"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice



I didn’t feel good about AJ Burnett going into tonight’s game. For no other reason than I figured it was time for him to have a bad outing, get the snot knocked out of him. I’m pleased to report that didn’t happen. Burnett was strong once again as he allowed just one run over seven innings. He didn’t John Blaze the Rays to death–just five strikeouts–but he was effective (only two walks) and a-mighty fun to watch.

The Yanks put three early runs on the board against James Shields. Robbie Cano and Nick Swisher hit back-to-back dingers in the sixth and Alex Rodriguez added a two-run double two innings later. Derek Jeter had three hits and a walk and is now battting .325. I wax poetic about Mariano Rivera on the reg, I love rooting for Alex Rodriguez, but man, has it ever been wonderful to watch Jeter play all these years. He’s truly one of the great Yankees.

Johnny Alphabetsoup allowed two runs in the bottom of the eighth, and left two runners on base when he was replaced by David Robertson. What looked like a laugher got tense for a minute–but Robertson struck out Carlos Pena on a breaking ball in the dirt to escape further trouble.

Then Swisher added a solo shot–this one righthanded–in the ninth, Johnny Damon wacked a three-run dinger (his 200th career homer) as the Yanks beat the Rays 11-4. The Bombers remain two-and-a-half ahead of the Sox who beat the A’s in Boston.

Nice way to start the week, wouldn’t ya say?

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1 Jersey   ~  Jul 27, 2009 10:37 pm

This was a fun win.

2 Rich   ~  Jul 27, 2009 10:40 pm

Happiness is: Ground balls-fly balls - A Burnett 12-4

Cano with two BB and as as a hit with RISP.

Melancon should have pitch all of AlbaDFA's innings.

3 PJ   ~  Jul 27, 2009 10:45 pm

[0] "Nice way to start the week, wouldn’t ya say?"

Very much so Alex, yes!

: )

4 thelarmis   ~  Jul 27, 2009 10:48 pm

[2] well, hopefully he'll be 12-4 in 10 days!!! : )

5 seamus   ~  Jul 27, 2009 11:12 pm

definitely was nice!! another game on the Rays too.

6 Eddie Lee Whitson KO   ~  Jul 27, 2009 11:16 pm

There was a lot to like in this game ~ starting with AJ dealing like he used to against us!!

It has been a mighty long time since I can recall the boys in this kind of groove, and like everyone else, just want them to keep the line moving!

CC, you're up!

7 thelarmis   ~  Jul 27, 2009 11:16 pm

[5] 13 players in MLB history have hit 2 granny's in one game!

8 seamus   ~  Jul 27, 2009 11:25 pm

[7] damn that is a lot! That seems so hard to do. I mean, you gotta come to base twice with the bases loaded. And both times you gotta go yard. crazy.

9 thelarmis   ~  Jul 27, 2009 11:32 pm

[8] today was only the 3rd time it's been done in the NL. Tatis is the only one to do it twice in one INNING. unfortunately, Boston's does it four times... here's a link:


i'm off to practice...

10 RIYank   ~  Jul 27, 2009 11:55 pm

[8] Yep, that's pretty much the breakdown of the necessary ingredients to hit two grand slams in one inning!

11 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 28, 2009 1:09 am

15 Ks for Lincecum..when's he eligible for free agency again?

12 Just Fair   ~  Jul 28, 2009 1:22 am

[0] Thanks for posting Pavano's head after giving up back-to-back-to-back jacks to the Halos earlier. Seriously, though, this was an awesome win. Roll on, Big Fella.

13 a.O   ~  Jul 28, 2009 3:17 am

So Alex, "strong, "effective"? Come now. The guy gave up 2 hits in 7 against the Rays. He was dominant. The game-changer. Amazing.

14 OldYanksFan   ~  Jul 28, 2009 6:45 am

my name is OldYanks Fan...
And I was a Jeter disbeliever.

Yes, last year I was all but sure Jeter was cooked and headed for an ugly decline. I guess I was wrong. Last year does tell us something though. When Derek is injured, he's at a point in his career, where he needs to sit and get healthy again. I'd much rather have 3 weeks of Ransom and then the 2009 Jeter, rather then the 2008 version.

I am also against a long, expensive contract for him after 2010. Thanks to ARod, Derek has been paid very well over the last 10 years. As an average-at-best fielder and not a power hitter, when he does decline, it won't be pretty (as last years false decline showed).

I wonder if he would be a 'true Yankee' and Wakefieldlike, and take a year-to-year contract at a reasonable rate. Obviously, the Yankees will keep him as long as possible, and like Bernie, maybe a year longer. He ain't gonna play for another team, but I really hope he doesn't pull a Mo/Po and squeeze us (Mo and Po have made a tad more then half of Jeter over the last 10 years, and certainly have been as important).

15 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 28, 2009 7:14 am

Jete and I are the same age, we "grew up together" with the Yankees..I love him to death, but there ain't now dang way in hell he'll take a Wakefield deal! That house in Tampa and all the cab fares for super models..it ain't free!

16 Dimelo   ~  Jul 28, 2009 7:58 am

[15] Exactly. Jeter doesn't have to take less money. Also, if we are going to talk about Jeter's salary, let's also discuss how much money he's generated for the Yankees as well. Those Jeter jerseys you see all over the stadium are not paid for with peanuts or handed out to the public for free. I think the Jeter and Yankee marriage has been one where both parties won. Jeter has represented the pinstripes quite well and his PR rating is off the charts, he doesn't owe anyone anything, just as the Yanks don't owe him. In the end, it's still a business: Jeter's reps will try and squeeze the most money out of the Yanks and the Yanks will try and pay the least amount to Jeter as possible, w/o disrespecting Jeter too.

17 Dimelo   ~  Jul 28, 2009 8:02 am

Today was one of the first few times that I was looking forward to reading about the Mets. For as many messed up moves Cashman has made, he has always managed to represent the Yanks well, even when dealing with the likes of Mad Dog Russo ripping him over the Lidle-Abreu trade.

Omar has been an embarrassment to the Mets and their fans, and for this Yankee fan that means comic relief.

18 Rich   ~  Jul 28, 2009 8:34 am

Jeter's resurgence has been one of the best stories of the season, but his next contact should be based on what he can produce going forward, not what he has produced in the past. According to FanGraphs, he has gotten the benefit of the bargain in every year except 2006. So, it's not like he has been underpaid.

19 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 28, 2009 8:41 am

[14] Mo and Posada "squeezed" the Yankees by asking for what they were worth? Give me a break. Besides, I think Mo gave the Yankees a break. He deserves no less than a significant minority interest in the team for all that he has done. Similarly, Derek Jeter should not have to give the billion dollar Yankees any breaks. While he has been well paid for sure, he has also represented the organization with pure class. If he is still playing at this level, he absolutely deserves a contract similar to Jorge and Mo.

20 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 28, 2009 8:46 am

[18] It's becoming fashionable to cite fangraphs' player values (I do it myself), but it's important to note that they rely heavily on defensive metrics that are far from as established as their offensive counterparts. What's more, the valuations do not consider post season performance, an area that would give Jeter a major boost. Finally, they are only a measure of on field value. As [15] noted, players also provide off the field value as well. Derek Jeter has more than earned his current contract and should not have to give a handout to the Yankees. Of course, I wouldn't expect the Yankees to demand one. Unlike their rivals in Boston, the Yankees have a solid track record in rewarding their own.

21 OldYanksFan   ~  Jul 28, 2009 8:47 am

Woah there boys and girls.....
"Jeter doesn’t have to take less money"
Jeter is making ovah $21m now, on a 10 yr contract with a $19m AAV. 2011 will be his age 37 year. He is a 6'-3" SS who by then will be slightly to very below average in the field.

Just how much do you want to pay him?
Bernie sold a few Tee-shirts, but still made ONE million his final year. I love Jeter and he IS Mr. Yankee. But Just how much do you want to pay him?

Between ARod, CC, Teix, Posada and AJ, in 2011, we will have $105m tied up in just these 5 players. So we have $100milish for the other 20 guys.

Of course we want to win it all in 2011 and beyond, so....
How much do you want to pay our 37 year old SS?
And how many years (at age 37, 38, 39....) do you sign him for?

I can see something like 2/$20m.
Tejada and Jetes are the only SS's (I think) making over $10m/yr.
And I believe that nobody (except Tejada) thinks that's a good contract.
Of course, we are talking about Jeter 2 years older then now.

Foot-in-Mouth time Banterers
(And HOSS!!!!! Come out of hiding and chime in).

If you had to do it NOW....
Tell me the contract you give Jeter.
Years and Dollars.

22 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 28, 2009 8:58 am

[21] Your suggestion of $20mn for 2 years is a reasonable starting point, and a far cry from a Wakefield-like renewing contract. If I was Cashman, I would actually be talking to Jeter's agent about an extension right now. It makes no sense to go into 2010 with Jeter as a lame duck. The distraction could become overwhelming.

Of course, by doing an extension now, you are going to be working off of one of Jeter's better seasons (if he keeps it up, he will be a legitimate MVP candidate). That doesn't bother me. Derek Jeter has been a great Yankee in the mold of all the oldtime greats. I don't care if the Yankees overpay him in his final years. So, if a 2 year/$30mn extension keeps him happy, I'd do it. And, if DJ does break down, I would be proud of the Yankees for taking care of their legend.

23 OldYanksFan   ~  Jul 28, 2009 9:00 am

[19] Just straighten me out here William. When we sign players, do we pay them for how they performed in the past, or how we project them to perform in the future?

We won 4 WSs a few years ago. Is that enough for you? Does that mean we don't need to win a few more from 2009 on?

And as I mentioned, both Mo and Po have made about 1/2 of what Jetes has made, so I'm not upset by their contracts... although I think we are the only team to give Po 4 years.

Go back to the threads of the winter of 2008. I think a lot of US felt a bit squeezed. Not by Mo so much, but certainly on Po.

Again, I am for signing core players and making sure they never wear another uniform. The history and family that is the Yankees is very important, and well worth some extra coin. But I guess when I am talking about guys who have made $100 - $200 million over their careers, I wonder if a bit of a 'Home Town' discount for their waining years is that crazy to expect.

But I guess Jetes does need to furnish the mansion.

24 Rich   ~  Jul 28, 2009 9:06 am

[20] Do you really think that Jeter has been underpaid?

Let's look at it another way. His current $189 million contact was executed in 2001. Two years prior to that, he had a career high OPS+ of 153, which almost certainly played a role in his ability to secure a contract of that amount. Since the contract was signed, he has never come close to replicating that type of production. In three seasons of the current contract, his OPS+ was under 115. In one season it was under 105. Plus, say what you want about defensive metrics, from observation alone, his range has often been suboptimal or worse, which not only dovetails with UZR, but it also makes his current defensive renaissance all the more surprising and satisfying. Yet it's probably unsustainable beyond another season.

As I said, Jeter has received the benefit of the bargain.

25 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 28, 2009 9:07 am

[23] Different teams do it different ways. Personally, I think you take into account both what players have done in the past and what they will do in the future, especially for players with a long track record in the organization. The Yankees are a billion enterprise. They make tons of money in many different ways...and guys like Derek Jeter help make that possible. Unlike in most other businesses, the labor in sports is also the product. So, when it comes time to resign Jeter, I think the Yankees need to factor in his future performance, his past contributions as well as what he means to the Yankee brand. Using that criteria, I don't think Derek Jeter needs to give the Yankees any discounts. I really hope they do not ask.

The Yankees are doing very well, so I see no reason why the core should have to take a discount. So, if Jeter furnishing his mansion means Hal has to have one less horse farm or luxury hotel, well, that's a tradeoff I can live with.

I have no idea what your WS analogy means, so I can't answer that question.

26 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 28, 2009 9:14 am

[24] Using your own fangraph's numbers (which again rely too heavily on "unproven" stats), the "value" proposition is pretty close. Of course, that doesn't take into account: (1) post season; (2) brand and marketing enhancement; and (3) the pre-$189mn years when the rules of baseball allowed the Yankees to reap significant bargains. In other words, when you consider Jeter's entire career and entire contribution, the bargain has decidely been all Yankees.

27 ms october   ~  Jul 28, 2009 9:15 am

i'm extremely happy for jeter's "resurgence."
the yankees are still largely built to have plus production up the middle and thus much of the yankees success is predicated on jeter's performance.
i also think we might finally be moving away from an either/or with jeter and arod.

oyf i find your take on player salaries interesting. we are both self-proclamied socialists - i guess we see who the proletariat is in this situation differently. i want the person who has to labor for his salary to get as much as he possibly can from the owners.

until the yankees really demonstrate that player a (b and c's) salary impact others - i don't care what the aav is - years is a different story - until the yankees show they understand a sunk cost and don't play someone that no longer deserves to be played.

28 Rich   ~  Jul 28, 2009 9:21 am

[24] (1) There hasn't been much postseason since 2004. That's a long time ago; (2) I would need to see the specifics of the Yankees marketing ROI; (3) Yes, every player in MLB is usually underpaid on the front end and overpaid on the back end. That's how the system works. You have to supply the numbers to establish that point.

29 Rich   ~  Jul 28, 2009 9:22 am

Sorry @ [26]

30 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Jul 28, 2009 9:26 am

Without looking, I can bet there were copious Score Truck references last night. Jacking up the tires on the score truck?

The savvy vets, OYF and wm are rumbling in the morning ...

I'd say, in a dismally fair-minded way, that both have points being well made. William is partially saying there is a tradition in sport to honor long term greatness for a team at more than fair market value. He's adding that Jeter has given the Yanks major merchandising benefits. But this does not make OYF wrong in saying that both Mo and Po got lengths in their deals at $ values that raised real worries that the last year (or two) might be bonus coverage for them. More Po than Mo, to my mind, actually. The final years can be seen as gold watch payouts. Did they hold the team up? Surely that would be loaded language: they got the best deals they could from a solvent ball club and their agents owe that to them, and they owe it to themselves ... I don't think players should take major home team discount deals.

But neither do I think teams need to pay players 10 million or so extra as legacy contracts. Where it gets painful is with someone like Bernie where the greatness was exceptional but the decline was too obvious.

My bet is that Jeter gets an extension for a year (I hope not two) beyond what he should get in an open market, at a price beyond what he'd get in the market and we'll all be lamenting it when he's 39-40. I just can't see the Yankees holding the line hard and I can't see him taking 6 million or so for those years, an Abreu-like deal.

This is going to be a challenging negotiation for reasons that have nothing to do with on the field levels of play going forward, simple as that.

But I'll end by saying I entirely agree: he's having a glorious season, bringing back memories, sparking a first place club from lead off. Is there any EVIDENCE that the infield coach has shifted him (deeper, better positioned for each batter) or is it just a guess from some people? He was SO in the right spot for a Pena grounder left of 2nd base last night - not a full shift I assumed because it was Burnett throwing heat and Pena's not mashing.

We need a pitcher. Stuff is gonna happen all over the league in next 48 hours. Stand by!

31 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 28, 2009 9:45 am

[28] The Yankees have made the post season every season since 2004 except last year. I don't think the Yankees gave the gates back for the series they lost, so they probably should count. Also, while we can't quanitfy Jeter's contribution to the Yankee brand, I think it's pretty obvious that there is one. Finally, you are being selective in determing "bargain years". The only way to approach who has gotten the better end of the deal is to look at Jeter's entire career, not only the portion that favors your argument.

32 Rich   ~  Jul 28, 2009 9:59 am

[31] How much of making the postseason success or lack thereof can be ascribed to Jeter?

I don't doubt that Jeter has contributed to the brand. My point is that without evidence to the contrary, I don't think that it is an amount that taken together with his play on the field exceeds the value of his contract.

I made a similar point when I said that a a significant reason why Jeter got that contract was his 153 OPS+ in 1999, which was not within the contract period., but that the CBA causes almost all players to be underpaid early on and overpaid late. Jeter is no different.

33 Paul   ~  Jul 28, 2009 10:02 am

Taking fangraphs at face value, Jeter has cost the team $20 million since 2002. The total they cite doesn't include this year's contract amount. That's a lot of t-shirts. Of course, the Yankees split merchandising dollars with the rest of MLB.

There's also the problem that attendance was stagnant until 2004 and then shot up...with the arrival of A-Rod.

Jeter's has gotten more than his fair share. Any reasonable person will agree. He's made more than almost every player in the game and yet they haven't won anything, Jeter's own metric for success, since he signed that deal and he hasn't produced even a third of the time to his value.

As for fangraphs and their defensive metrics, if they're now good enough for mlb.com they're more than good enough for me. Of course, it's easy to dismiss one metric without offering any alternative.

34 Paul   ~  Jul 28, 2009 10:06 am

As to how much Jeter should get in an extension, I bet he'll want a three or four year deal. And the Yankees should cap their offer at two years especially since he's never shown a willingness to change positions, not even when they acquired a better shortstop. Jeter gets alot of credit for all of the things he does right, including working hard to improve his defense (though I think it's more about Girardi positioning him better). He doesn't need anymore.

Two years at $20 million seems about right. But he won't take that. Let him go sign with the Dodgers for four years. The question for Jeter isn't how much he should make. It's: Do you want to retire a Yankee?

35 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 28, 2009 10:10 am

[32] And my point is that when you consider how much Jeter was underpaid before his big contract + his post season value + his off field value and then compare that to his total salary, the Yankees have come out well ahead. Because none of the values are concrete (not only Jeter's economic impact, but also the fangraph numbers were are using), I guess this becomes subjective. You think Jeter has been overpaid over his career; I think he has been underpaid, all things considered.

36 Paul   ~  Jul 28, 2009 10:14 am

The difference with Posada especially is you could argue he hadn't gotten his fair share prior to this last contract.

Mo certainly had and they should have capped his salary at $10 or 12 million. He's now vastly overpaid. A closer, even one as dominant as Mo, isn't worth $250k/inning.

The other problem for Jeter is he already got his "gold" watch. $189 million plus all his endorsements. It's time for him to finally take a step back and recognize his value to the organization isn't as great as he thinks it is. The problem is he didn't do it in 2004 so why would he in 2010?

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver