Thursday, February 25, 2010
Shocking news for Yankee Fans
Hold on to your seats Yankee fans… Derek Jeter called forth the media yesterday to address (for the one and only time) his contact situation and the possibility of him becoming a free agent at the end of the season.
As much of you should know, the Yankees do not hold new contract talks with its players, managers or even their GMs until their contracts run out. No exceptions. With Jeter at the end of his 10 year contract, the media swarmed around him to hear his views.
And SHOCKINGLY Jeter pretty much stated he had no desire to go or play anwhere else and pretty much refused to even state that he’d like to be the highest paid Yankee.
Crazy huh? A guy who has spent his entire career with one organization refusing to create negotiation leverage for himself. How quaint.
Listen, anyone who thinks that Jeter will start the 2011 season wearing anything but Yankee pinstripes (or Yankee grey) really needs to have his or her head checked. Jeter will turn 36 in June, and might be looking at a position change somewhere in the next two years but a location change? There’s more of a chance of Red Sox Nation and The Bleacher Creatures of Yankee Stadium joining together in mutual respect and admiration.
The Yankees might LOOK like they are playing hardball right now by refusing to talk contact with Jeter, but all they are doing is holding fast to their regular policy. It’s a company wide mandate that budges for no one.
However, the Yankees have no intention of letting Jeter go else hwere. It’s widely understood that he is not just one of the more storied Yankees… he is the FACE of the Yankees.
Jeter is a player who gives it his all. Sometimes he’s a little standoffish with the media, sometimes he’s a little aloof, and sometimes he comes across as a little too rigid, but the guy plays 110% for every play in every inning or every game. He’s been called over-rated and under-rated in the same breath. No matter what his numbers though, he’s on the short list of players that have nothing but respect from every single major league baseball player/manager/GM/scout there is.
Whether you agree with it or not, his name will be remembered as other Yankee greats like Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle, Berra and Jackson. Let the season end without a contract… because Jeter will never reach free agency.
He says he doesn’t care about the money… and you know what? I believe him. At this point, his legacy is more important. Finishing with the team that drafted him is more important. Oh, and the fact the guy is rich as hell and has a crapload of endorcement deals doesn’t hurt.
The Yankees will likely give Jeter a four year deal (in my estimation). After that? I don’t know the man’s aspirations, but I don't think an eventual role as Yankee manager would be out of the question.
So, breathe people… feel secure. Your Captain will be in his normal sport for quite some time to come.