What are the Yankees doing? And what are they thinking? Sign Derek Jeter to a new contract, already. In my view, these drawn-out negotiations are starting to become an embarrassment to the whole New York Yankees organization.
No matter how anyone wants to spin these negotiations, it is very clear the next contract that Jeter signs with the Yankees has very little to do with his overall play on the field and at the plate [which is still better than most shortstops in baseball, by the way]. It’s all about the “Captain” as an all-time iconic player in the history of the Yankees franchise, standing along side the greatest of the greats in pinstripes: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Bill Dickey, Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto, Whitey Ford, Mariano Rivera, and many other All-Stars and Hall of Famers.
Of course, Jeter is near the top, right behind: Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, and Berra. And when he finally does retire, he will become the next great link to carry on the awesome Yankees history and tradition at future Old-Timers’ Days at Yankee Stadium over the next 40 or 50 years. It will be Derek Jeter who will be announced last at these events, called out onto the field from the dugout to thunderous rounds of applause from many different generations of Yankee fans. How will the Yankees Universe be altered if the these current contract talks are allowed to degenerate into any form of disrespect of the Yankees Captain?
The Yankees front office talks about staying within a certain payroll budget of around $200 million, and how these talks with Jeter are “strickly business” and “not personal”.
Well, to be perfectly honest, as a Yankees fan, I could care less about how high the payroll is. It is reported that the New York Yankees are worth $1.5 – $2 billion, and the YES Network is worth about $3 billion. So this is a $5 billion organization that just recently increased ticket prices at Yankee Stadium – ticket prices that are already outrageously way too high. Yet at the same time it seems they want to nickel-and-dime one of their best all-time players. I make this comment in context to the overall net worth of the Yankees, and the overall “value” of Derek Jeter to the Yankees franchise. And I really think this is a fair observation based on the facts that are being reported [so far] throughout the sports media.
In my view, I think it is very important for the New York Yankees to sign Derek Jeter to a contract he is totally happy with, somewhere in the range of four to five years at about $20 million per year, because this would be a very “smart” and “good” business decision.
If for some reason the “UNTHINKABLE” happens, and Derek Jeter does not re-sign with the Yanks – a truly unimaginable thought in my mind – I’m sure all Yankee fans will take this “very personally”.
So in the end, these talks with Jeter are personal, “very personal”. But it is also “good business” to give Derek what he wants!
– Jimmy Curran, “BY&L” – Baseball, The Yankees, and Life …