New York Yankee pinstripes are the only uniform Derek Jeter has worn in his professional baseball career.
Over his 16 seasons in those pinstripes, Jeter maintained the shortstop position and for the last 11 years has been the team’s Captain.
Jeter all-around made it easy to forget that he is actually human, but reality kicked in this past season—not surprising, considering he is 36 plus years old.
Coming to Jeter’s defense, it was just one bad season and it followed a career best in 2009.
In most situations, a person would inevitably get the benefit of the doubt, except in professional sports, due to the high demands it entails physically.
Contracts and salaries are impacted by age, which makes sense in view of the physical demands of the job.
Jeter is special to the Yankees organization, without question. He is a natural leader whose presence alone demands respect. Jeter’s humble demeanor is unique for a man with his status and successes.
His legacy is not and never will be in question.
So, the timing of Jeter’s Yankee contract expiring is not ideal. Where do you draw the line between what Jeter has done and what his future beholds on the baseball field?
The answer is you acknowledge both: Jeter’s significance in the past is grand enough that it should be reflected with his new contract, but so does his wear and tear.
The Yankees know this, and the organization acted accordingly.
GM Brian Cashman, along with Owner Hal Steinbrenner and President Randy Levine offered Jeter a three-year contract with a base salary of $21 million dollars per season.
To say that offer is fair would be an understatement.
Three more years are all the risk the Yankees should take, unless Jeter shows them otherwise at age 40.
The $21 million a season is above and beyond Jeter’s current value, but it exhibits the organizations gratitude and respect for Jeter the person.
It is not my place to guess what Jeter is thinking or what is behind his reasoning of not accepting this contract.
Yankee fans want the Captain back, as clearly does the organization.
For the first time, I am questioning whether Jeter wants to continue wearing his pinstripes and at what cost.
Let me make it clear, this is something I never thought or wanted to doubt.