Saturday, November 27, 2010

Stupid Is Forever


Cloaked by the overused and abused press credo of "protecting sources" a reporter looking to stir up a stinking cesspool of vitriol can cite a source that may not be as close to a situation as he proclaims; he may not even exist at all.

The whole Derek Jeter story of "Jeter wants $150 million" was somewhat ridiculous from the start and led to an explosion of scrutiny on the increasingly negatively perceived "Captain Clutch". The blogosphere and social media platforms turned into a mill for snide comments and angry retorts to the idea that Jeter would go so over-the-top in his demands.

But you have to look at logic; at reality; at propriety.

Would Jeter be that stupid?

History has proven that as calculating and cautious as Jeter has been with his image, he's never, ever, ever been stupid. Did the Jeter camp ask for a 6-year, $150 million contract? Who knows? It never hurts to ask. As ridiculous as the sheer concept is, anyone can ask anything. Jon Heyman or Joel Sherman can ask for a date with Heidi Klum and then block her on Twitter when they realize she's neither blind nor deaf as she politely declines.

It never hurts to ask.

If you don't ask, you don't get.

That said, even had Jeter repeated his near-MVP 2009, he wasn't getting $150 million.

Getting beyond that story----a story that looks like a clumsy plant from someone----we're getting the postulations wondering if Jeter "could possibly" leave the Yankees. Might it happen? What then? Would the world stop spinning on its axis? How would we function?

Know this: Derek Jeter IS NOT LEAVING THE YANKEES!!!


We've gone over this before. He has nowhere to go. Even if the negotiations get more contentious, no other team is going to approach the amount of money the Yankees will; no team is going to pursue Jeter with any serious aspirations of getting him because they know he's not leaving the Yankees----if it leaked out that there was the hint of a chance of him bolting, the Yankees would make sure it didn't happen; and Jeter is not going to sully his Yankee legacy and aesthetic by ending his career as Babe Ruth did wearing a Boston Braves uniform.

It's not happening.

The sheep needs a herder.

Leaping into the chasm of reckless assumption, the Yankee fans and observers alike reverted to their "Captain DP" appellation of disrespect to the team leader by angrily suggesting he leave the club if he's so interested in emotionally blackmailing the Yankees into squeezing every single penny out of them in the interests of comparable compensation----especially in relation to Alex Rodriguez.

Both ends of this equation know a protracted negotiation and escalating war of words in the media is unnecessary. They're going to get this done before long----with an amount of money and face-saving concessions that are palatable to both sides----simply because they have no other choice.

Speaking of "choice", you can read the fools who speculate that Jeter could leave as if it's based in reality; of course, as my earlier comparison suggests, it's a theoretical possibility that Jeter could bolt; but think about it. Really think about it.

He's going nowhere.


  • Viewer Mail 11.27.2010:

The Brooklyn Trolley Blogger (Brooklyn Capo) writes RE Terry Francona/Terry Collins:

I'd only say Terry Francona was plugged into a ready made situation in Boston. That team was on the precipice. Collins is coming to a team in flux. But I can feel what you're saying.

That's exactly the point. Had Francona been hired to oversee a rebuild, it's possible he wouldn't have been the right man for the job.

The Red Sox were ready to win and needed someone to come in and create competence and stability; not someone to flip the place upside down; they didn't need someone to prototypically "teach" them to play the game correctly. The Mets are under a different mandate.

After the way they sat around pontificating about altering the way they slide into second base following Chase Utley's upending of Ruben Tejada late in the season, it was clear the Mets needed a Terry Collins to come in and declaratively say, "THIS is how the Mets are gonna play from now on!!!"

It's about what's required in the now. In 2004, Francona fit for the Red Sox; now, Collins fits for the Mets.

Mike Fierman writes RE Buck Showalter, the Yankees and me:

"Would the Yankees dynasty have happened without Buck Showalter? Highly unlikely."

if you are going to make such a ludicrous and outrageous statement you should at least back it up with a fact or two--even an opinion to support it. but no, you just say it and move on...
i demand a retraction or an explanation.

For the uninitiated, Mike is not attacking me. It's his subtle, deadpan sense of humor to start me off on a rant.

It's similar to the scene in Return of the Jedi when the bounty hunter demands an excessive payment for his quarry from Jabba the Hut (no relation to Joba the Chamberlain) and hammers home the point by activating a thermal detonator in case his conditions are not met.

Naturally, everyone started scrambling for cover in pure panic. Jabba pauses....then starts laughing. Impressed by the fearlessness and inventiveness of the bounty hunter, Jabba raises his offer, which was accepted.

This is how Mike and I communicate.

With that out of the way, he brings up a useful point.

How important was Showalter's contribution to the Yankees dynasty?

Aside from his anal retentive, stifling, somewhat paranoid style of trying to control everything in his world, Showalter's attention to detail and weeding out of players who were part of the problem and not the solution set the tone for the Joe Torre years and subsequent championships.

It's often been debated whether the Yankees would have had a similar run under Showalter. There's no easy answer; I'd say no. I'd say that Showalter had taken that team as far as he could and the remaining players had grown to feel claustrophobic under his rule and Torre was----in retrospect----the perfect replacement for them to take the next step. Torre was an old-school, veteran manager who wasn't going to tolerate nonsense, but wouldn't be in their faces all the time either.

It wasn't an isolated incident with Showalter; it happened with the Diamondbacks in that they grew stale dealing with all his rules of how they should wear their uniforms, among other things. Both the Yankees and Diamondbacks won World Series titles the year after Showalter was gone. It didn't happen with the Rangers, although they had success under Showalter. It could be that he's going to be allowed to see the rebuilding effort of the Orioles all the way through and will finally get his World Series chance rather than be the transitional manager who's going to raise them and let them fly for a different and more relaxed voice.

It's what Pat Riley has called "the innocent climb"; because he didn't get a ring in either case doesn't diminish Showalter's contribution to the cause.

This is what could happen with Terry Collins and the Mets. Getting the house in order for the next guy is nothing to be ashamed of; someone who has that ability will always have a job, if not the glory of the championship ring.

I was on with Sal at SportsFan Buzz on Wednesday 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.


She-Fan said...

Anybody who calls Jeter Captain DP should be stripped of their right to comment about anything! Bah, that gets me so mad. I agree with you that he's not going anywhere. The only - and I repeat ONLY - place he might have gone is to the Dodgers if Torre had still be the manager and the McCourts hadn't run the team into the ground.

Gabriel said...

For the average reporter, anything is good for a story. Columns in the tone of "Where Could Jeter Go?" are going to be read because people like gossip, people like to make opinions on what should anyone do. I could bet that every baseball reporter knows Jeter is staying with the Yankees, but writing anything that questions that truth brings traffic to the website. Reporters would write about their mom joining the Pirates on a slow news day.

On a separate note, what do you think about the Jays' bullpen? The top three relievers were offered arbitration but it's highly unlikely they'll accept it, so we'll see new bullpen faces...

mike fierman said...

good point jane- if Mr. Torre was still at the helm in LA that would at least have given Jeter an illusory bargaining chip.
I agree that even if jeter had a great 2009 Cashman would not have tendered a larger contract than the overly lavish 3/45, but Cash now has the vox populi on his side thanks to .270 and all the accompanying side dishes of bad numbers.

thank you for filling out the Showalter discussion, but i think i might stick with the conventional, if dull, party line that it was Stick Michael who built that team and set up the dynasty, not showalter

Joe said...

Michael Kay would have won 4 rings at the helm of those Yankees teams :)