I'm sad to see some of these guys retiring. I'm not far behind, but I'm glad to be able to do it —Peyton Manning
NEW YORK — Peyton Manning wanted to see Derek Jeter play in person one last time.
The Denver Broncos' star and brother Eli sat in Jeter's suite Sunday watching the New York Yankees and their captain lose 5-1 to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Peyton Manning was in town not only to see Jeter but to appear Monday on late-night TV with David Letterman, another star planning to step away soon.
"I'm sad to see some of these guys retiring. I'm not far behind, but I'm glad to be able to do it," Peyton Manning said. "I hope I know when the right time is. I know that was a hard decision for Derek. I know it'll be hard for me, but I can tell he's at peace with it and he's enjoying this season."
Eli Manning, a two-time Super Bowl MVP with the New York Giants, is recovering from left ankle surgery.
Jeter hosted the famous quarterbacks in his Yankee Stadium suite along the first base line. Before the game, Peyton Manning stood near the batting cage chatting with Jeter and Hall of Fame slugger Reggie Jackson.
"It's always good to see him," Jeter said. "We would have liked to have won."
After the fifth inning, the Manning brothers received a warm ovation when they were shown on the big video board in center field. They didn't get much of a show, though.
A slumping Jeter went 0 for 4 and stranded four runners. He was 4 for 30 (.133) on New York's 3-5 homestand and is hitless in his last 13 at-bats, dropping his average this season to .240.
Jeter said he met Peyton Manning years ago while they were endorsing the same sports drink.
"I've really appreciated Derek's friendship. He's supported me through my career, I try to do the same for him and it's been a unique friendship," Peyton Manning said. "It's nice to have somebody to kind of bounce some of those things off, just handling some of the things that come up. He does great work with his charities, so he's been a good mentor to me that way."
Peyton Manning said this was his only chance to attend one of Jeter's games before the NFL season starts.
"I just wanted to pay my respects and see him play for the last time," he said. "I wanted to see him play in person and get a good picture for my scrapbook. Derek's been to a number of Colts games through the years and has got an open invite to the Broncos games this fall after the Yankees finish their season."
Peyton Manning said he's been to about six or seven Yankees games to watch Jeter play.
"Indianapolis was a lot easier to get out here to New York. Been to a couple of playoff series games," he said. "It's always fun pulling for guys that you know, guys that you respect, and it's been kind of fun keeping up with his career and pulling for him.
"I can tell how much pride he takes in taking care of his body, and his cerebral approach to the game as well. He's a student of the game. Obviously he's kind of the field general out there on the field, and as a quarterback, I have great respect for that. He's been doing it so well for so long. ... He truly loves what he does. I appreciate guys who have passion for their jobs."