Derek Jeter's pride could become a factor in decision after Yankees front office jabs
- 11-25-2010, 02:01 PM
Derek Jeter's pride could become a factor in decision after Yankees front office jabs
Whether you think Derek Jeter is being greedy or you think the Yankees are disrespecting the face of their franchise by publicly daring him to leave, the real fascination here is trying to imagine how the shortstop is reconciling all of this behind closed doors.
After all, Jeter hates having an issue like this become so public only slightly less than he hates swallowing his pride.
So while it's hard to see how Jeter has any leverage here, in terms of finding a team that would pay him anywhere near $15 million a year, it's also hard to see him backing down from his position that he clearly feels he deserves millions more than the Yankees are offering him.
In other words, he's in a tough spot. Personally, I don't understand why the Yankees seem to want to pick a fight in public with their revered captain, but in doing so they've backed Jeter into a corner.
He could take the high road, accept the deal and say that being a Yankee is more important than squeezing more money from a franchise that will have paid him some $250 million if you include this $45 million offer.
That would further cement Jeter's legacy as both an all-time Yankee and a do-the-right-thing superstar. However, after all these years you have to know that he can be as stubbornly prideful on matters such as this as any other player.
In fact, if you want to sum up Jeter, more off the ballfield than on it, anyway, you could go a long way with three p's - prideful, private and even a bit petty when he feels he has been wronged.
There was the time in 2003, after George Steinbrenner had criticized him for keeping late hours, when Jeter got mad at the Daily News for turning his own innocuous quote on the subject into a "Party On" back-page headline.
He retaliated weeks later by setting up an interview with the Associated Press when he finally was ready to respond to Steinbrenner's criticism - his way of punishing the New York media that had been glorifying him for years.
Indeed, for all of the praise he has received throughout his career, Jeter takes the smallest slights, perceived or otherwise, to heart. None other than his best friend, Jorge Posada, told me during Jeter's renaissance 2009 season that the shortstop was motivated by criticism of his defense.
"He looks for things to try and prove people wrong," Posada said.
Furthermore, teammates and other people in the Yankee organization have said over the years that, on a personal level, Jeter is non-trusting by nature and quick to cut ties with anyone whom he feels betrays him.
Alex Rodriguez, of course, remains the ultimate example. Jeter was stung so badly by A-Rod's comments in that infamous Esquire Magazine article in 2001, which essentially labeled the Yankee shortstop as more of a complementary player than a difference-maker, that he wouldn't forgive his once-close friend even when they became teammates.
Despite his role as captain and reputation as the quintessential team player, Jeter allowed his disdain for A-Rod to infect the Yankee clubhouse and create a negative vibe that perhaps contributed to A-Rod's postseason struggles and a string of early-round playoff exits.
Jeter finally seemed to let go of that old grudge over the last couple of years, to the point where he and A-Rod have become friendly again, and in retrospect you wonder if that had to happen for them to finally win a championship together.
It's relevant now only because you can imagine Jeter feeling similarly betrayed by Brian Cashman telling him to go shop himself on the open market.
His instinct is surely to turn his back on Cashman just as he did A-Rod, but it's not that easy this time. Jeter is smart enough to know how much being a Yankee is worth to his legacy, not to mention his good-guy image that has brought him millions of dollars in endorsements.
For that matter, he only has to look back to last winter when Johnny Damon's wounded pride over the idea of taking a paycut led to a shortsighted decision to leave a perfect situation with the Yankees.
Finally, Jeter has been so emphatic all these years in saying that nothing matters to him but winning, that if he were to actually leave the Yankees over money he would look hypocritical.
Of course, there is one perennial contender out there that always seems to be looking for a shortstop. Yes, Jeter could get the ultimate revenge by signing with the Red Sox for less money than the Yankees offered and justify it by citing that same burning desire to win.
Surely he's not that prideful. Is he?
Derek Jeter's pride could become a factor in decision after Yankees front office jabs at shortstop
- 11-25-2010, 03:44 PM
Jeter is a very good shortstop. Me being a RED-SOX fan hope he stays in NEW YORK. I do think that if he leaves he will only hurt himself. I for one cant pitcher him playing anywhere else. Over the years I have come to respect him and like him as a player. Unfortunately for him he is not worth the money he is looking for. I dont see him getting it anywhere and shore dont see him becoming a RED-SOX. My opinion is that the YANKEES need to sign him and he needs to sign with them. It will get done, right now he is just trying to get more money out of them and if that means him saying he will go else where then he will say that.
11-25-2010, 11:34 PM
11-25-2010, 11:43 PM
11-26-2010, 03:16 PM
11-28-2010, 10:53 AM
11-28-2010, 02:55 PM
12-04-2010, 05:56 PM
Derek Jeter is back where he belongs: with the Yankees.
The Yankees and their star shortstop came to terms on a three-year deal worth between $45-51 million, bringing an end to a month-long negotiation that saw more drama than many had predicted.
The deal, which won't become official until Jeter takes a physical, includes a complicated fourth-year vesting option for 2014, the terms of which will also determine the salaries for the first three years.
The two sides worked deep into the night on Friday and on Saturday to hammer out the deal, which will keep the captain in pinstripes through his 39th birthday.
Jeter finally lowered his demands to get a deal done, as the shortstop was initially seeking a five- or six-year deal worth $22-24 million annually.
The Yankees made an initial offer of three years and $45 million, believing it was more than fair for a 36-year-old shortstop coming off of the worst year of his career.
Although Jeter will be taking a pay cut of at least $2 million from his last contract, he did force the Yankees to increase their initial offer, which would have paid him $15 million for each of the next three seasons.
Jeter just completed a 10-year, $189 million contract that he signed before the 2001 season, making him a free agent for the first time in his Hall of Fame career. Although nobody believed Jeter would sign with another team, Hal Steinbrenner prophetically predicted on November 2 that the negotiations could become "messy," kicking off a back-and-forth between the Yankees and Jeter's camp.
The Yankees' three-year, $45 million offer was reported less than two weeks later, while word started leaking that the Yankees, concerned with Jeter's age and subpar 2010 season, were prepared to stand firm with that offer.
During the general managers meetings, team president Randy Levine stressed that Jeter's iconic status and value as the face of the franchise would not play a significant role in the negotiations.
"He's a baseball player," Levine said. "It's a player negotiation. Everything he is and who he is gets factored in. But this isn't a licensing deal or a commercial rights deal. He's a baseball player.
"But with that said, you can't take away from who he is. He brings a lot to the organization and we bring a lot to him.... Derek Jeter is a great Yankee, a great player. That said, now is a different negotiation than 10 years ago."
On Nov. 20, Jeter's agent, Casey Close, told the Daily News he found the Yankees' negotiating tactics "baffling," sending the Yankees into a frenzy. During the next two days, general manager Cashman invited Jeter to "test the market" to see what else was out there, believing that no other team would come close to the Yankees' standing offer.
"We're not encouraging him to leave the Yankees; we're encouraging him to stay," Cashman said on Nov. 22. "We have a lot to offer each other."
Things got uglier between the two sides when Cashman said the Yankees had "some concerns with his performance the last number of years and with his age," indicating that the team felt Jeter's 2010 season could be a sign of things to come.
Jeter posted MVP-type numbers in 2006, but he started trending downward in each of the following two seasons, his average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage all falling considerably in 2007 and '08.
Jeter had a renaissance in 2009 with a .334 average, .406 on-base % and .465 slugging %, but he followed that up with the worst offensive season of his career, setting new career-lows in all three categories.
Despite the war of words, no other suitors emerged, making it clear that Jeter's options were limited.
Jeter and Close met in Tampa on Tuesday, the same day that Brian Cashman was in town to meet with Hal Steinbrenner. Close reached out to Steinbrenner to set up an impromptu meeting, one which lasted four or five hours and set the wheels in motion for the deal to be completed.
With Jeter's deal done and the Yankees expected to finalize a two-year, $30 million pact with Mariano Rivera, Cashman heads to the winter meetings Monday without having to worry about the two icons, leaving him plenty of time to focus on Cliff Lee, the Yankees' top priority.
12-04-2010, 06:03 PM
You knew they would get it done, I think the media angle of it is a sign of things to come regarding the Yankees negotiating tactics though.
12-04-2010, 06:11 PM
Of course. It was a no brainer. The reality is he is 36, coming off of a less than stellar season, and is not as highly valued outside of the NYY.
It is likely a very lucrative vesting option that will run into his post playing career option as part of the organization staff.
I also believe that he is motivated (incentives) to prove them wrong about his performance potential and will likely exceed expectation simply because that is his style.
It's a win win for the storied, legendary, Hall of Fame bound Yankee Captain.
12-05-2010, 04:23 AM
Again I have a reason to like watching my team play the Yankees. Yes I am a BOSTON fan. Im also a sports fan and its no fun watching my team play a team that sucks or a team that has no one to look forward seeing. If JETA left who would I look forward to watching, Alex Rodriguez, I think not. C.C.SABS would be the only one, what if he doesnt pitch in the series.
People may say he was over payed but I think he got what he deserved. He is after all Mr. Yankee right. The best thing that team has had sense the hot-dog eating fat drunk SOX killer. Whats his name, oh ya Babe Ruth. <--JK about Mr. Ruth doesnt matter what he was but a damn good player.
12-05-2010, 01:56 PM
12-05-2010, 03:21 PM
Just threw the RUTH name in because I am a BOSTON boy and the hole "curse" thing(B.S.,was no curse they just couldnt get it done). Yes all the said names you talk about and a lot more have been good for YANKEE baseball. Not only saying there name as being good for YANKEES but all of Baseball itself. Like I have said I am a BASEBALL FAN even though I have a favorite team. Did I say my favorite N.L team is the BRAVES.
12-05-2010, 07:50 PM
In 1996, Jeter became the first rookie in 34 years to start at shortstop for the Yankees (since Tom Tresh in 1962), won Rookie of the Year honors, and hit .361 for the postseason. In 1998, he finished third in American League MVP balloting as the Yankees won their second World Series in three years. Banking on his popularity, in the off-season he made an appearance on "Seinfeld" with teammate Bernie Williams.
In 1999, Milwaukee Brewers manager Phil Garner said, "I thought A-Rod was way ahead of Jeter, that he (Alex Rodriguez) was always going to be a better all-around player. But now Jeter has come on and caught him."
Jeter's patience at the plate and quick bat have created a quandary for pitchers. "You can throw him inside as much as you want, and he can still fist the ball off," said veteran reliever Jesse Orosco.
A Kalamzoo, Michigan native, Jeter comes from the Lou Gehrig branch of the Yankees' family tree. Shy and protective of his image, Jeter is accessible to fans and the press but keeps away from the back pages of the tabloids. Just as Babe Ruth had passed the torch to Gehrig, and Gehrig passed it to Joe DiMaggio, and DiMag to Mantle, so too was the Yankee torch passed from Don Mattingly (who retired after the 1995 season) to Jeter. Jeter quickly ran with it — winning the Rookie of the Year Award behind a .314 average in 157 games. The Yankees responded with their first World Series title in 19 years. They have been winning ever since.
Jeter slumped to .291 in 1997, but improved his power numbers and stole 23 bases in 159 games. In 1998, the Yankees were back in the World Series as their shortstop banged out 203 hits — his first of three straight 200-hit seasons. Jeter hit .353 in the 1998 World Series sweep of the San Diego Padres.
In 1999, it was another four-game sweep, this time at the expense of the Braves. Jeter hit .353 again, and .375 overall in the post-season. The 1999 season was one of Jeter's finest, as he paced the league in hits, finished second in batting, second in OBP, second in runs scored and triples, and fourth in total bases. There was more of the same in 2000, as the Yankees won their third straight World Series title. Jeter was named MVP of the five-game Fall Classic win over the Mets, hitting .409 with two homers. For the first time, in 2000, Jeter suffered an injury, missing a few weeks of the regular season with elbow problems. He continued his post-season success by hitting in his 14th straight World Series game.
In 2001, the Yankees were a year older, which meant Jeter was a year closer to his prime. Surrounded by veterans, Jeter and double play partner Alfonso Soriano helped spark the Bombers to their fourth straight Fall Classic — just the fifth time that had occurred in baseball history. In the ALDS against Oakland, the Yanks were pushed to a fifth game for the second straight season. Jeter made one of the greatest defensive plays in post-season history in Game Four, ranging past the first base line to re-direct an errant throw from the outfield. Jeter shoveled the ball to Jorge Posada, who tagged out Jeremy Giambi at the plate. The amazing heads-up play helped the Yankees avoid elimination, and they eventually defeated Oakland.
In the 2001 World Series, Jeter was held without a hit in Game One, stopping his 14-game World Series hitting streak (the third highest in history). The Yankees rallied for two dramatic wins in New York, and in Game Five Jeter's home run helped the team win. The Yankees were stretched to seven games by the Diamondbacks and lost a heartbreaking seventh game — just the second time Jeter's Yanks had been eliminated in 16 post-season series. In the "Jeter-Era" (through the 2003 ALDS) the Yankees had posted an amazing 59-27 record in the post-season, and 19-7 in the World Series.
Through 2003, Jeter owned a .317 lifetime batting average with 1,546 hits, 127 homers, and 178 Rstolen bases. Jeter had hit safely in 74 of 86 post-season games through the 2003 AL DivisionS ereis win over Minnesota.
2004–present The beginning of the 2004 season saw Jeter mired in a slump; on May 25, he was hitting only .189. This included a personal career record 0-for-32 skid in April. In June, however, Jeter broke out of his slump. He hit nearly .400 for the month and set a personal best with 9 home runs. He finished the season with a .292 average and 23 home runs, the 2nd most of his career, as well as 44 doubles. The "Dive" was awarded Play Of The Year in the This Year In Baseball awards competition, as voted on by fans at MLB.com.
In 2005, Jeter was second in the AL in runs (122) and batting average on balls in play (.394), and third in the league in at bats (654) and hits (202). Jeter won his second consecutive Gold Glove in 2005, as his notoriously low range factor rose to 4.76 and ranked 2nd among AL shortstops.
In 2006, Jeter was second in the American league in batting average (.343) and runs scored (118), third in hits (214), stolen base success percentage (87.2), and batting average with runners in scoring position (.381), and fifth in infield hits (26). He finished second in Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player Award voting to Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins (320 points to 306 points). Jeter has finished in the top 10 in the MVP balloting 6 times in his 11 full seasons through 2006 (including also a third place finish in 1998).
In 2007, Jeter was third in the AL in hits (203), his sixth season and third consecutive season with 200 hits, tying Lou Gehrig. He was also fourth in at bats (639) and plate appearances (714), sixth in times on base (276), and ninth in batting average (.322). Before the injury, Jeter was hitting .324 with a .774 on-base plus slugging (OPS). After the injury, his batting average dipped as low as .269 by the end of the month. His offense took an upward turn after May as he hit .322 with a .824 OPS after June 1. Jeter was elected to his 2008 Major League Baseball All-Star Game as the starting shortstop.
Jeter tied Lou Gehrig for the most hits at Yankee Stadium (1923) (1,269) with a home run off Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price (baseball) on September 14, 2008. On September 16 he went on to break the record off of Chicago White Sox pitcher Gavin Floyd.
In 2009, Jeter was named #8 on the Sporting News' list of the 50 greatest current players in baseball by a panel of 100 baseball people, many of them members of the Baseball Hall of Fame and winners of major baseball awards.
For the 2009 season, Yankees Manager (baseball) Joe Girardi switched Jeter and Johnny Damon in the batting order, with Damon moving to second and Jeter becoming the leadoff hitter, based on the rationale that Jeter has a higher on base percentage than Damon, but grounds into double plays more often. Jeter batted .334 (third in the AL) with a .406 on-base percentage, 18 home runs, 30 stolen bases (caught only 5 times), 107 runs scored (in the top 10 in MLB) and 212 hits (second in MLB).
On August 16, 2009, against the Seattle Mariners, Jeter doubled down the right field line for his 2,675th hit as a shortstop, breaking Luis Aparicio's previous record for the most hits by a shortstop in major league history. Jeter became the all-time hits leader as a member of the Yankees (2,722), passing Lou Gehrig on September 11, 2009. The hit was a single off Baltimore Orioles pitcher Chris Tillman in the 3rd inning. Jeter's play earned him recognition as the shortstop selection on the All-Tournament Team.
Jeter was also the starting shortstop for Team USA in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. At the start of the tournament, Derek was named captain of Team USA by manager Davey Johnson. With Team USA, Jeter faced the Yankees at Steinbrenner Field in an exhibition game, the first time he played against the Yankees.
The 2010 season was statistically Jeter's worst in many respects. Jeter batted .270 with a .340 OBP and .370 SLG and an Adjusted OPS of 90, his first full season with an OPS+ below 100. However, Jeter did bat .342 in his last 79 at-bats after making adjustments to his swing. Following the season, Jeter won his fifth Gold Glove award.
12-05-2010, 10:52 PM
Shame on Yankees for dropping ball and insulting Derek Jeter during heated contract talksAfter a ton of posturing on both sides, Derek Jeter will remain a Yankee. His pride became a issue when the front office went public saying that things could get messy with the negotiations.
You can't say Derek Jeter is coming back to the Yankees, because he was never going anywhere. Jeter just goes back to shortstop next season, where he belongs, where he has been since 1996, when the winning started up again for the Yankees. The Yankees can claim some kind of victory here, because Jeter seems to be closer to the Yankee value on his services - their price - than his own. And they can proceed on the delusion that they won some kind of public relations war. They did not. They win for the same reason they always have, because Jeter is a Yankee.
In this world, in this economy, with this many Americans out of work, nobody was going to war so that Jeter, star New York Yankee, could continue to make the same kind of money he had always made. And he had made nearly $190 million over the past 10 years. But the idea that the Yankees had to make some kind of statement with Jeter - and they made some stupid ones over the last couple of weeks - was always as much of a joke as the one about the Yankees having a "budget."
The Yankees needed to find some cuts in the payroll so they can act as if signing Cliff Lee makes more financial sense than Social Security, if they sign Lee. They want to be able to sign Lee and say to the rest of baseball that they can add somebody like him and not go over the $213 million they spent on players last year. Or maybe it is an all-in number of $223 million, depending on whom you talk to in baseball. The Yankees are always miles ahead of the competition, but they don't want anybody to think they're the greedy ones.
They wanted it to look, in the more heated parts of this, as though Jeter was the greedy one. They were twitchy to get out there what they said Jeter wanted, were delighted to get in the papers that Jeter wanted $23 million or $24 million a year, whatever the Yankees said he was asking for. Not just delighted. Thrilled.
They thought it made them look good. But you know who has always made them look good? Jeter has.
It is Jeter who has honored all the ideas about the Yankees that the Yankees sell, constantly. It is Jeter, even more than the great Mariano Rivera, even more than Joe Torre did in the old days, before Torre's Yankees stopped winning the World Series, who has been the face of the brand they say they're trying to protect.
Now they think they protect that brand by giving him this kind of hard time, taking this kind of hard line. I talked to one respected baseball guy in the middle of this, watching this all play out, and asked if Jeter will ever forget the way this all played out, being told in public to go find a better offer if he thought he could.
There was a pause at the other end of the phone and then the guy said, "Never."
Say it again: Leverage only matters in something like this if you're prepared to use it. And the Yankees did, until they calmed down. The idea that Casey Close, Jeter's agent, is the one who escalated the war of words by calling the Yankees' strategy "baffling" wasn't something that reasonable people ever should have taken seriously. But others did. It was never supposed to matter that the only leaks on this, numbers and everything else, were coming from one side. The company in a company town.
"This isn't a licensing deal or a commercial rights deal," Yankees president Randy Levine said before Casey Close said a word to me. "(Jeter's) a baseball player."
There is this idea that if you even suggested that Jeter shouldn't take a pay cut at this stage of his career, after all he's meant to the Yankees, that somehow he mattered more than Rivera, or other old champions. It is a specious argument. In the whole grand scheme of things, maybe no winning Yankee has ever mattered more than Rivera. But the Yankees didn't ask Rivera to take a pay cut. Jeter, they did.
So he was supposed to want too much, at a time when the Yankees always pay too much, at a time when they charge too much for their high-end seats, at a time when they spent way more on their new stadium than they had to. This all happens, by the way, in the year when George Steinbrenner passed away, and because of the tax laws in this country, saved his family a fortune in estate taxes.
But they had to draw the line on Derek Jeter.
You always knew how this was going to end up. Maybe if it were five years ago, even three years ago, it would have been different. Maybe even if his contract had run out after he hit the .334 he did in 2009, with the 212 hits, with the Yankees winning another World Series. But it wasn't 2009, it was 2010, and he only hit .270 in 2010 and the Yankees didn't win the World Series.
So here we are, close to what the Yankees wanted to pay. The Yankees acting as if they had some moral high ground on this. As if they were making some kind of big, loud statement. About the quiet captain of the team who helped win them five World Series, who was as valuable a player as they had between 1996 and 2000 when they were as great as any Yankee team ever has been.
You can't be a better Yankee than Jeter has been. It is the Yankees who will someday wish they had done things better on this.
12-24-2010, 07:24 AM
I can't imagine Jeter playing for anyone but the Yanks. I'll be shocked if he ends up anywhere else. It's just not fathomable in my mind.
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