The bloom is off the Jeter rose

Ken Davidoff notes today that Cashman is certainly not bothered by Jeter’s petulance:

“I bet that bothered Brian for one, maybe two seconds,” the friend said. “If Mariano (Rivera, of course) had said something like that, now that would’ve bothered Brian.”

The bloom is clearly off the Jeter rose and it’s not just in the Yankosphere. The media, which had been forever shining Jeter’s shoes, has started to turn. Wallace Matthews takes some strong shots at Jeter today:

Jeter is coming off the antithesis of Mantle’s transcendent 1956 season — he posted career lows in batting average and on-base percentage, struck out more than he had in five years, kept the opposing shortstop way too busy with his penchant for the groundout and hit into an distressing number of double plays. Yet The Captain still walked off with a deal that keeps him the highest-paid middle infielder in the game with the potential to earn as much as $65 million over the next four years.

No reason for anger there.

Joel Sherman takes his shots, too:

Now Brian Cashman goes into Jeter’s meat locker because the Yankees general manager was the most public in refusing to follow the shortstop’s script, especially once Jeter’s agent, Casey Close, called the team’s negotiating posture baffling.

[...]

If nothing else, Jeter should see now that his public support is not as firm as he might have believed when the offseason began. Plenty of fans — what seemed like a majority — lined up to support the Yankees’ right to cut their captain’s salary.

Around the Yankosphere, there’s plenty worth reading, too:

IIATMS overlord and founder. ESPN contributor. Purveyor of luscious reality.

28 thoughts on “The bloom is off the Jeter rose

  1. williamnyy23

    I couldn't disagree with your take any more. On the contrary, I think Jeter came away from the press conference looking very classy. What you described as petulance looked to me like a calm statement of his honest feelings about the process. What you call naivete, I consider an admirable expectation that others would honor their word just as he has always done. Furthermore, Jeter did not point any fingers, as others are suggesting. In fact, he implied that there was blame for both sides. I got the clear impression that he wasn’t happy about either the Yankees’ or his agent’s public pleas, and I think evidence of that is the sniping stopped when Jeter got directly involved.

    Why a hack like Wally Matthews would dump on Jeter isn’t a surprise, but I have been taken aback by the sentiment of many fans. I guess we really do live in a what have you done for me lately society, but I guess I was “naïve” enough to think that history and tradition actually means a lot to the Yankees and my fellow fans.

  2. Brian

    Wait, Joel Sherman took some shots??? Have you been reading his crap for the past 10 years? Taking shots at Jeter is par for the course.

    It still amazes me how clueless some people are here. This issue was never the money, these negotiations should have been PRIVATE. Do people not know what the word private means?

    • JEnotJEJE

      Talk about clueless, Brian, didn't we make a bet on the number of years in the new contract? ;-)

  3. Ben

    I couldn't disagree with williamny anymore. It's not an admirable expectation to believe that you're worth 7 years at 21 million dollars a year, if it's not naivete, then it's severe psychosis. I love Derek Jeter as a player, but to add yet another crippling contract to the organization would not be in any Yankee's fan's benefit.

    We like to romanticize sports, but in the end this is a business and you do have to be logical. It's great to be whimsical about Derek Jeter and the legacy he's left for the Yankees, but at the end of the day, he's simply a human being looking to get paid. While as a Yankees fan I appreciate his contributions, also as a Yankees fan I realize this team never has been nor ever will be about a singular player.

    • williamnyy23

      First off, we really don't know what Jeter thinks he is worth, but everyone knows that in a negotiation, you start high and work toward the middle. On the one hand, you are absolving the Yankees' actions by saying they are running a business, but then blaming Jeter for doing the same.

      As to your last point, without romance, being a sports fan is the silliest thing on the planet. After all, why waste so much time and money if there isn’t a deeper, more intrinsic connection to your team? Part of that connection is based on history. Otherwise, we might as well all jump on a new bandwagon each season.

    • williamnyy23

      No one is saying that the Yankees had to pay Jeter whatever he wanted (he wasn’t asking them do that either). They should have been more respectful, however, and honored a player who has contributed greatly to the franchise by maintaining the privacy he requested. The Yankees were wrong to make this a hissing match (regardless of what Close said later on, the first salvos were fired by the Yankees). Quite frankly, Yankees fans who criticized him so harshly really don’t deserve the memories he has left behind and will create (of course, maybe they don’t really care about them anyway).

  4. William,

    I think Jeter handled himself very well, but we'll have to agree to disagree about his image taking a hit. He was calm and honest, but his anger about the process (and his inability to control it) came of, to me, as petulant and naive.

    I'm still a Jeter fan and always will be, no matter what sorta stuff comes out in situations like this.

  5. Brian

    While as a Yankees fan I appreciate his contributions, also as a Yankees fan I realize this team never has been nor ever will be about a singular player.
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    Again, what does this have to do with keeping things PRIVATE???

    You're arguing for why you don't feel Jeter should have been handed a blank check, that was never the issue. The issue is why the Yankees felt the need to use their leverage to take some shots at Jeter this offseason, THAT is what he's angry about.

    Jeter openly admitted that he wasn't in a position to make demands, because he knew he'd never go anywhere regardless. He knew in his heart that he was signing a contract far closer to what the Yankees wanted than he wanted, again not the issue.

    This is a 40 year nightmare. All because the Yankees wanted to use Jeter for some free publicity to dominate the headlines during "downtime". Big. big shortsighted mistake.

    I said it yesterday and I'll say it again today, this won't be forgotten

    • Ben

      Jeter openly admitted that he wasn't in a position to make demands after the fact, not before it. Let's be clear here, if there were other takers out there, this would have gotten much worse. The fact of the matter is public or not, the Yanks gave him the best offer the first time and sweetened just to make him happy. Whether they made statements in the press, they still overpaid him and massaged his ego. Also for as much as hear the Yanks were horrible about going public, so was Close.

      In the end what probably happened was Jeter wanted his huge contract, he found there were no takers and then had the 5 hour meeting with the Yanks to understand what he was really worth. I'm sorry I'm just not going to give the man credit for basically throwing a tantrum until he finally realized he was still going to get overpaid.

  6. LarryAtIIATMS

    There's an old joke that a baby's behavior while awake falls into one of three categories: crying, just finished crying, just about to cry. I have the same feeling about the Jeter story. We anticipated these contract negotiations for months in advance, then we went through the negotiations, and now that they're over they're still what everyone wants to talk about.

    What I heard Jeter say was that we're all one big happy family again, that's why we're all up on the podium together, things got rough but now all is forgiven. I ALSO heard Jeter say that a lot of what had him angry (and correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure he always used the word "anger" in the past tense) were the words he heard from people like us. Like the word "greedy". Like there's something wrong in the U.S. of A. for a guy to seek to be paid the most he can get.

    It also seem to have stung Jeter to have been publicly asked to shop himself around. Jeter made it clear that the Yanks are the only team he wants to play for. Isn't that the way we HOPED he felt?

    I've represented people and corporations in high-stakes negotiations. Nerves DO fray, feelings DO get bruised. It is part of the process.

    Once again, I don't think this story is all that much of a story. "Dog Bites Man", if you get my meaning.

    • Jason@IIATMS

      yes, Dog Bites Man

  7. lardin

    I love Jeter as much as the much as the next Yankee fan, But there is a reason the Yankees do not have names on the backs of their jerseys. The Logo on the front is more important. I will always side with the Yankees over the player, as long as the Yankees keep winning. To me and many other fans, that is more important than how much of a pay cut Jeter has to take. If this was five years ago and the Yankees and Jeter went through the charade they just went through, I would have been pissed at the Yankees and screaming to give Jeter what ever he wants. Because at that point in time, it would have had a detrimental effect on the field. But at this point in his career, his skills are replaceable. Jeter the Icon, Jeter the Captain is not. Which is why he got the contract he did. And, he probably deserves it too.

  8. jay_robertson

    +1, Jason. Thanks for saying what I've been thinking.

  9. Brien@IIATMS

    Can I say again how much I dislike this passive aggressive “should have kept it private” nonsense? To believe that the official offer could have been kept under wraps in the modern media environment is just incredibly naive, and after that the Yankees didn’t say anything public until after Close’s “baffling” comments. If Jeter is really mad about what was said publicly, he needs to blame his agent, no one else. And people who are still hanging their hats on this one are grasping at straws for ways to criticize the organization without looking like Jeterian sycophants.

    • williamnyy23

      It's very easy to keep things private when both sides agree to do so. Normally, that's not the case, but I am sure Jeter expected it to be in this case. I guess trusting Cashman and Hal, whose initial remarks came BEFORE "the baffling" comment (Hal's came before the negotiations even started), was naive, but I expected the same.

      Jeter was clear in saying that he didn't assign blame. I am sure he wasn't happy with his agent, but that doesn't justify Cashman's "reality potion" remark as well as other personal retorts.

      Maybe there really is no such thing as loyalty…not from players, owners or fans. In that regard, I guess I am the one being naive.

    • LarryAtIIATMS

      Brien, it may be more difficult to keep things private in the current environment, but it's not impossible. For example, the Nats signing of Werth was in the works for weeks and we heard nothing. The Rivera signing was reasonably quiet and private. Even when negotiations are more public (witness all of the rumors about Cliff Lee and 7 year deals), it's still possible to keep the personal stuff private. Close did not have to make his comments public, and neither did Cashman.

      • Brien@IIATMS

        I haven't heard anything about the Nats thing being in the works for weeks. And of course, Werth is represented by Scott Boras, so I really doubt we wouldn't have heard about a gigantic deal if it were on the table that long.

        • LarryAtIIATMS

          From Jerry Crasnick at ESPN, report last week: (http://es.pn/eZajFX)

          "Outfielder Jayson Werth's seven-year, $126 million deal with Washington has been in the works for a while now, according to general manager Mike Rizzo and Werth's agent, Scott Boras. A pivotal moment in the process came two weeks ago, when Nationals owners Ted and Mark Lerner and Rizzo all hopped a flight west to personally court Werth at Boras' offices in Newport Beach, Calif."

          • Brien@IIATMS

            Well fair enough, I guess. I don't pay much attention to Werth or the Nats, so I don't know if it leaked anywhere or not. Still, it's not a good comparison. There wasn't nearly as much interest from the media in the Werth deal as the Jeter contract, and the Jeter deal had the New York media's interest. That's a bit different than the D.C. media.

            A better comparison is probably the Rivera deal. Plenty of the details of that negotiation were leaked, but it never got ugly. Why? Well mostly because Mo wasn't asking for something unbelievably insane like Jeter reportedly was.

  10. Brian

    To believe that the official offer could have been kept under wraps in the modern media environment is just incredibly naive, and after that the Yankees didn't say anything public until after Close's "baffling" comments.
    _____________________________________________________________________________

    Really? You mean there weren't unnecessary comments made by Randy Levine BEFORE the baffling comment?

    You might wanna go back and check that buddy. It's all there on the internet.

    The Yankees handled this poorly and now their relationship with their greatest living icon will never be quite the same. Whatever, that's on them.

    I'll still be cheering loud as hell when Jeter gets his 3,000th hit. I'm not letting this foolishness (yes, Jeter's agent handled it poorly to, but he felt provoked)… ruin that moment for me.

    • JEnotJEJE

      Sorry if this has been beaten to death, but here's more from Davidoff's piece:

      "I attempted to explain to Jeter that, as Close's boss, he was accountable for his representative's actions. He didn't agree."

      Jeter's response was absolutely pathetic.

  11. Mark Smith

    I don't mean to demean the discussion because I agree with a lot of it, but this talk is rather silly. In a few years, Jeter will retire, and he will be heralded as one of the all-time greats. We won't "forget" this, but in the same way we don't criticize the dead, we won't say a negative thing about Jeter once he retires. All that mattered was that he returned to the Yankees, and he did.

    On a more immediate note, no one should get too upset with Jeter over any of this. It's one negative instance in the midst of 20 awesome years in the Yankees organization. He's nowhere near the first to have issues with realizing his decline, and in the end, he is going to get paid $17 MM. Maybe this wasn't handled perfectly, but it's one small blemish around the inner thigh.

    • LarryAtIIATMS

      I was about to hit the thumb's up until I reached the reference to the inner thigh, which kind of creeped me out.

      • Mark Smith

        Damn it. No one ever gives me points. I must be a terrible commenter.

        • I'll help you out, Cap'n Creepy

          • Mark Smith

            Yes! You are a merciful overlord.

    • Yes, of course this stuff will be noise in a few years but we could say that about most of the stuff we write about, right? The point of this is to be down here in the weeds, slogging thru the mess. Who wants to read "Of course Jeter will sign; come back in 3 weeks"?

      • Mark Smith

        This is true, but while we're mentioning it, I also think we should make sure we're not blowing it out of proportion. We should respond as things come up because you have an interesting insight on the issue, but we should also note what the long-term effects are, which in this case are negligible.

        … Do I get more points? I'm doing this on commission, folks.

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