"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Serve You Up like Stove Top Stuffin’

We’ve seen big Turkey Day signings before. Probably not this year but one never knows. Cliff Lee, Mariano…

The Derek Jeter negotiations continue in the papers and on-line. Tough talk, posturing, you know the routine. I spoke with a friend yesterday who was annoyed by the whole thing. I understand his frustration but can’t say I feel the same. Something will get done, it is just a matter of time. Sure, I click on the new links, the new “breaking stories” and “scoops.” I’m a ho for this stuff like most of us, but I don’t think it means much. Newspaper writers need to make a living, after all. Agents and general managers need to do their thing.

What I find compelling is how Jeter handles himself here. He’s always done “the right thing,” he always seems composed and in control. Well, now he’s faced with the ultimate test–growing old, and not always getting what he wants because he’s Derek Jeter. It is rare that things end elegantly for even the great players. Why should Jeter be any different?

If he left the Yanks, now that would be a story. Otherwise, is Jeter going to turn into an old Cal Ripken, putting himself before the good of the team? Or will he continue his streak as a baseball untouchable? I say he comes around, gets a four-year deal in the end, and the hard feelings will be smoothed over. He’s just too slick for anything else to go down.

Categories:  Baseball Musings  Bronx Banter  Player Essays  Yankees

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1 The Mick536   ~  Nov 24, 2010 9:38 am

I say he is no more mature than A-Rod. As Tyler wrote this NYT, Close would not have said what he said without some degree of communication with his client. I like the spin that the A-Rod deal was a mistake, revolutions of the story designed to lower the bar. And I love the way out that was provided, "its all in the game of negotiation." Jete did take the stick in the eye with a repeat of his less than par performance. He never has given us the close-up (his girlfriend has), and, I daresay, though I root for him unqualifiedly, I don't think he will.

But, Alex, you have a finer eye for these things.

2 Alex Belth   ~  Nov 24, 2010 9:44 am

No, you are probably right, man. We don't know dick about Jeter other than he's smooth when it comes to public relations. I'd assume he's as sheltered and self-absorbed and immature as the next superstar jock. He's just done a great job of hiding it.

3 Ben   ~  Nov 24, 2010 10:05 am

[2.] say it ain't so!

No look, Jeter has always handled himself well, but he's not without his flaws. He has drawn a very clear line for the media, and he's never really deviated. Even when people said he was boring. Even when people said he was letting Arod twist in the wind. Even when he seemed overly harsh to a scrub catcher after getting a dislocated shoulder.

I think you can draw some conlcusions over, what a 15 year period, from how a guy has composed himself in the public eye.

4 Alex Belth   ~  Nov 24, 2010 10:22 am

3) I disagree. I think all is says about Jeter is that he's exceedingly bright and sensible as far as public relations go. Nobody knows these guys. Funny, cause in the old days everyone knew Mantle was a boozer, say, but they just didn't report it. Now, I really don't think writers, especially, know ANYTHING about the players, other than what the players show them in the locker room and on the field.

5 williamnyy23   ~  Nov 24, 2010 10:23 am

[1] [2] What about Jeter would lead you to believe he is immature? Although we don't really know much about him (by his design), 16-years is more than enough time to witness a few contracts.

Jeter hasn't done anything in this process to merit the negative reaction he seems to be getting. It's almost as if some people are anticipating his response, and simply can't wait to lower the boom. I'd liked to think Jeter has earned the benefit of the doubt, but an increasing number of Yankee fans seem ready to attack.

6 williamnyy23   ~  Nov 24, 2010 10:24 am

[5] Paging Dr. Freud...first sentence should have ended with the word cracks, not contracts.

7 ms october   ~  Nov 24, 2010 10:34 am

[5] i agree william. by no means he is perfect or without flaws, but the need to jump and attack him both personally and professionally seems over the top.

8 Alex Belth   ~  Nov 24, 2010 11:00 am

I don't mean to be attacking the guy, I said I just assume he's a self centered jock. Look, I love him as a player, and that is a big assumption on my part. Maybe he's a pussycat of a guy. But I don't know, and I don't think anyone else does either.

9 RIYank   ~  Nov 24, 2010 1:17 pm

Yeah, I don't get all the hubbub about this either (except that the papers love hubbub). Even if there is posturing, threatening, brinksmanship, and all that negotiation garbage going down, it's his agent doing it. That's why players have agents. It's not as if Jeter and Cashman are sitting in an office scowling at each other with their arms crossed getting all snippy.

Anyway. Hey, I'm gonna be in NYC for T-Day! It's been quite a while since I've done this, but, lots of family will be squished into a tiny apartment, everything will smell great, that kind of thing.

10 thelarmis   ~  Nov 24, 2010 1:24 pm

[9] i'll be in NYC for turkey day, as well! how 'bout that. haven't seen my fam in 9 months. waaaaay too long... can't wait!

11 Raf   ~  Nov 24, 2010 1:53 pm

[9][10] I'll be in NYC too! :)

12 thelarmis   ~  Nov 24, 2010 2:07 pm

[9 & 11] travel safely & enjoy!!!

13 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Nov 24, 2010 5:18 pm

[9][10][11] What's this "Turkey Day" and "Macy's parade" everyone is speaking of? Does not compute..regular work day at ACME, Japan branch.. :(

14 Dimelo   ~  Nov 24, 2010 5:50 pm

[5] [7] Could not agree more. Well said.

[8] I don't think he's a self centered jock at all, Alex. I remember you posted this article here on the Banter.


For me he is all class. He doesn't want any attention for any of the things he feels he's suppose to do.

Does he feel entitled to certain amount of respect because of how he has carried himself? Yes, absolutely. This is not Terrell Owens type of respect we are talking about either. Who doesn't want respect and/or things to be handled on the up-and-up? If that makes him selfish, well, then, we've all been guilty of that at one point or another and it's not even about being human. It is absolutely about respect. I'm not talking about the $'s or the terms of the contract, but strictly how the Yanks have handled themselves in this instance.

In the end it's not my money, I feel the Yanks could have handled this much better. I would never tell me my girlfriend, you know what, go see if you find someone better. Just because she didn't like that I didn't get her flowers on a particular day. That would be disrespectful and diminishing our relationship. Or, you know who many times I bought you dinner already? I've fed you enough so you'll never have to go hungry.

The Yankees, I feel they have diminished Jeter to just another FA. That's what bugs me. They can play hardball with someone like Kerry Wood and leak out information to the press there, but not in this instance. Baffling indeed.

15 Boatzilla   ~  Nov 24, 2010 8:12 pm

[14] To me it seems that Cashman is playing by the same rules that Jeter has demonstrated over the years: an emotionless, calculated, professional approach to the game, or in Cash's case, the business. It is just what you'd expect from the, "no beards, no beads" Yankees.

16 Boatzilla   ~  Nov 24, 2010 8:14 pm

[13] Dude, we had our Thanksgiving on Tuesday. (For you American's it's Japan's Labor Day, and called, oddly enough, "Labor Thanksgiving Day).

17 Fuller R   ~  Nov 24, 2010 10:30 pm

[14] I couldn't have said it any better.

[15] If Cashman (and the rest of the Yankees brass) were actually interested in playing by Jeter's "rules" (such a rulebook could be called "how to be a professional") - they never would have stooped to using the news media to explain their negotiating position.

18 The Mick536   ~  Nov 25, 2010 9:49 am

What be wrong with telling Jeter, in public, to go test the market? What be wrong with reminding him, and me (the generic fan) that baseball is a business?

Taking the other side, the one with the very short line, calling the Yankees position (the side with the deep pockets) using the word "baffling" to describe the Yankees position strikes me as childish and churlish. Close, for all his great skills (today's NYT if you will) missed the ball by a mile. His failure to come up with a more appropriate pitch must have been happened at a tasteful dinner for four with Minka and his trophy wife where beauty distracted him from his dictionary. We have all suffered the same plight in the company of pulchritude,

19 williamnyy23   ~  Nov 25, 2010 10:09 am

[18] What's wrong with it? It's disrespectful when the person you are saying it to is someone with whom you have had a long, productive relationship.

I am not sure how the word "baffling" can be childish. It is Close's perception of the Yankees posture, and I think he is dead on. Cashman has developed a reputation for keeping things very close to the vest. Heck, did anyone even hear the name Rothschild before he was hired? With Jeter, however, the entire organization is lining up to chime in on the process. What happened to not negotiating in public? That's very baffling to me.

And, before you place all the blame on Close for being baffled, the Yankees' tone was set early on when Hal Steinbrenner used a rare public appearance to say "things could get messy".

The Yankees have handled this negotiation in a very regretful manner and have betrayed the principals that they claim to portray. Why they’ve decided to take that tact with Jeter is, well, for lack of a better word, baffling.

20 Dimelo   ~  Nov 25, 2010 11:54 am

[19] Yup!

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