"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

No Country For Old Men

The Yankees are a mediocre team right now and are dealing with the inevitable ugliness of their aging core. Jorge Posada is the first on the firing line, and Derek Jeter, who came to his friend’s defense, is next. Yesterday, team executives met with Jeter.

Tyler Kepner has a good piece on the latest behind-the-scenes business today in the Times:

The Yankees could have publicly ignored Jeter’s all-is-well stance on Sunday. But to do so would have let his words hang there as the official record of the Yankee captain’s stance on quitting. And if the captain were to condone a player bailing on his teammates and fans … well, then what?

…They were not afraid of further angering Posada, because they knew he was wrong — and, ultimately, he knew it, too. And they were not afraid of taking on Jeter, who clearly gave up his bulletproof status when he signed his new contract last off-season.

It was all to prove a point: that a player cannot quit on his team and expect the team to pretend everything is fine. It was a teaching moment for everybody, from aspiring young players to veterans like Posada and Jeter. Someone, it turns out, actually reads those hokey signs in spring training.


1 Raf   ~  May 17, 2011 9:22 am

I have a feeling things are going to get worse before they get better. In the case of Posada, he has such a body of work with the organization (WRT character) that they can let him slide.

He had a moment. It happens. Kiss and make up and move on. This was out of the norm for Posada, which is why it's a big deal. Now, if he makes it a habit, then yeah, run him.

2 Jon DeRosa   ~  May 17, 2011 9:57 am

They've had 6 or 7 crushing defeats this year and only one miracle win. You need to at least balance that out to avoid a lot of negativity.

Think about 2009, all those miracle wins, not so many crushing defeats, it felt like they were invincible. 2008 was just the opposite. And this is shaping up like 2008.

3 Chyll Will   ~  May 17, 2011 10:15 am

I'm getting the impression that if Girardi's driving the bus, then he got up in the middle of the highway at 90 miles an hour to deal with some rambunctious kids in the back and...

4 Yankee Mama   ~  May 17, 2011 10:46 am

This is a team heading into transition. Transitions can be ugly. It is inevitable, but no less upsetting. Posada, in spite of the accumulated rings is not beyond reproach and Jeter is losing his edge(not the shaving commercial) over big brass, who is probably feeling just a bit vindicated that they negotiated the way they did as Jeter's abilities are indeed in decline.

Aging, the great equalizer. It even gets the superstars. Cashman is no dummy. He knows only too well the economics of aging. Is Jeter's brand so strong that he will be immune to the derision of fandom? Are we ultimately loyal to him or do we want to win? In the end, we watch these characters because we want to feel momentum in their favor, that they are the vehicles to winning. That they perform miracles. If their skills and timing are lessening through time, then they become....us. Mortal. Well, not really, but you get the picture.

I've loved the Yankees for so long. I've been through this before. I'm coming to grips with the reality of change, however hard. The players? When will they? How will they? I hope it ends gracefully because watching these last six games effin sucked!

5 The Hawk   ~  May 17, 2011 10:49 am

I feel like this story is getting a bit over-simplified. Jeter, Posada, Rivera, Rodriguez -they're all distinct cases. Between the two that keep getting compared - Jeter's performance and situation are quite different from Posada's. Rodriguez is probably once removed again, and Mo is in a class by himself.

Even if you lump them together we are talking about a third of the lineup. The team should be better than this. Swisher and Tex are killing us.

6 hiscross   ~  May 17, 2011 10:55 am

The Yankees have a history of throwing their vets away. They did it to Ruth (who may have deserved it), Bernie got the heho in 2007, but at least to was in spring training. Jorge and Jeter are both position players that can't perform at the level needed. Time does that to everyone. Jorge should have retired after last year, like Andy did. Mo is certainly next, but since he can still produce, he should be fine. Once Jeter gets his 3000 or maybe 3010 hit, he should walk. The Yankee owners no longer want him.

7 William J.   ~  May 17, 2011 11:06 am

What nonsense. When did the Yankees become the Knicks? Loyalty is a two way street, and the new regime is going to get a reputation for not holding up their end of the bargain. The actions of Cash & Co. this week bother me even more than the team's lackluster play.

[6] Before the Boss, the Yankees were always corporate. Now, it appears they are once again. That's not to say the Boss couldn't be cruel. Still, when it came time to cut ties, it was more like being punished by your father than laid-off by upper management.

8 Diane Firstman   ~  May 17, 2011 11:38 am

RIP Harmon Killebrew

9 The Hawk   ~  May 17, 2011 11:38 am

[7] Yeah it's funny how having a madman in charge can be actually be preferable to the Suits.

10 a.O   ~  May 17, 2011 11:41 am

Last time I checked, Teixeira, Swisher, Sabbathia, Burnett, Chamberlain, Soriano, Hughes, and Gardner weren't too old. They're just all under-performing at the same time. So either they're all over-paid or the team cannot possibly stay this bad regardless of how far Posada and Jeter have fallen (or both). It's time for someone besides Granderson, Garcia, and Colon to step up and start earning that big-money contract.

11 William J.   ~  May 17, 2011 12:28 pm

[9] It's almost like the benevolent dictator versus Orwellian collectivism.

12 Alex Belth   ~  May 17, 2011 12:31 pm

The boss was cruel, petty, vicious, and a criminal...he would have ripped Jorge a new one, Jeter too, and probably fired Cashman and a few secretaries while he was at it...but I do see William's pernt.

13 The Hawk   ~  May 17, 2011 12:54 pm

Ha yeah the Boss wasn't exactly benevolent ... But a deeply flawed leader with some balls and personality does have something over the vanilla corporatism that, ironically, Steinbrenner helped foster in the first place.

14 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 17, 2011 1:29 pm

[13] Well, in his favor, there is the whole thing about his supportive treatment towards such troubled players as Strawberry.

15 a.O   ~  May 17, 2011 1:56 pm

So this is Big Stein's legacy -- decision by committee?

16 mhoward120   ~  May 17, 2011 2:03 pm

Is it only me (Lord I hope so) or is it beginning a little bit to feel like 1965 again?

17 Alex Belth   ~  May 17, 2011 2:46 pm

17) It's not just you, william mentioned that the other night. On the other hand, 1965 has been a year that has been invoked several times a year around these parts since 2003.

18 Evil Empire   ~  May 17, 2011 4:00 pm

This is becoming a lost season. I say that rather dispassionately. How about the brass take advantage of it being lost and unload some folks. Force posada to retire and have a Jorge day. Trade swish to a contender while he has value. there may be deals to make for 2012.

19 Cronin   ~  May 17, 2011 5:36 pm

Baseball players are taught to speak about and for The Team when interviewed. Almost universally they do. It is one of the reasons to celebrate baseball. And the Yankees. There is little place for prima donnas and cocky roosters. It is all about the team. Jeter covered for Posada only to have Posada admit his wrong less than 24 hours later. The message should have been: yes we all have tough days but the team comes first. You can't let down the team. You hold up the standards of the team. And while this silly drama was occurring, no questions about Giraridi's bone head move of getting tossed for challenging a plate call. What about the team, Joe? Jorge? Derek? Whatever you do, do it for the team; it is the only way of pulling out of this dysfunctional chapter.

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