Derek Jeter: The Captain Setting Himself Up To Look Bad

For years, Derek Jeter has been the prime example of a guy who does everything right. He gets to the ballpark early, works hard, gets along with teamates, respects opponents and umpires, and never says anything wrong to the media. Derek has always shyed away from controversy. Besides the 2002 controversy in which George Steinbrenner released a statement to the media questioning if Derek’s party life was affecting his play, and the 2001 esquire magazine article, in which Alex Rodriguez, who he was best friends with at the time, said, “When you go in to play the Yankees you fear guys like Bernie Williams and Paul O’neil you dont fear Derek [Jeter],” this guys image is squeeky clean. Jeter always sets himself up to look good.

Well, with these current contract talks, Jeter is putting himself in a bad spot. The Yankees by offering 3 years for $45 million, believe they are already paying overslot for the 37 year old shortstop. The Captain, on the other hand, believes he deserves more, not only because of talents, but also because of his aid to the Yankees brand. Derek is requesting a deal for at least one more year and about 4-5 million more per year.

No matter who you hear it from, the Yankees Hal Steinbrenner, or Derek Jeters agent, they both believe it is inevitable that the Captain does resign, yet why go through this big public negotiation that will both hurt feelings, and distract managment from improving the team. Derek Jeter who has already made over $200 million dollars from the Yankee organization alone, should have not only accepted the Yankees 3 year $45 million deal, but taken a pay cut. He should have as a Captain, realized he has enough money. For what reason does Derek Jeter need any more money? He doesnt, the reason he wants more money is because of pride. Derek Jeter is a man, filled with emotion, he is fueled by what people think of him. He both loves getting booed at Fenway Park, aswell as embraced as a God at Yankee Stadium. Yet, it should be the PRIDE OF THE YANKEES that overpowers that selfish view. He should realize that if he takes a pay cut, not the league minimum neccesarily, but even below $45 million, that will give the Yankees more money to pursue free agents Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford, as well as resign the best closer in baseball Mariano Rivera. For Jeter to try and squeeze every penny out of Hank and Hal Steinbrenner’s wallet, seems both stupid and petty.

Is it possible he has taken the Yankee stadium field
for the last time?
Negotiations have already looked ugly. Derek Jeter has not been treated liek the first ballot hall of famer he is. They have disrespected him in a way that Hal and Hanks father, George, would never have. Even General Manager Brian Cashman went as far to say, “we encourage him to test the market.” Randy Levine, the President of the Yankees, said, “we are not going to pay Derek for his previous accomplishments, or what he has brought to the Yankee brand, we pay him for his contributions to baseball operations.” The Yankee camp, needs to stop talking! They are putting Derek into an awkward situation in which he is being portrayed as greedy and selfish. They may be damaging relationships that can never be healed. We know from the Alex Rodriguez situation, that Derek is a man who holds grudges.

The two camps seem far from agreement, Derek Jeter’s agent released a statement saying they are, “Baffled by the Yankees negotiation strategy.” As it sits now the Yankees and Jeter are a year and $20 million dollars apart. One of the sides is going to have to break, and I doubt it will be the Yankees.

The Yankees can look around at the most productive shortstop last season, Hanley Ramirez who is making $11 million dollars next year, or another top shortstop, Troy Tulowitzki who is set to make $17 million next season. Jeter is nowhere close in statistics to either of those top shortstops. The Yankees do not have enough money to placate Jeters desires and pursure both top free agents Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford.

So, Yankee fans, would you rather make Jeter happy and lose out on one of these top talent free agents, or have a stud team next year with a grumpy shortstop?


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