Derek Jeter: 5 Reasons the Captain-Yankees Relationship Is Turning Ugly
The New York Yankees and Derek Jeter are at it again.
Their tumultuous relationship took another turn for the worse this past weekend and things don't look to be getting better any time soon.
With big money comes expectations—and with expectations come failures.
Although the Jeter re-signing looked ugly from the start, no one would have expected their relationship to deteriorate at the level and rate that it has since last December.
One can only hope that the future Hall of Famer can get out with his legend still in-tact—albeit a bit tarnished at this point.
If "The Boss" were still around, would he have let this happen? One will never know—but here are five reasons the Derek Jeter-New York Yankees relationship is turning ugly—and fast.
5. Contract Negotiations Proved Jeter Wants Yankees More Than Yankees Want Jeter
This is where the Yankees vs. Jeter saga began.
In no way do the Yankees not want Derek Jeter in their organization, but they didn't want to pay him the $51 million that he eventually received—let alone the $100-plus million contract Jeter was thought to have desired.
In essence, the Yankees decided they didn't want to pay that kind of money to feed Jeter's ego—and in a round-about way, they let him know about it.
To the Yankees it's all about business. Whether Jeter was in the lineup or not, the Yankees wouldn't hurt for fans nor would they lose their monster TV deal. They are a billion-dollar empire and they will continue to be so long after Jeter finally hangs up the cleats.
It would have been a shame for Jeter not to get his 3,000th hit in a Yankees uniform, no doubt. Yet you can't help but wonder if GM Brian Cashman was thinking Jeter is at the point where he should be getting contracts more in line with players similar in age and production—such as Johny Damon's one-year, $5.25 million deal.
Just because the Yankees could afford to pay Jeter a hefty sum doesn't mean he deserved it. People tend to forget one thing—loyalty goes both ways.
4. Yankees GM Brian Cashman Suggested a Jeter Move to the Outfield Was Possible
Shortly after Jeter re-signed with the Yankees, GM Brian Cashman stated that before the end of his contract Jeter would no longer be the shortstop. Cashman even went so far as to say Jeter could end his Yanks career in the outfield.
While Cashman retracted from his statements later in the day, he still managed to stir the pot with Jeter and some of Jeter's current and former teammates.
Although it seems unlikely that Jeter would find success in the outfield, there will be a point where the Yanks will be forced to remove him as the starting shortstop. They can not afford to keep Jeter and his deteriorating defensive skills at such a vital defensive position.
Jeter may find it hard to accept that his future will probably be in a utility role—with the possibility of filling in at all infield positions as well as DH.
Again, you'd think this would have been no surprise to Jeter—as one would assume it was discussed while negotiating his new deal.
It probably didn't help the matter when in the same interview, Cashman described Mariano Rivera—and not Jeter—as the greatest Yankee he'd ever seen.
3. Yankees Brass Unhappy with Jeter's Handling of Recent Jorge Posada Situation
Jeter and Jorge Posada have been teammates with the Yankees since the mid-1990s. It comes as no surprise that Jeter defended Posada when he chose to sit out a game.
Posada also said he wanted off the Yankees after seeing he was batting ninth—and club officials were close to releasing the disgruntled player immediately.
Club officials weren't too keen on Jeter's remarks or with the way he handled the whole situation. Jeter seemed to condone the actions of Posada—looking less like a leader and more like another entitled superstar.
The fact is, Posada is batting an absurd .165 so far this season. For him to be upset that manager Joe Girardi wanted to bat him in the nine-hole is absolutely ridiculous.
Again, this speaks volumes in regards to the problems within the Yankees organization. Yes, they have won in the past—but you'd think at some point their veteran "former" superstars would start taking some accountability while ridding themselves of their entitlement.
This was another chance for Jeter to be "The Captain" and let his men know what was expected of them within the organization—and again he failed miserably. After all, isn't that part of the reason the Yanks buckled and gave him the big money?
2. Jeter and the Yankees Are Not Winning Enough Games
The fact that the Yankees have lost six straight games and sit only one game over .500 on the season without a doubt puts all of these problems under a microscope—especially in a market like New York.
Add to it the fact that they just got swept at home by the Boston Red Sox only makes it worse. For the New York Yankees—simply put—this is unacceptable.
The few people who may have thought the Jeter contract was a good deal are beginning to turn course. Fans are now seeing why Cashman didn't want to fork over that kind of dough in the first place. Maybe it will end up looking like a good deal a few years from now—but at this point it looks like a massive failure.
Of course, if the Yankees turn their season around and get by the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox to win the AL East crown then many of the naysayers will be back on the bandwagon.
At this point, that seems like a big "if."
1. Jeter Is Not Producing: Would This Be a Cure-All?
As with most athletes, would the lack of leadership, lack of winning and lack of loyalty shown by Jeter all be overlooked if he proved to be at least somewhat serviceable on both sides of the ball?
Or—for that matter—on either side of the ball?
Jeter is on pace for career-lows in hits (162), home runs (8), RBI (44), stolen bases (8), batting average (.255) and OBP (.312)—pretty much every notable category in the game. He is also taking walks at a career-low rate to go with his continually diminishing defense.
Sure, there is plenty of time for him to turn his season around. But do you honestly believe he will? Honestly?!
Jeter has been on a steady decline for the last couple of seasons. There was no reason for Cashman & Co. to think that would change to a degree where Jeter deserved a contract for $51 million.
The relationship between Jeter and the Yankees will continue to diminish as fast as Jeter's baseball abilities. In what can be a brutal media market in New York—at this point it almost seems inevitable.