- An underlying atmosphere of grumping:
The reaction to yesterday's posting regarding Derek Jeter vs the Yankees elicited a reaction that runs the gamut from a displ....well, never mind; let's just go straight to the mail.
Viewer Mail 11.25.2010 (gobble, gobble):
Jane Heller at Confessions of a She-Fan writes RE Derek Jeter:
Jeter's not the one who's been talking. His agent made one comment about the "baffling" negotiations strategy, which felt to Close like an arbitration hearing. And I agree. While it's true that $45 million isn't peanuts, for the Yankees to look at this strictly in terms of numbers (STATS) is just silly. Jeter doesn't want to play forever. Give him another year and some company stock and everyone will be happy.
I think you're a little too close to this to look at it objectively, Jane.
Do you really believe that Jeter is sitting behind the scenes quietly with his hands folded in his lap like a good little boy at church?
He's in complete command of what's going on; what his people say and don't say; how the propaganda is presented. If they were looking at it in terms of stats, the offer would be about half what it is. To me, they're accounting for his meaning to the team and services rendered to a remarkably expensive degree; for the Jeter camp to act offended by an offer that Jeter wouldn't approach anywhere else; and is more than fair, is out of line from an objective outsider's point-of-view.
This is an important factor in terms of my analysis of the negotiations. As a baseball fan, I've always had the greatest respect for Jeter while knowing that he's not the neat package he's supposed to be; I don't want to see him go through a muddy and damaging (to both sides) series of contretemps with the club; nor do I want to see Derek Jeter wearing another uniform.
It's not good for his aesthetic to be have this; that's why I think a deal will be quietly struck in the next week; a deal that's agreeable to everyone.
Jeff (Street Boss) at Red State Blue State writes RE Derek Jeter and me:
I think you could write a book -- a deep, psychological profile -- about Derek Jeter.
Then you should call it:
"Grayness in the Jeter Vacuum"
Some factions would dismiss me as a deranged crank; others would take it seriously; Jeter's people would try to muzzle me; we'd have a war on our hands.
There are times when the words control me, not the other way 'round; and sometimes it works.
Sometimes it works.
RRothfeldt writes RE Derek Jeter and me:
You can try to make Jeter out to be the bad guy here, but...
As much as the Yankees made Jeter, Jeter made the Yankees for the past 15 years. No Jeter, no House that George Built, No YES, no Adidas contract. With Jeter the Yankees are a billion dollar franchise. Without him, they're still worth a ton...but not that magical 10 digit kingdom.
Time for the Steinbrenners to stop being greedy and admit that for all of their machinations, Jeter puts fannies in the seats more than any Yankee since Mantle. Pay him for that, as well as his performance.
There's a major difference between making him out to be the "bad guy" and refusing to partake in his myth. I have no horse in this race. As I said to Jane, I'd be disappointed if Jeter were in any uniform other than Yankee pinstripes.
You're taking some liberties with Jeter's contributions to the Yankees success since 1996. Much like the Joe Torre factor; the luck they had with keeping Bernie Williams rather than signing Albert Belle; the Scott Brosius trade; having Mariano Rivera seamlessly slide into the closing duties----there are dozens, if not hundreds of factors that led to the Yankees dynasty.
Doling all the credit to Jeter----as valuable as he was----is a bit much. I don't think the Steinbrenners are being greedy here; they're being very reasonable as they overpay for a player who, quite frankly is a byproduct of a circular entity feeding on itself; they'll be paying for the carcass by the end of the contract.
When does it become self-defeating to pay for intangibles as the star player's skills decline.
Another way to look at it, as Jeter and his reps appear to be doing, is in the Alex Rodriguez context. Because A-Rod received an overtly stupid, panicky and reactionary contract and will be getting an absurd sum of money long after his usefulness has been rung out like a smelly sponge, are they supposed to compound this mistake to placate Jeter?
The Jeter camp would like to subtly connect the two as if to imply because Jeter was with the club throughout the late 90s and is an iconic Yankee player, he should be compensated similarly to A-Rod; but it was Hank Steinbrenner who overruled Cashman to make that deal; had Cashman been allowed to do as he wanted, A-Rod would no longer be a Yankee; they're not and shouldn't be connected much more than a tiny portion of the decision.
The days of fans going to ballpark specifically to see Jeter are dwindling. Yes, they'll go to see him approach 3000 hits, but after that?
I'm not buying it. They're not being greedy; if anything, Jeter's people are being greedy and somewhat petty.
Matt writes RE Brian Cashman:
I like how you describe Cashman's quote as a shrug. Both parties know this is nothing more than a game of chicken, only this time Cashman's driving a freight-train.
I'm getting the legit frustration vibe from Cashman. The Yankees know Jeter's not going to approach the amount of money and outside sources of income he'll get with the Yankees; what's worse for Jeter is that no other team is going to waste their time/energy courting him knowing that his return to the Yankees is an Ivory Soap purity percentage (99 44/100%). Nobody wants to be used.
He's not leaving the Yankees.
The Yankees have not disrespected him; they're going above-and-beyond with the money they've offered; Cashman's proven he doesn't care what people think about him and the tide is turning slightly in the Yankees favor.
Jeter's very conscious of his perception; I'm sure he's assembled his inner-circle and told them to get this thing done by next week. It's probably being discussed with the Yankees now.
The Brooklyn Trolley Blogger (Brooklyn Capo) writes RE Brian Cashman:
Cashman Corleone (as Wally Matthews referred to him in a Tweet to me); He's turned into a stone cold GM. I don't see where either side did anything wrong yet.
And today on Michael Kay's show it was said the parties are $50 to $100 million apart in the negotiations. If that is true, that's an astonishing number to be off by. And if it is true, then Jeter and his camp are out of their minds. I don't fault them for trying. In a way you can place blame on the Yankees' history on wantonly spending on other team's players and stepping on the tail of their own. It's an interesting dynamic and an odd time and person to draw lines in the sand with. I do think Jeter's camp needs to be more sensible though. The ARod contract is as viable a chip for Jeter as any he might think he has.
If Jeter's asking for $140 million in this economy, as far as I'm concerned, he's a combination of a C.H.U.D., Quasimodo and Frankenstein and should be run out of town by angry crowds carrying torches and truncheons.
I don't think they're drawing any lines in the sand; it sounds like they've got a number they're not going past and are making concessions to Jeter being Jeter. The A-Rod contract is folded into that.
NapLajoieonSteroids writes RE me:
You are playing up the melodrama as if you were writing a soap opera [As the Bronx Burns?] Like any top athlete, Jeter wouldn't be Jeter if he didn't think he was worth an infinite amount. That's why these guys usually have to be forced to leave because they never acknowledge that their time is up. Jeter wants his money and years because Jeter still thinks he's worth the money and years. The Yankees (and us normal people) don't; it is just going to take time to work something out.
As for his sainthood- anyone with half a brain has always seen that Jeter isn't a saint but a man who holds grudges real well. That A-Rod contract is probably what is holding up negotiations, because Jeter will always resent A-Rod for saying anything.
But I say, "Big Deal!" these are minor issues that are getting blown out of proportion because of the players involved. Every time Cashman sneezes, the NY press has another Jeter article to sell papers. In the end, no one is going to look foolish on this; Jeter will be back with a nice paycheck and the Steinbrenners will gladly be ready to sell "Mr.November/Mr.3000" t-shirts...I'm sure they even have his plaque ready.
None of this is a big deal and this article is Joel Sherman-esque filler.
Come'on Mr.Prince! Write something daring, like how the Pirates will turn around their operation or if the Cardinals will be able to keep Albert Pujols. Better yet, stick to beating baseball mathematics with a baseball bat and keep up the good work.
The "Jeter as saint" assertion might have been more dismissible had there not been the ridiculous reaction to the hit-by-pitch controversy vs the Rays. Many, many people are holding Jeter up as a bastion for honor and fair play.
Because we know that it's a farce doesn't mean that everyone knows it.
With Jeter and A-Rod, their relationship seems okay now. Bygones are bygones and business is business. A-Rod would applaud Jeter using the contract he got to spur any extra penny Jeter could get.
Now, as to the last bit...
I was about to make a, "hmmm, debatable" statement of agreeing to disagree about my "King Lear is a bunch of English words put in order" display of metaphors/storytelling skill.
Then I read the words, "Joel Sherman-esque filler".
No, no, no, no, no....
A regular reader of mine comparing me to Joel Sherman?
Sherman is weak and arrogant---blocking people on Twitter and providing absurd self-justifications.
His convictions are based on convenience and the need for a fresh column; they're presented without my principles and steadfastness; nor does he have my poetic deftness with the language.
His is forced; mine is flow.
Bottom line and regardless of how this sounds, he's a far inferior writer. Period.
His feeble skills are no match for the power of the Dark Side...
Saying the Pirates are going to turn things around would be more delusional than daring, I'm afraid.
- Plan of attack for tomorrow:
I've yet to get into the Mets hiring of Terry Collins and will do so tomorrow with an interesting take and comparison. Plus I'm hoping there will be some responses to the Jeter stuff; and there's Victor Martinez; Zach Duke and other important occurrences.
One thing to keep an eye on is the Angels penchant for making powerful statements with a big maneuver around Thanksgiving time. It's happened again and again.SportsFan Buzz yesterday talking about the Hot Stove; the Mets; Derek Jeter; post-season award winners; and other stuff. You can click on the link here directly or here for Sal's site to listen on I-Tunes.