We can all agree. Derek Jeter is a nice guy. And he is team player. And he is good for morale. And he has a warm smile and is nice to kids and dogs. I get it. He's nice. In a world where most football players spend more time in court (or in jail) than on the field, and even good guy NASCAR drivers like Jeff Gordon are throwing punches at other racers, being nice is a rare quality in sports these days. But is it enough to justify a huge salary? And will Jeter's reputation even survive this operatic, over-blown negotiation?
Last season was not a landmark one for the captain: 10 home runs, 3 triples and a .270 BA. Not real shabby, but hardly living up to his billing, and his worst showing in 15 years. He still makes some amazing plays from time to time, but Cano has more than out-shined him in that category. Let's face it, Jeter is just not as young as he used to be.
Is he the force that keeps the Yankees together in hard times - that keeps spirits high and personalities from clashing? Who cares. Several post-season teams included rosters full of dysfunctional and volatile players.
I like Jeter. I have watched him grow as a player and a person. He seems like a genuine sincere man. He is good for the Yankees and good for the sport. But he is no longer great. The Yankees need to work on getting some pitchers that can actually, ah, pitch. And some batters who don't swing like they're going for the Empire State Building when the ball has bounced twice in front of the plate.
Boosting morale and raising spirits is for mascots.
Also, check out this from BleedingYankeeBlue. This guy has it right. Let's see how Jeter's composure fares in Beantown: "WHY BOSTON COULD SWAY JETER "