Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Yankees wrong to paint Jeter as greedy

The New York Yankees are in serious spin mode right now, painting Derek Jeter as greedy just because he apparently isn't happy with the offer they made. That's just wrong.

Why should Jeter jump at the offer? He probably fairly assumed it would be a first offer and a jumping off point to start negotiations. But now Brian Cashman and the Steinbrenners are freely granting interviews to spin their side of the story, arguing that they have made a fair and appropriate offer and implying they have no intention of going beyond three years and $45 million for Jeter's services. Hank Steinbrenner was particularly insulting talking about how some ballplayers are wealthier then their bosses (the people in glass houses cliché suddenly springs to mind). Hey Hank, last time I checked, no one went to Yankee Stadium to watch you be an owner. But since 1996, millions have walked through the gates at both the old and new stadiums to watch Jeter play shortstop.

Cashman practically dared Jeter to test his value on the free-agent market. Of course, the Yankees will pay a lot more for Jeter's services than any other team. But that's true for nearly every player the Yankees sign because of their vast resources. Just two years ago, they offered CC Sabathia tens of millions more than any other team. And last year they gave Nick Johnson $5.5 million with his injury history. I doubt any other team was offering anything close to that. The important issue is Jeter's value to the Yankees, not his value to other teams. And if Cashman has any questions about that, the general manager should go to wherever he stores his World Series rings and take a good, long look at them because he would not have any of those rings without Derek Jeter.

Perhaps Cashman is just being a good soldier and doing what Hal Steinbrenner is telling him. But it seems to me the Yankees are too focused on winning the media war and not working hard enough to get a deal done. They sound like Jeter should be grateful for the offer and should just shut up and take it. It doesn’t work that way, not after everything Jeter has done for the organization. At the very least, he deserves to be treated with respect and not portrayed as just another greedy athlete.


  1. RebelYankeeChick, did you see Richard Sandomir's piece in the New York Times about Casey Close? He talked about Jeter's agent being married to Gretchen Carlson, but didn't mention the Fox News controversy.

  2. Just got back from vacation and saw it. As a journalist, I was deeply disturbed by the lack of disclosure by Carlson during the Jeter interview and cannot fathom why the NYTimes didn't think to mention it.