The chill in the air means that Baseball is over and it’s time for the Yankees to decide on whom they should pour their mountains of cash.
Priority #1 is Texas Rangers lefty Cliff Lee . . .
. . . and the prospect of Lee signing makes my older brother, Nate, almost as happy as the time he got this totally awesome sweater . . .
But internally the big two are Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter. Rivera, the best closer of this or any other era was lights out again this year and despite the fact that he’s so old that he actually went to grade school with this guy:
They were even teammates in a three-legged race
Rivera will no doubt get his money. Jeter, on the other hand, had his worst year as a professional. He dropped 60 points in average and 160 point off his OPS. Ouch.
So his production was way, way down and at his age, you usually don’t start getting better, you start getting worse, and fast.
Unless, like Ken Phelps, there wasn’t that far to plummet in the 1st place.
But here’s where it gets dicey. Derek Jeter has 2926 hits, that’s just 74 short of the immortal 3000 number, easily reachable even by a .270 hitter in a single season and he would be the first Yankee to do it all in Pinstripes. Add that to the fact that Jeter is beloved by Yankee fans and New Yorkers in a way that you just don’t see very often and there is pressure on the Yankees to sign him post haste.
So, it would seem the Yankees are caught between a rock and a hard place. You can’t afford not to sign Jeter, he’s an icon
but can you afford to be throwing him tens of millions of dollars over multiple years when he breaks down and stops producing? Can you truly afford to throw good money after bad results?
That’s what the Yankees have to decide. I don’t envy them the decision. But keep him or not, expensive or not, so help me God, if the New York Yankees don’t win the division next year, heads will roll.
Everyone don’t forget to turn back your clocks this weekend. I will since I’ll be up all night worrying about the 2011 version of the Yankees.