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A Franchise, A Legacy, And A Contract Hinge On One More Season

Devon TeepleAnalyst IMarch 10, 2010

The Big Three; Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and manager Joe Girardi, it appears, will have to wait until the end of the 2010 campaign to restructure their contracts.

"People just have to understand that everybody does business in a different way,” Steinbrenner said to reporters following Tuesday’s news conference to announce the details of the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl.

“I just don’t believe in contract extensions, and that’s throughout the organization, no matter who it is. Hopefully, nobody takes that personally, it’s just business.”

Not to be harsh, and not to beat around the bush, but, priority would suggest signing the face of the New York Yankees to a contract extension now.

Jeter, entering the final year of a 10-year $180 million contract, is eligible for free agency at the end of the 2010 season.

I can say with confidence that Jeter will receive a new contract, the amount and length is to be determined.  Another 10 years is unlikely but for everything Jeter brings to the table; leadership, poise, a winning attitude, locking him up long-term to finish out his days in pinstripes is the right thing to do.

Mariano Rivera on the other hand is another story.

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Rivera is in year three of a $45 million contract.  Based on history, Rivera was worth every penny.  The question is, how much longer can Rivera and this fairytale last?

Rivera, entering his 16th season, is as good or better than he has ever been.  This despite a 2 mph drop in his fastball and a higher probability than most years to rely on his cutter (93 percent).

Can Rivera,  virtually down to two pitches, continue his sheer dominance? 

One can say yes, even though one day, a Hall of Famer can can be brought back down to earth with little or no warning.

Then there is Joe Girardi, a man so scrutinized this past year, winning the World Series had to happen.

With all the glory comes tremendous pressure; high risk, high reward.

More than likely, the result of this season will affect Girardi more than the previous two candidates.  It is unfortunate, however, that is how the game works.

Can you ask the question, what if the Yankees did not win the ‘09 World Series?

What if Pedro Martinez became the Pedro of old and dominated the Yanks in Game 6, Ala Curt Schilling.

Isn’t that what makes this game grand?  Automatics are not, guarantees never.

Is your job secure one year after winning the game’s ultimate prize?

Not really.

“I’ve got a great relationship with them all,” Steinbrenner said. “I’ve expressed to all of them that, ‘You’re part of the Yankee family and you’re wanted. It wouldn’t be the same without you.’ But as far as no extensions, it’s a business policy of mine.”

Never before have the careers of three of the most reliable this club has ever seen,  intertwined in almost every dramatic moment Yankees fans have seen in the past 15 plus years, become so unsure.

This article can also be found on The GM's Perspective

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