Paul Rogers singing for Queen. Brett Favre in a Jets jersey. Chris Russo on Sirius. All sorts of unthinkable shit occurs in this crazy modern world, and as such, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman wonders, will the New York Yankees someday be “the organization that made offers Torre and Bernie Williams had to refuse and, thus, leave on bad terms? Or will they overpay to get Derek Jeter to stay into his 40s the way they did for Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada?”
Cashman wants the Yanks to stop relying so heavily on older/expensive players in decline. Even at his best in 2010, Jeter will be in decline. Will he even be able to play shortstop? Because of Cal Ripken’s historic meaning to the franchise, the Orioles stuck with him at short far too long and then probably at third, too, and it is one of the cornerstone reasons the organization has not had a winning record for a decade.
Jeter has undeniable historic meaning. He likely will just be shy of 3,000 hits when his current contract – which pays him $41 million between 2009-2010 – expires. He is the team captain, the face of the recent dynasty and a player who has gracefully handled his time in the extreme spotlight. He gets the little things right. He stayed for the entire Home Run Derby and 15-inning All-Star Game at the Stadium. He and Andy Pettitte were the current Yankee players who went to Bobby Murcer’s memorial in Oklahoma.
A-Rod re-signed for 10 years and stated it was because he yearned to be a true Yankee, but he bailed on the All-Star festivities, was a no-show on Murcer and a late arriver for the final Old-Timer’s Day at Yankee Stadium.
Yet, Rodriguez already might be the face of these Yanks and definitely would be if Jeter were to leave. Do the Yanks want that? Does Jeter accept any kind of short-term deal and/or paycut after his best enemy, Rodriguez, was lavished long-term? Do the Yanks risk re-signing Jeter and have an already limited Jeter/A-Rod infield left side turn Jurassic and/or try to find new positions for one or both? Do the Steinbrenners even own the team in 2010 and what kind of Yankees organization exists then, one still capable of titles or some post-1964-like wasteland?
I’m already rooting for Jeter and Torre to be reunited in Los Angeles, especially if it results in some kind of death-defying, diving catch in the stands…thus causing a retired Nomar Garciaparra to spill his beer.