Apr
25

Redefining Derek Jeter

By

By most accounts, Derek Jeter is not having a great 2011. Sitting just 55 hits away from 3000, the Yankee captain is hitting just .257 in the early going with an on-base percentage of just .317 and a .284 slugging clip. Prior to his four-hit day yesterday chock full of dribblers to third, those numbers were worse, and after a similarly subpar season from Jeter last year, Yankee fans have been trying to come to terms with Derek Jeter.

The grumbling started in 2010 when Jeter, homerless in over 200 plate appearances now, posted numbers well below his career averages. His triple slash line of. 270/.340/.370 made him a decent short stop, but it was a far cry from the .314/.384/.451 days of yore. As age is creeping up on him, his fielding suffered as well, and with free agency looming, the Yankees were either going to overpay or engage in acrimonious negotiations with the captain. Somehow, they managed to do both.

With Jeter’s decline — inevitable due to age, as many believe — a fanbase that has long worshipped him has struggled. Derek Jeter has long been the True Yankee™ in the most cliched sense of the word. He came up through the system, and the Yankees started to win with Jeter. He has outlasted dynasties, managers and even the team’s owner, and at one point in his career, could have been on pace to break Pete Rose’s hit record. He wasn’t supposed to age, slow down or become anything less than a perfect celebrity.

Somewhere along the way though, cracks in the Jeter façade started to show. He had a public falling out with A-Rod a decade ago and never embraced the third baseman when he came to New York. He often spoke at length with reporters while saying nothing, and his leadership as the captain came more from his behind-the-scenes words, if at all, than from his on-field actions. Fist pumps can take a team only so far.

The Jeter persona, largely driven by the New York media, has recently been subjected to a certain level of skepticism from that media, and Jeter’s tough year is going to get a little more trying over the next few weeks. Ian O’Connor — yes, that Ian O’Connor — has penned a biography of the Captain entitled The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter. From the press materials, the book will be a pretty straightforward account of Jeter’s life and career, but the early excerpts leaked to the tabloids and posted on ESPN New York contain the juicy stuff.

Yesterday’s edition of The Post had O’Connor’s book splashed across the front page. Why? Because it detailed the rift between A-Rod and Jeter. This story is an old one. We know how Jeter and A-Rod had a falling out over a 2000 magazine interview. We know that Jeter didn’t love the idea of A-Rod’s coming to New York and how the Yankees had to pressure Jeter into accepting A-Rod’s presence on the team. We know Jeter didn’t stand up for A-Rod as the slugger faced questions about drug use. That story might sell papers, but it’s hardly breaking news.

The part of the book available now that sheds more light on Jeter though concerns his relationship with Cashman. In a piece on ESPN New York with no byline, the worldwide leader’s local site sheds more light on Derek’s contract negotiations. No one comes off as altruistic, and we see a side of Jeter — the side that built St. Jetersburg — most do not like to admit exists. I’ll excerpt:

The book, “The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter,” details a Nov. 30 sit-down in which Jeter, his agent Casey Close and Creative Artists Agency attorney Terry Prince met with Cashman, team president Randy Levine and co-owner Hal Steinbrenner to iron out their differences. The Tampa summit lasted four hours, but Jeter stayed for only the first 45 minutes, telling his employers — especially Cashman — how angry he was that they had made details of the negotiations public. When Jeter got up to leave the room, Cashman asked the shortstop to sit back down and hear him out. “You said all you wanted was what was fair,” the GM told the shortstop. “How much higher do we have to be than the highest offer for it to be fair?”

Jeter, who had no other offers in his first pass at free agency, ultimately signed a three-year, $51 million guaranteed deal plus an option year and incentive bonuses. But the negotiations were often difficult. When Close told Daily News columnist Mike Lupica that the Yankees’ negotiating stance was “baffling,” Hal Steinbrenner gave Cashman the green light to take the fight to Jeter and Close in the media. The quote that would anger Jeter the most was the one Cashman gave to ESPNNewYork.com’s Wallace Matthews, who quoted the GM saying that Jeter should test the market to “see if there’s something he would prefer other than this.”

Levine met with Jeter in the shortstop’s Trump World Tower home the day before the contract would be finalized. According to the book, Jeter told Levine he needed more money added to the proposed performance bonuses in the Yankees’ offer, bonuses tied to awards such as league MVP, World Series or League Championship Series MVP, Silver Slugger and Gold Glove. Jeter spent a couple of hours making an impassioned plea to Levine, who was playing the good cop to Cashman’s bad cop. Levine was so taken by Jeter’s arguments that one official estimated the shortstop earned an extra $4-5 million in that meeting before signing the following afternoon in a suite at the Regency.

In another excerpt, O’Connor recounts Cashman’s attempts at convincing Jeter to improve his fileding. The Yanks’ GM assumed that Joe Torre had told Jeter to work on his range, but when Cashman confronted Jeter, the short stop said no conversation happened. Jeter, though, was more than willing to do as Cashman asked then, and in this excerpt, we see how Joe Torre seemingly protected his own guys, another theme that isn’t exactly new but didn’t garner much press at the time.

Ultimately, O’Connor’s book is one more piece of the Jeter puzzle. As William at The Captain’s Blog notes, no small amount of media-driven hypocrisy surrounds the book, and fans who do not want to hear about Jeter’s blemishes will just ignore it. But in a way, Jeter becomes less of a lofty saint and more of a great baseball player, flaws and all. He’ll join numerous Yankee greats — including Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle — in that category. After all, who among us wouldn’t be filled with hubris if we were in Derek Jeter’s shoes?

Categories : Musings

83 Comments»

  1. Yankee1010 says:

    Randy Levine – um, maybe he should stay out of these dealings.

  2. Rick in Boston says:

    At what point is Hal going to take Randy for a ride in his rowboat and come back by himself?

  3. ND Mike says:

    I personally love the guy. I no longer expect him to be the MVP candidate at shortstop but I see him as a good person, great person and a roll model for my kids.

    I cannot envision a Yankees team or a baseball season without him. I also think that when he’s gone Yankees and baseball fans will realize what type of player he was.

  4. Mike Axisa says:

    Jeter has every right to try and milk as much money out of the Yankees as possible. The petty stuff with A-Rod though, he comes out looking like a prick. Hell hath no fury like a Derek scorned.

    • bexarama says:

      I think he was extremely petty, but people said he didn’t have a right to be angry because what A-Rod said was true. That’s BS. Just because something’s true doesn’t mean you say it to the media when the person you’re talking about is your very good friend. A-Rod being terrible with the media is a reason, but not an excuse. Derek was right to be pissed, but not to act stupid about it for years. (And full disclaimer, I like A-Rod a lot more than I like Derek, just personally.)

      I admit I’m kinda fascinated by this whole thing, even if it’s silly and very “tell me something I didn’t know.” And of course, when Derek goes on a nice little hot streak, we can all look forward to O’Connor destroying the copies of this book.

      • Guest says:

        Totally agreed.

        Regardless of the truth of A-Rod’s comments, he should not have said them. It was wrong. It was wrong to say that about a friend.

        But according to the Post piece, A-Rod knew that. And he knew it right away. He tried to apologize apparently immediately and for an extended period of time after that.

        Jeter had the right to be upset, even after the apology, but he took it waaaay beyond what was warranted (especially in light of the apology).

        A-Rod’s comment was bad. Jeter’s reaction was worse. Way worse.

        BTW, the totality of what we have seen about Jeter leads me to believe he is a very good guy. But he let his pride carry him too far in his dealings with with A-Rod and his new contract. (But as Ben said, it would take a pretty special human being to not act the same way if they were known by millions as simply “The Captain” of America’s most famous sports franchise).

    • Mattpat11 says:

      I have a hard time blaming someone for not just turning the other cheek when a friend embarrasses him like that.

      • Guest says:

        Turning the other cheek implies the wrong doer will seek to continue the wrong act and you will just let them.

        It’s a different story (or should be anyway) when the wrong-doer realizes he was wrong before you even say anything to them, tries to make amends, and you hold a grudge for nearly a decade. (Especially when you hold that grudge to the detriment of your team when you supposedly care about winning above all else).

        • JohnnyC says:

          Oh good, now we’ve gone from blaming ARod for all the playoff failures from 2004-2007 to blaming Jeter. I guess the other 23 players and coaches and the manager weren’t too crucial to losing in the first round.

          • Guest says:

            I am not blaming Jeter for all of the 2004-2007 playoff failures on Jeter. (I don’t think I said that anywhere in my post).

            I do think his grudge was detrimental for two reasons: (1) It prevented Jeter from even thinking about moving off of SS, when it was clear to anyone who knew anything about baseball that A-Rod was the better defensive SS.

            (2) I am not a big believer in chemistry impacting the outcome of baseball games. Heck, the late 70′s Yankees hated each other. But the obvious rift between the teams Captain and the team’s leader was, by all accounts, detrimental to the team chemistry. Now, again, this, would not have prevented them from winning championships if they played better on the field. But it certainly didn’t help anything.

            • bexarama says:

              1. How much of this is Jeter, and how much of this is the Yankees? For all we know they didn’t ever ask him to move off, and I don’t think anyone should kill Jeter for not coming forward and asking to move off the position but YMMV. I don’t think it had much to do with the grudge.

              2. With the exception of 2008, the A-Rod Yankees won 94+ games every year. Sure, it didn’t help, but neither did Reggie and Billy Martin fighting in the dugout. Neither did Reggie making the “straw that stirs the drink” comments about himself and Munson, which reminds me a lot of the Jeter/A-Rod situation actually. If those teams have better pitching they’re fun stories like those. It didn’t help, and I’m wary to talk about intangibles because I think they can affect things but not in a way I can intelligently talk about because obviously, I’m not there. But I dunno how much they hurt. I mean, did A-Rod and Jeter suddenly start feuding during the playoffs all those years, and it threw the team so off-kilter they couldn’t compete?

            • JohnnyC says:

              By all accounts, every player on the team loves Jeter and, in their own words, time and time again, have said he’s a great leader…with his actions and with a well-placed word. And ARod won 2 MVPs while with the Yankees so whatever was between him and Jeter didn’t particularly affect his performance. Also, show me the evidence that Jeter’s fielding at SS prevented the Yankees from winning championships from 2004-2008? So if the supposed “pettiness” of Jeter didn’t stop ARod from winning 2 MVPS and didn’t cause the Yankees to lose potential championships, what detriment are you talking about? Are you going to blame ARod’s hip surgery on Jeter’s pettiness as well?

              • Guest says:

                I’m not saying that the detriment of having the inferior defensive player at SS prevented the Yankees from winning the World Series.

                I’m not saying that because it would be stupid to say that. I have no evidence that Jeter refusing to play at SS prevented the Yankees from winning the World Series, nor could I.

                What I am saying is that there was some detriment to having the inferior defender at SS. This doesn’t seem too controversial. What was the consequence of that detriment? I don’t know. But every statical and anecdotal “gut” tool we had to measure defense at the time said A-Rod was, at the time, the better defensive SS.

                It stands to reason that a team would be hurt by having the most important defensive infield position manned by someone who was not best defensive infielder on their team. That team would give up more hits, more hits would lead to more runs, and more runs given up would lead to more losses. This seems…simple.

                Again, I’m not saying that this cost the Yankees the World Series. I’m just saying they did not field the best defensive team they could have. And if they did not do so, well, they did something detrimental to the team. Maybe it was such a small detriment that it made absolutely no difference in whether they would have won more championships, but it was still detrimental nonetheless. That’s all I was trying to say.

                And no, I am not blaiming A-Rod’s hip surgery on Jeter as well. Sigh.

                • Ed says:

                  It stands to reason that a team would be hurt by having the most important defensive infield position manned by someone who was not best defensive infielder on their team.

                  Not necessarily.

                  If they put A-Rod at short, they’d have to put Jeter someplace else. It’s quite possible Jeter at SS and A-Rod at 3B was better overall than any other combo they had.

                  Jeter tends to be worse moving to his left, so I could see him being terrible at 3B. The foul line reduces the range a 3B has to cover to his right, making his left more important.

                  The other factor is their contracts. A-Rod was signed for 4-7 more seasons, and Jeter for 7. While A-Rod might have been the better SS in 2004, I don’t think the team was convinced he could stay on the position as long as Jeter could. A-Rod has a larger build, and got larger over the years until he lost weight this past offseason. If the team felt A-Rod would have to move off SS in a few years anyway, it makes sense to just keep Jeter there rather than shifting their positions every few years.

    • chili palmer says:

      “The Jeter persona largely driven by the NY media”, implying a positive image, isn’t the case when it matters most. When Jeter had a chance to win MVP in 2006, NY had 2 voters. Only one of them put him #1, Bob Klapisch. The other, Ed Price, then at the Star-Ledger, put him #2. 50% of NY’s available vote didn’t give it to the home town guy. It would be a point of pride to keep Jeter from winning that award for many in BBWAA (“he’s just on a team of rich guys getting it done” a point noted by Kevin Kernan after that vote) and most likely Bud Selig as well. From some of Price’s reporting I’ve seen on Jeter, it is logical that he would vote against him. Whoever selected Price (and all the voters for that matter) for this award vote had access to his feelings/reporting as well. “NY media” is a phrase that translates well to, “guys who are hoping to get air time on ESPN” to increase their celebrity, more than connoting a rooting interest for Jeter or the Yankees. Persons like Ian O’Connor choose to make a living off the work and fame of someone else. They operate in a tight fraternity that thinks of itself as “respected” when they are anything but. They are tools of multiple entities, such as Bud Selig, present or prospective media publishers, their pals in the BBWAA who will help them get their next job when they’re on the beach, and individual team execs, such as Cashman. Players are defenseless in this perverted system in which “success” means saying something bad about Jeter.

  5. Jorge says:

    More tabloid garbage to make us believe we actually know something as to what makes these people tick.

    Maybe he’ll frustrate more than a few fans in his decline. In the end, we will remember him more for his accomplishments than for being, as we all are, an imperfect person.

  6. Monteroisdinero says:

    Damn-if he had just run over Weiters yesterday and come up bloody but safe, no one would buy/buy into this book.

    As it is, he didn’t and the wait for his first home run in almost 600 pa’s continues. Dimagg/Mantle/Ruth he ain’t.

    • Josh S. says:

      Jeter wouldn’t have been able to move Wieters an inch even if he drop kicked him in the chest protector.

      Although had Jeter gotten hurt trying to do that, maybe the Yanks would’ve traded for Hanley or Starlin (wishful thinking).

    • Jon in CUO says:

      It’s only been 285 plate appearances, including the postseason.

      • Monteroisdinero says:

        Which currently puts him a few behind Gardner and a tossup with Cervelli for power. Yanks on pace to set all time HR record with Gardy hitting 5HR’s and Jeter hitting 1 or 2 and Swish hitting none!

  7. mike says:

    Even though ARod was ( and maybe still is) a self-centered egomaniac with a self-destructive bend, Jeter should have been the bigger man and made his life more comfortable (if it were possible) when Arod got to NY.

    This only bothered me when Jeter went out of his and stood up for Giambi – a likeable fraud who begged out of big games, acted the fool in the off-season, screwed the Yanks out of money thru diminished production and took no physical care of himself to the point that he was an absolute fiasco at his chosen position ( remeber Sheff at 1B against the Tigers??)due to his girth and immobility.

    All Jeter had to do is a Pee Wee Reese/ Jackie Robinson moment(whether that happened or not is another story) – throw his arm around Arod, and that picture would have quieted all this nonsense a long time ago, whether they hated eachoter or not.

    I really think Jeter was / is jealous of Arod, and this pettiness (like behavior to Chad Curtis) shows him to be less that the Perfect man he often is thought to be.

    This doesn’t make him a bad person, but a Captain has to be aware of these perceptions, and either we see Jeter as dense and ignorant to these things, or a little more like Arod than we want to admit

    • Mattpat11 says:

      I think any effects of a Pee Wee Reese moment would have lasted only a few months until the next time Alex said something stupid.

      One of the underrated aspects of post steroids/hip surgery A-Rod is his ability to think before he speaks. There hasn’t been a “Maybe its because I’m biracial” or “I’m working out while other people are taking their kids to school!” in a long time.

    • Steve H says:

      This only bothered me when Jeter went out of his and stood up for Giambi – a likeable fraud who begged out of big games, acted the fool in the off-season, screwed the Yanks out of money thru diminished production and took no physical care of himself to the point that he was an absolute fiasco at his chosen position ( remeber Sheff at 1B against the Tigers??)due to his girth and immobility.

      Do you have any facts to back up any of this?

    • JohnnyC says:

      Odd you mention the episode with Curtis since it was all about Jeter being too close to ARod…quite the opposite of the narrative you’re trying to build.

  8. Anthony Murillo says:

    The stuff with A-Rod makes Jeter look extremely petty and, to be a blunt, like a gigantic cry baby.

    No matter how truth his statements were, A-Rod should not have said what he said back in 2000. But this book makes note that A-Rod tried to apologize to Jeter, who completely blew him off.

    The thing that bothers me the most, that really pisses me off, is how Jeter treated A-Rod. Jeter is the Captain of the greatest team in the history of professional sports yet he treated one of his own players, the best player on the team no less, like garbage. The Captain showed up A-Rod on the field with that dropped pop up, he never defended him to the media. He held a grudge for far too long.

    Jeter just comes off as insecure. Everyone always calls A-Rod a baby but I think they should start looking at old #2 in that manner.

    • Yanks46 says:

      Do you really think the only thing that happened between the two of them was the magazine article? Doubtful. Everyone likes to ignore the fact that Alex did steroids but 2001 is when he started using, and there’s a good possibility it changed his personality a bit. Alex had done a complete 180 in recent years. He got rid of most of his PR people, Boras, etc, and has admitted that he has changed a lot. I don’t think Jeter handled the situation all that great, but rewriting the story and making Alex look like the victim isn’t true either. Bottom line, they both were assholes to eachother at one point in time, and stuff like this happens in a lot of relationships ( it’s just not magnified 1000x by the NY media). Bottom line, they made up. I dont see how this makes eith of them cry babies.

      • Anthony Murillo says:

        Oh, I’m sure there was more things that occured between the two of them.

        But when Jeter shows up A-Rod on the field and refuses to defend THE BEST PLAYER ON HIS TEAM even a little, tiny bit…it’s petty. Some Captain he is.

        • Yanks46 says:

          You’re ignoring the fact that they had a long history. It’s not like Jeter just decided to dislike Alex because he was the best player. And I AGREE Jeter could have handled it better, but Alex wasn’t the most easy going person his first few years in NY. And seriously, in 16 years there was one moment on the field that Jeter did something stupid that everyone talks about. ( re: the pop up) One. I don’t think that makes him a shitty captain, it makes him a human being.

          • Anthony Murillo says:

            I understand all of that but it still doesn’t make Jeter look any better. I still think he comes off as extremely petty and insecure, even with how he handled his recent contract.

    • CountryClub says:

      To be fair, Arod was a clown for most of the time he was in NY. He brought most of the bad press and the bad feelings from teammates on himself. Only when he hit rock bottom did this new Arod appear. Who knows if he’s really changed or not, but it looks like him and Jeter get along fine now. So that’s all that matters.

    • Guest says:

      Plus, at a time when A-Rod was a demonstrably better defensive SS by all available metrics (to old “eyeball test” scouts and sabermetric types alike), he refused to move of SS. He refused to even consider it.

      Again, I’m not saying I would have had the humility and self-confidence required to make that move. I probably wouldn’t have. I probably would have done the same thing.

      But if we are suppose to lionize Jeter for his team first thinking, (which I believe has been there for most of his career), his refusal to move of SS is a huge blemish on his team leadership resume.

      • Yanks46 says:

        By all accounts, no one ever asked Jeter to move off of SS. You have to think of the big picture. It would have made the entire clubhouse uncomfortable, and many Yankee fans livid I’m sure. “They’re going to take the job away from the guy who just won us 4 rings and played in 6 WS…??” You get the idea. It probably would have made Alex’s transition to NY 100x worse. And, I think the move worked out for the best anyway.

        • Guest says:

          I see your point. You’re right that it could have caused maby problems.

          But I think the runs they would have saved due to Alex’ superior defensive play would have made it worth it.

          And no one asked Derek because EVERYONE knew it would have been a complete non-starter. (See every piece of information we have about how much everyone knew Jeter was not happy the Yanks got A-Rod. I think its pretty unrealistic to think that the only reason why Jeter remained at SS is because no one asked him.

      • CountryClub says:

        Arod was the logical choice to move to 3rd because his power played up there. It was a better team with him at 3rd and Jeter an SS.

        • Guest says:

          It would have been the logical choice for Jeter’s future contract negotiations. (He’s more valuable at SS than at 3b).

          It was not the logical choice for the Yankees. Both A-Rod and Jeter were going to be in the Yankee lineup anyway. The only thing that mattered for the Yanks would be what was the best defense they could field. And the best defense they could field likely had A-Rod at SS and Jeter at 3B.

          • JohnnyC says:

            And were those runs saved going to be in the playoffs? Because the Yankees’ seasons in 2004 through 2007 ended there, not in the regular season. I’d love for you to show me an example of a run or runs that Alex could have prevented with his play at shortstop that Jeter didn’t make a play on that then caused a Yankees loss in any of those playoff games. I watched everyone of those games as I’m sure you did…right?

          • CountryClub says:

            Again, you dont have a guy that hits 10 hr’s playing 3rd when you can have a guy hitting 40 hr’s playing 3rd. Jeter’s strength on O made him an all time great at SS. Bu his strengths on O would have made him a below avg 3rd baseman. Arod could play offensively at both positions.

            There was also a lot of thought at the time that Arod was outgrowing SS.

            • Guest says:

              I agree that one would normally expect to get more power from 3b than SS. You will get no argument from me there. But usually that’s because the 3B is not as good defensively as the SS and has more power than the SS.
              In this case, A-Rod had more power AND was better defensively than Jeter.

              And the only relevant consideration for the Yankees, when both guys were going to be in the lineup anyway, was what defensive combination would allow them to prevent the most runs from scoring.

              If Jeter hit 10 HR’s while playing 3b, and A-Rod hit 40 while playing SS, the Yankees would have a starting SS and a starting 3B who combined to hit 50 HR’s.

              If Jeter hit 10 HR’s while playing SS, and A-Rod hit 40 while playing 3B, the Yankees would have a starting SS and a starting 3B who combined to hit 50 HR’s.

              There is absolutely no difference there in terms of the number of HR’s (or runs scored, or any other offensive stat).

              There WOULD be a difference in terms of runs given up, however. A-Rod would save more runs at SS than Jeter would. So, same number of homeruns/runs scored/etc. for the Yankee offense, more runs saved by the Yankee defense.

              That’s why I think the Yankees would have been better off with A-Rod at SS and Jeter at 3B.

            • Guest says:

              The thought of A-Rod outgrowing SS is the best argument I have heard. That makes sense to me. (But I think it would be kind of weird to be worse defensively for a few years when, presumably, you could make an adjustment in the future if A-Rod did indeed out grow SS).

  9. CountryClub says:

    If you want to rip jeter for his recent on field play, go at it. But there’s nothing that has come out over the past two days that puts Jeter in a bad light on the personal level. What is is about people being on top that makes other people want to tear them down? Here’s a guy that has never been in trouble with the law. Has never been in trouble with MLB. Who jumped at the chance to get better in the field when Cashman sat down with him (read the ESPN article). Yet, the media sees all of this as their way to “humanize” (Davidoff’s word) Jeter. i don’t buy it. It’s a bunch of people who always thought Jeter was boring because he never got in trouble who now relish the fact that they can take shots at him. Pretty sad.

    Also, before people bring up the Arod stuff, I’ll again point you to the ESPN article. It has a quote from a teammate of Jeter’s that quoted him as saying that he tried to bridge the gap with Arod numerous times and that Arod just keeps pushing him away.

    The bottom line is that it appears their relationship is pretty good now and it’s sad that this old news is being rehashed.

    • Kostas says:

      In America, jealousy reigns supreme. The idea of tearing down someone who is successful is no different than tearning down a company for all its success. People are selfish, greedy, megalomaniacs. Any chance to muddy the waters of someone like Jeter is a great opportunity for press – see Donal Trump and his world of peculiar reality. It is a shame that pieces like this crop up.

      • Matt :: Sec110 says:

        This isn’t some TMZ slander piece…this is based off interviews with people. I do not think Ian O’Conner was TRYING to tear Jeter down, just show the full picture, which Jeter almost never shows anyone.

    • mac1 says:

      >The bottom line is that it appears their relationship is pretty good now and it’s sad that this old news is being rehashed<

      Agreed, just hope Jeter finds some way to be productive over the next 3+ years.

  10. Kostas says:

    When was the last time the Yankees went an entire season where ONLY baseball and the nightly performance were discussed in the tabloids? (not including the annual Mo is finished because he blew an April save or Yankees are below .500 after 5 games, season doomed.)

  11. Guest says:

    As an aside, if the RAB’s were to leave this post on top of the website, I bet it would be the most commented upon non-game thread on the site.

    Which is, of course, why O’Connor wrote the book and why everyone is writing all of these articles.

    Jeter and A-Rod are two of the more intriguing figures in American sports.

    If you put them on the same team, and give them complicated relationship history, well…holy page views, Batman!

  12. Monteroisdinero says:

    I’m sure the two of them and the Yankee brass already have their canned responses rehearsed and ready to go.

    For me, the bottom line is right now and Arod is alot closer to the great player he was than Jeter is.

  13. Jorge says:

    I look forward to Slade Heathcott banging Jesus Montero’s girlfriend in 2018 and it setting the baseball world on fire.

  14. Monteroisdinero says:

    Can’t we just redefine him as Derek 4-3ter and leave ARod out of it?

  15. John says:

    If they are still not the best of friends, his decline coupled with A-Rod’s hot start must really piss Jeter’s pride.

  16. JobaWockeeZ says:

    So can we finally drive this Jeter is a saint thing to death already? He’s human just like everyone else in the god damn game.

  17. nsalem says:

    Gossip sucks. Recycling it sucks more.

  18. Dr. O says:

    It isn’t anything image shattering or shocking, honestly I prefer a great player to have an arrogant side of them, where there is the right amount of arrogance there is pride. The only aspect of his arrogance that has ALWAYS bothered me is the A-Rod type stuff that I think also bleeds into his “I don’t need to change my game” thing we’ve seen with his swing. No matter how obvious it was to the rest of the world that he was being cold to A-Rod, he maintained that stance of “I am welcoming him into the team, IT’S HIM that has a problem” which is similar to his hitting issues. He seems to be the only one not aware that he can’t hit anything past the mound right now, the opinion of just about everyone that knows what they’re talking about is that Jeter has to start earlier to compensate for his decreased bat speed. At this point I don’t think anyone can deny that Kevin Long knows what he’s doing and he wasn’t just changing Jeter’s approach for the sake of looking like he’s working. A-Rod takes to heart and practices what Long preaches, and if a guy who is arguably the most arrogant athlete of our time does that there is no reason why Jeter can’t adjust. While I found the “Jeter’s defense is awful” chatter dumb, I at least did understand at the time that Jeter certainly wasn’t as good as he could be. Again though, Cashman had to bring it up for it to strike a chord with the guy. Which in my mind means up until that point Jeter was completely content with himself as a player, which is contrary to what he claims.

    Love him, will thank the stars everyday until I die that the Yankees made the right choice drafting him & can’t wait to see his #2 in monument park. But come on Captain, nobody is the golden boy forever. Sports history is full of great players who lengthened their careers by changing their game.

  19. bakekrukow412 says:

    Imagine if George were still alive during all of this.

  20. LarryM.,Fl. says:

    I will not purchase the book. Their personal lives are not my business. My money purchasing tickets, YES channel and MLB package viewing the Yankee product is my concern. Anything that a player does on the field is my venue. No kiss and tell for me screw writers who make a buck doing this type of writing.

    Is Jeter in decline? Based on the small sample of this year, I’d say, “yes.” His hitting is horrible but I could except .270 again with OBP.350. Fielding has been adequate. But for Yankee fans to hope for an injury and then a trade is just sick. The guy has played his best, never an issue with Jeter. He may still turn it around. IMHO.

    • Johnny On The Spot says:

      Hell, I’d be happy with .260 right about now. It’s just painful watching your favorite player decline.

  21. PagsRags says:

    I think Jeter overplayed his hand this off-season in a way Rivera, Posada, Pettitte never have and never will. Always one of my favorite players I am having a hard time pulling as much for him as I used to. It’s show-us-the-money time now, Derek.

    • Gonzo says:

      Fans like to Deify players, and when they act like rational decision makers we are shocked.

      I remember Mo battling for a 4 year contract in 2007. When he ultimately signed a 3 year deal, he stated he would have signed a 2 year deal. No Mo bashing since he was still great. This past year, the Yankees wanted Mo on a one year deal and he wanted a two year deal.

      Miraculously, the Red Sox got involved, but Mo knew nothing about it. Days later Mo has his two year deal. Why does nobody care? Because he’s still good. If he turned into Trevor Hoffman last year, he would have been roasted for pulling something like that.

      However, all he was trying to do is make a living the best he can. I can’t blame a player for that.

      • Yanks46 says:

        Mo, Pettitte, and Posada all had contract issues are well. They just weren’t blown up as much because none of them are Derek Jeter.

        • Zack says:

          They aren’t blown up because there are 15 years worth of narratives that Jeter is the anti-ARod who only plays for the love of the game. If that’s your image for 15 years, then you have a contrast dispute, then it blows up.

          • Yanks46 says:

            Completely true. But let’s not act like the stuff with the others didn’t happen. To be clear, I don’t hold it against any of them.

        • PagsRags says:

          Those guys all sought and got (whether from Yanks or someone else) contracts in line with their market value as a player. Jeter was coming off a bad season and wanted his “icon” tribute in this contract when, in reality, he got an above mkt contract the last time (for good reason). But while he gets more performance leeway in my book than an outright free agent, he doesn’t get the same benefit of the doubt as Andy or Mo who took short-term mkt rate contracts. I mean 4yrs $17M/yr with a player option for a guy who can’t hit 10HR’s or play defense anymore (if that is in fact the case). Now I hope he goes back to MVP-type years to vindicate himself but it’s not looking good…

      • Johnny On The Spot says:

        That’s because Pettite, Posada & Mo were never “baffled” by the Yankees’ very, very generous offer.

        • Yanks46 says:

          Well Andy didn’t say he was baffled but he left for Houston. Mo got pissy at some point if I remember correctly, and Posada was seriously talking with the Mets. But Jeter had the worst negotiation of all time because he agent used the work baffled, obviously.

        • Gonzo says:

          We don’t know what Pettite, Mo, or Posada said behind closed doors.

    • bexarama says:

      Mo got a ton of bashing during his contract negotiations after 2007. Remember NoMaas photoshopping him in front of a huge pile of gold with a speech bubble saying “That’s insulting”? I think they called him the “Panamanian Asshole,” too.

      There was a lot of bad blood around Andy’s departure after 2003, and some ugliness after 2008 as well.

      • bexarama says:

        Bah, clicked send before I said all I wanted to say. I don’t think any of these got as ugly as what happened in the Jeter negotiations, which got silly on both sides, but there was still some unpleasantness.

        • Gonzo says:

          Back in 2007, I was only following the MSM, and I don’t remember a Mo backlash. Maybe on the interwebs at the time, but I didn’t follow the blogs that closely back then. Not 100% though, just that I don’t remember it.

          • Johnny On The Spot says:

            I didn’t have a problem with Mo holding out for more money as he was still arguably the best at his position. But Jeter and his .270 BA calling the Yankees’ offer baffling just made him look delusional. This is the irrational me talking now but I wish it was Jeter who had retired instead of Andy.

            • Gonzo says:

              You can call him delusional, but it worked didn’t it? He’s gonna be paid higher at 4 years instead of 3 years. I would risk being called delusional for that kind of dough.

  22. Ticorules says:

    I never have nor will I ever understand this whole chemistry BS. Whenever teams win, its because of the great chemistry. And when they lose, its because of a lack of chemistry. Except for all of the teams that hated each other throughout baseball history.
    There’s no way to quantify chemistry so why even bring it up? Could Jeter have handled the A-Rod situation better? Probably. But I don’t see how him painting A-Rod more centaur paintings magically makes the team win more in the Playoffs circa 2004-2008.

    Let’s pretend these players are professionals and will do their best despite not being the closest of friends or any other silliness.

  23. Hughesus Christo says:

    I remember taking the Yankees to task for poisoning the well by leaking the negotiations to the media and being told that I was wrong, unfair, mislead by Team Jeter, etc. The worst thing I see here is Jeter being angry about… the Yankees negotiating through the media. What exactly is the blemish on Jeter here? That he likes money? I do too.

    • Snake Plissken says:

      What exactly is the blemish on Jeter here? That he likes money? I do too.
      ————————————————————–
      I think Jeter’s agent screwed things up by calling the Yankee’s $15 million a year offer “baffling”. Let’s face it, that’s was $40 million more than what Jeter would get on the open market. Miguel Tejada posted similar numbers last year, he’s only 1 month older than Jeter and he could only reel in a 1 year offer worth 6.5 million dollars. The offer was more than generous and yet he was looking the gift horse in the mouth.

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