realize his voice matters in a way it never did as a player. Exhibit A was moving on from team ambassadors Tony Perez, Jack McKeon, Jeff Conine and Andre Dawson. First, it came out they were fired. Then, that order was rescinded but they were offered half their salaries. Then they were all out. It so odd and awkward.
What if Jeter had come out before this and said: "These are solid men who have my deep respect. But we just bought this team and need our people in these positions providing our message. I hope you can understand that."
Wouldn't everyone have understood? What if he dealt with all the issues stacking up this offseason in similar fashion?
Take the Stanton trade that started the latest procession of players to leave the Marlins. Jeter told Sports Illustrated last week his intention was to keep Stanton when he bought he team. So what changed?
"He didn't want to be a part of the organization," Jeter said. "He preferred to be moved. I think that's what changed. Obviously having a no-trade clause, it's entirely up to the player. Before we had the organization, we were planning on him being a part of it."
So if Stanton simply wanted to stay, he'd be here?
"If, if, if, if, if," Jeter said. "That was a story three months ago. We're moving on with the players we have."
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That's the story of the next three years. Can these trades work? Can these new Marlins build something?
That leads to a valid baseball question about Jeter's rebuild — or build, as he prefers to call it. Is Michael Hill, one of the few inherited pieces Jeter kept, the right guy to lead the Marlins' baseball recovery? Was his brilliance that stunted by Loria's ownership?
"He's been here for a long time," Jeter said. "We wanted to give Mike an opportunity to show he can do his job. Mike is someone who has been here 16 years, and no one knows this organization better than him.
"I can learn a great deal from Mike about the players that are here and how this organization is being run."
It's awful to start spring training with a cloud over a Marlins franchise that's purged of Loria. Now it's Jeter with the polluted air around him. He's made mistakes. He's learned patience. The question remains if he can clear the air enough to breathe in the coming season.