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Ibanez offers perspective on retiring Jeter

ANAHEIM -- Veteran Angels outfielder Raul Ibanez offered his perspective Sunday on Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who will visit Angel Stadium for his last regular-season appearance in a three-game series that starts Monday.

"I learned that he wills a lot of things to happen in the field," Ibanez said of their 2012 season as teammates in the Bronx. "And I learned that he's a great leader, in the clubhouse and on the field."

Ibanez, 41, also played against Jeter in the 2009 World Series while with the Phillies, and competed against the Yankees captain throughout their long careers, most of which Ibanez spent in the American League.

"I always knew he was a great player, and obviously a hard worker," Ibanez said. "His competitiveness is off the charts."

Their time together in 2012 enhanced all that appreciation, Ibanez said, and more.

"He's a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but also a first-ballot Hall of Fame person," Ibanez said. "I've played with a lot of great players. The greatest compliment I can give any player is to say that they're tremendous human beings. That's what he is. His parents did a great job with him.

"His leadership is incredible. He leads by example, but he's also one of those guys who not only always does the right thing, he can say the right things at the right time."

Earl Bloom is a contributor to
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