TAMPA, Fla. -- Derek Jeter has a very simple explanation for deciding to retire at the end of this season.
"It's time," the New York Yankees shortstop said Wednesday. "You do this forever."
Jeter met with the media on Wednesday, the day Yankees position players reported to spring training, and spoke publicly about his decision to retire for the first time since posting the news on his Facebook page a week earlier.
In his typical understated manner, Jeter was not overly revealing about what led him to decide to call a career at age 40 -- all with the Yankees - and showed no emotion as answered questions for nearly 25 minutes.
"I always felt it would be time to retire when baseball became work," Jeter said. "Playing baseball is fun; not playing baseball is not fun. I didn't play much last season and that wasn't fun. That's when I started thinking that it was time to retire."
Jeter was limited to 17 games last season because of a variety of leg injuries, the biggest being breaking his left ankle for the second time in two seasons. He suffered the same injury in Game 1 of the 2012 American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers.
"I actually made the decision first a couple of months ago, but I talked it over my family and close friends and they said to wait a while and take the emotion out of it before making the final decision," Jeter said. "It didn't change my mind, though."
Jeter, 40, was quick to point out that he feels healthy coming into this season.
"There is nothing wrong with my ankle," Jeter said. "The problems I had last year after the ankle healed had to do with the rest of my leg not being strong and that caused the other problems with muscles strains. I've strengthened everything in the leg."
Jeter said part of the reason he is retiring is because when he wanted to pursue other interests outside of baseball. Though he said he would not say what those interests were -- "I don't think now is the time because I don't want it to be a distraction" -- he did admit to wanting to start a family.
"I have a young nephew and he's great," Jeter said. "I really want to have a family and I think it's tough to raise a family when you're a baseball player because it takes up so much of your time and there is so much travel. I admire the guys who are able to do this and raise a family, too."
If Jeter plays in only one game this season, he will set a Yankees record by playing in 20 different seasons. Closer Mariano Rivera, who retired at the end of last season, also played in 19 different seasons.
Jeter also holds the franchise record with 3,316 hits, the highest total among active players and ninth in major-league history. Perhaps most impressively, the Yankees have been eliminated from postseason contention in only one of Jeter's 2,602 regular-season games.
Asked what he thought when mentioned along with such Yankees legends as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle, Jeter just laughed.
"I don't think about it," he said. "People who think of that stuff are bored and don't have anything else to write. I'm still a player. We still have a season to play."