Tone .Are

Pay DJ. He Want’s 25? Give him 25!

In Uncategorized on November 27, 2010 at 6:11 am


The New York Yankees covet themselves the Mecca franchise in all of sports. Nobody can argue their claim. After all, with 27 World Series titles, they’ve almost tripled the trophies they have on Major League Baseball’s runner up title holder (St. Louis Cardinals have 10). Many love them, more hate them, but who would deny them to the extent upon which offered to play in pinstripes, you’d turn them down? Not YOU, definitely NOT you, and, you’re full of it not you EITHER!

This will be the most ironic thing you’ve ever heard: Only a Yankee great would be in his right mind to turn the Yankees down.
HOW COULD YOU SAY THAT!? Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Micky Mantle, Whitey Ford, THE LIST GOES ON, ONCE A YANKEE, A L W A Y S . A . Y A N K E E…

You know what I’m getting at, and I won’t back down from the man’s defense!

Derek Jeter wouldn’t be the first Yankee great whose hand was forced for the sake of retaining his own dignity. Babe Ruth ended his career with the Braves. This after putting up Yankee numbers that hadn’t been comprehended before him; Ruth was a myth whom some attest to having witnessed play; not only hitting more home runs than anyone the game had ever seen, but having had seasons in which he hit more home runs himself than most TEAMS had! Then there was his larger than life persona, giving birth to the games character.
Despite all he had done for New York, the Yankee brass would not honor him with a contract he felt he had earned.

Yankees no longer needed Ruth,
and, now, ..did Ruth reeeally need the Yankees?
I know, it’s the story book ending: kid comes up through the farm system, makes the team, leads the team to a title, then another and another, get’s old and eventually waves the fans goodbye with the brim of the same cap he’s worn all his career. And yea, it’s going to get thrown around like I Love You: The Yankees need Derek Jeter, and Derek Jeter needs The Yankees. But that hasn’t been the nature of the game for a long time, and the game is made in the Yankees mold.


In the real world, tenure equates to salary. Can you imagine the city downgrading the checks of slow, heavy veterans in the Fire Department, to a wage surpassed by the younger guys? Actually, they’re bound to take it there someday soon.
Picture Teachers who’ve been in the classroom 20 years, being offered the door if they won’t settle for the pay cut. In fact, I do believe it’s already come to that.
For some reason though, whenever talking sports, the conversation quickly plays to the angle that the game is a business; and from that, we either defend the player or the team in one’s right over the other.

Well let’s talk business then…

Aside from the fact that he’s arguably STILL sports’ number 1 female draw…
Jeter has played what, 15 years? The greatest players in history play close to, if not into their 20, 21st, 22nd season:: Willie Mays, Ricky Henderson, Nolan Ryan, etc.
So the Yankees owe it to him to give him a long term contract… That is, if they choose to honor him in the company of such legends.
The top players in the game make 20 million a year; the decision to pay them this type of money is not only based on how the team projects they will perform, but: merchandise sales, the teams brand WITH that player vs the brand without them, ticket sales, and sometimes historical precedent.
Jeter may not perform with the best if he plays 5-7 more years. But what he doesn’t do for the team in wins, he makes up with the amount of money he will make them in ticket sales as he approaches 3000, and eventually 3500 hits (historical precedent), merchandise (they will start making classic Jeter jerseys in addition to the current ones, special 3000 hit club commemorative jerseys hats mugs etc, 20 years in the bigs plaques, etc).
Alot of people will even begin to buzz that although his numbers are not up there with a Honus Wagner offensively or an Ozzie Davis defensively, that his championships combined with his very good career numbers make him the best shortstop ever (I DONT AGREE, but people WILL go there *Hey, he even managed to get himself into M Jordan’s favor a little while ago. d o n t . t h i n k such associations do not play into the psychology of the fan).
Thats big.
Not only does the Yankees re-signing Derek Jeter, at all costs, make baseball sense; It makes business sense. Hell, if anything it makes more business sense than it makes baseball sense!

There was a time when I would’ve argued to differ.
“10 million dollars, to strike out.” My step father shouting at the television.
Athletes make WAY too much money for playing a game, I was convinced. I still do believe athletes are over-payed , but you might be reading me tear Jeter down for it had it not been for the insight I gained, during one of those TGIF sitcom-like teachable moments shared me as I sat across from my Varsity Coach in High School, interviewing him for a Sports Journalism class.
In true High School sit-com fashion, and typical of our relationship with Coach as upperclassmen, my teammate/fellow class reporter and I were pulling out all the stops; taking turns asking the questions while one of us held the camera, and the other attempted to slide a hand into his blazer for the bra we were sure would get everyone hype when we showed the video in class. …When, I was stopped, following Coach’s response to my impression that ballplayers from back in the day didn’t play for the money, the way they do now.

“Ballplayer’s from that time were essentially indentured servants,” his reply was. “The team basically owned the rights to the player for the course of his career, and there was little room for negotiation.”

That really made me think.
The great majority of those guys needed a second job to make a living.
They risked their physical well being without the protections or medical technology players have today, they sacrificed family time at the expense of their wives and children, and were cut and abandoned to uncertainty should they fall to injury or fail to live up to expectation.
All the while, the owner sat at the top getting wealthy.
If it weren’t for Curt Flood’s refusal to accept a trade from St. Louis in 1969, an act of descent which resulted in a supreme court hearing, and ultimately the birth of free agency; the player would still be at the mercy of the owner.

TRUE, we are no longer living in those times, and whether or not a player gets the deal he want, even the lowest payed player makes the kind of salary that could secure him for life after 15 years. 15 million a year, 25 million a year, Jeter is going to be alright! Most certainly, no doubt! But for me, what Jeter needs/doesn’t need, to continue living an extraordinary life is not the question. How much of the $441 million the Steinbrenners made off the Yankees last year, is DJ worth? THAT is the question!

What I tell people today is, the Steinbrenners wouldn’t be willing to pay Alex Rodriguez 30 million dollars a year, if they weren’t making that back 100 times over.

Derek Jeter is the face of the Yankees. He is the Ruth, the DiMaggio, the Mantle, the Jackson, the Mattingly of today. Their all time hit king, and the most winningest player in half a century. YES it is important that winning remain the priority, and thus, that the team negotiate their budget on a cost-effective premise. But protect your brand… what’s more let’s throw out the business jargon, if you are the Yankees protect your legacy. No longer do you raise home grown talent, opting these days to trade young prospects for the games premier players; the least you can do as the Mecca-franchise of baseball, is break bread with the loyal son, who did everything right.

Derek Jeter



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