There is much ado these days regarding Derek Jeter and his contract negotiations with the New York Yankees. Jeter’s agent is baffled by the Yankees negotiation tactics, which appear to be closing in on a ‘take it or leave it’ $15 million per year for three years. It is a lot of money for an aging 36 year old shortstop, even if he is the most important Yankee in the history of history. *
* Or at least history as defined by Yankee fans and New York media who have canonized Jeter over the years.
The common consensus is that Jeter won’t leave New York. He can’t leave New York. He is New York. As my favourite writer Joe Poz wrote yesterday, it isn’t a matter of if he will sign, just a matter of how and when.
There is little doubt that Jeter wants to remain a Yankee. There is little public doubt that the Yankees want Jeter in pinstripes next year. Assuming those assumptions to be true, the odds are that Jeter will be back. If you are really cynical, you could interpret the Yankees hardball tactics as a subtle move to push Jeter out the door. I don’t think that is the case, but the case can be made.
What I do know is that it is not going to be the most shocking event in the history of sports if Jeter leaves the Yankees, no matter what the media and fans say. Sports history is filled with iconic players leaving the team that made them icons. Players who absolutely should have completed their career with one team often end up playing out the string elsewhere. Continue reading