Derek Jeter wired for in-game audio

Updated: July 9, 2011, 10:22 AM ET
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter was wired for sound during Thursday night's game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium and would have been miked up again Friday, had rain not washed away the second game of this four-game series and put a one-day hold on Jeter's pursuit of his 3,000th hit.

Capturing live in-game sound from Jeter is part of the process of filming the hour-long documentary "Derek Jeter 3K," which will air soon after Jeter accomplishes the milestone as a joint venture of MLB Productions and HBO Sports.

But anyone expecting to see a baseball version of "Hard Knocks" featuring an uncensored Rex Ryan, or "24/7," which turned boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. into a sort of foul-mouthed antihero, is bound to be disappointed.

"I have total editorial control," Jeter said told ESPNNewYork.com in the clubhouse Friday. "I can say anything I want."

And, if Jeter deems it necessary, cut it out of the finished product.

That level of control, rarely if ever granted to documentary subjects by HBO, is one of the key reasons why Jeter agreed to a rare peek inside his private world. Film crews have visited his new 30,000-square foot home in Davis Islands, a suburb of Tampa, Fla., interviewed his parents and his girlfriend, actress Minka Kelly, and will be literally inside his uniform during every at-bat.

But since the actual filming and editing is being handled by MLB Productions and Jeter has the final say on content, anything that is deemed unflattering by Jeter will end up on the cutting-room floor at the MLB Productions facilities in Secaucus, N.J.

Jeter wore the wire for the first time Thursday night -- a small wireless transmitter about the size of a cigarette pack that clips to the waistband of his uniform pants -- and said it did not bother him during the game.

"Once I got used to it, I didn't even know it was there," he said.

And despite a briefing to Jeter's teammates by a Yankees PR representative to mind their language around the captain while the cameras were rolling, Jeter said no objectionable words would make it onto the tape.

"I can talk about you all night if I want," he told a reporter, "And you'll never know about it."

Nor will any potentially damaging footage see the light of day. According to an industry source with knowledge of the agreement among the three parties -- MLB, HBO and Jeter -- all footage is to be immediately turned over to Major League Baseball. None of it will be edited by HBO, which essentially serves merely as the broadcast outlet for the special.

"This is not going to be 'The Sopranos,'" the source said. "And it's not going to be 'Rex Ryan Unfiltered.'"

It's going to be Derek Jeter as we've known him for the past 16 years -- no revelations, no surprises. And no swear words.

Wallace Matthews covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com.

Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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