It looks like everybody is climbing on the "Derek Jeter Should Not Be Getting a Huge Contract" Express that Hal is conducting and I'm riding first class in. When Cash was asked about Jeter's off-the-field earning potential factoring into his contract last night on YES, he dropped this gem:
"Iconic, off-the-field value doesn't translate in my world."
BOOM!! That's like a roundhouse kick to the ego if I've ever read one. And Cash is completely right. He doesn't get paid to make sure Jeter gets paid all sorts of appearance money after he retires. He gets paid to put the best team on the field each season that can win the most games possible and come home with a World Series trophy. That's his focus, that's his goal, and that's what Jeter's negotiations should really be focused on and how his declining skills fit into that goal.
In his column this morning, Joel Sherman joined in on the perfectly justifiable Jeter contract bashing with this:
"This is a baseball team, not a fan club or an alumni association. Realistic discussions of Jeter are too often scuttled with his intangibles or his class or his history. That is all nice. But what do they have to do with winning games from 2011 forward? If you are honoring those elements with unquestioned playing time or a spot atop the order, you have lost what Jeter himself claims he is all about, which is team and winning."
SHAPOW!! There isn't a single word in that paragraph that isn't true. And that last sentence is particularly interesting because it's something that both the Yankees and Jeter need to be aware of in these negotiations. The Yankees need to make sure they stay focused on winning in 2011, which it appears they are, and Jeter also needs to be cognizant of his 'team first' reputation and not get caught up in discussions about intangibles, legacy, and post-career earning potential.
All in all, it's been another rough couple days of having reality slap Jeter in the face. I love the guy, and it pains me to say this, but Derek,