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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Why so angry? Derek Jeter's real personality comes out in press conference

I'm still wondering what Derek Jeter thought he was accomplishing with yesterday's angry, bitter, score-settling press conference. Geez, I haven't seen the captain as ticked off at a presser since he mumbled and frowned during Alex Rodriguez's 2004 introduction as a Yankee.

Yesterday, the New York press corps had to travel 85 miles from the Orlando Winter Meetings to Tampa, because Derek Diva refused to leave his winter hometown to meet the media. Of course, you won't see anybody in the press complain about this. They don't want to be frozen out by the King of All Grudges.

It astonishes me how some fans still say how classy Jeter is. Unless you take off the first two letters of the word, "class" is not the word that comes to mind with the way he's acted this year. And all the anger and bile he showed to the media yesterday wasn't classy, either. If it's now all really "one big happy family," Derek, then why couldn't you say that phrase without a sarcastic tone and a smirk on your face?

Let's review what the captain said at the presser:
“It all started with my (reported) salary demands, which still cracks me up,” he said. “What position am I in to demand a salary? Give me this, or what? Where am I going?”


How perfectly disingenuous. Does he really expect us to believe that he and his agent never said what they wanted? Puh-lease. And who was it who leaked that salary information to the press? Bill Madden said it came from the Jeter/Close camp.

Besides, if he's in no position to demand a salary, then why didn't he just sign the Yankees' initial offer and be done with it?
"The thing that probably bothered me the most was how public this became," he said. "The negotiations were suppose to be private. It was an uncomfortable position I felt that I was in....That was something I was not happy about and let my feelings be known. I never wanted to be a free agent. It was the situation I was in. I'd be lying to you if I said I wasn't angry."

Boo bleeding hoo. How was it that Mariano Rivera was able to handle his negotiations privately, and Jeter couldn't? Maybe it's because Mo was reasonable, and Jeter wanted to be paid A-Rod money for Marco Scutaro stats, while his agent compared him to Babe Ruth? Just a guess.
“I was more angry at the process and how I was being portrayed,” Jeter said of the talks. “I heard greed, I heard all of the sudden I have an ego, arrogance and I don’t think I was portrayed correctly. From my understanding of a negotiation, one side makes an offer, another side makes an offer and you try to come to an agreement.”
Well, I don't think Jeter "all of a sudden" got an ego -- he's had one all along; he's just been very good at hiding it.

Besides, does he not get that when you ask for between $25 million a year for six years, after you've had the worst year of your career, during the most horrible economic times since the Great Depression, that this might not come off as the best idea, no matter how many intangibles you have?
"Yeah, I’m getting older, but so is everyone else in this room," Jeter said.


That's a silly argument. It doesn't matter if Brian Cashman or Dr. Charles Jeter is getting older. What matters is that the 36-year-old shortstop is getting older.
"For me (the negotiation) wasn’t a good experience. How this became so public. ... was uncomfortable and I got angry at times," Jeter said. "When the organization says, ’go shop’ when I said I wasn’t going to, yeah, I wasn’t happy about it."


Love the complete lack of responsibility here. Cashman only said what he did about testing the free agent market after Casey Close whined to Mike Lupica about how mean the Yankees were being to his client. When Newsday's Ken Davidoff pointed out to Jeter that his agent participated in making this public, here was Jeter's response:
"That's Casey, that's Casey," Jeter said. "You guys assume that I control everything that Casey does, so you'd have to ask him. I don't know if he's talking today, but you'd have to ask him certain things.

"Just because Casey, from my understanding, mentioned how the process was going to be a certain way, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's my feelings."

What nonsense. Close works for Jeter. The idea that Close went rogue in speaking his own opinion, and that Jeter had nothing to do with it, is flat-out crazy.  If Close did something Jeter didn't like, the way Scott Boras did with A-Rod, he could have fired him. But the captain wants to have it both ways -- take the moral high ground because he himself never spoke in public, and act as if his agent wasn't really speaking for him. Is anybody really buying this?
"I want to play as long as I'm having fun, and I'm having fun now," Jeter said. "If I'm not enjoying myself, then I won't be playing."

Gee, that's nice. How about Jeter wanting to play as long as he can help the Yankees win? Remember that whole team-first thing he was supposed to be all about?

You know who this reminds me of? It's a name on the tip of my tongue....
"I feel as though I’m in the middle of [my career]," Jeter said.
It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Brett Favre the Second! Good grief.

* * *


One other note: three years ago, when A-Rod re-signed with the Yankees, the press conference was done very low-key, via a conference call. Nobody remembers what was said, as the presser had the unfortunate timing of taking place the day the Mitchell Report was released.

This time around, Jeter made sure he was the star, with the Yankee front office and the media traveling across Florida to pay their respects. My only surprise about this Derek Diva act that he didn't demand signing bonus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh!

What do you think? Tell us about it!

25 comments:

Alvaro Fernandez Ravelo said...

I met Jeter by chance on the Dominican Republic. He went into hiding into my gate at the airport (I was the only passenger at the moment). Recognized him and asked for his autograph. All his entourage laughed that there was nowhere to hide. He wasn't gracious and I could understand he was annoyed because he went into the gate which wasn't for his flight, to hide. He did gave me my autograph and went left. That was in winter in 1997.

The very same year in the Dominican Republic a friend and I ran into Moises Alou and Jose Rijo in a bar. Alou was very friendly and chatty, I even had the nerve to ask him if he was annoyed for being traded to the Astros. He told us he had just bought a home in Florida and talked about different things, really long conversation. He went back to sit with Rijo. A few hours later he approached my friend and I to say goodbye. Who is the classy guy here?

Rijo, by the way, was a pompous b***.

Symphony said...

In my opinion people are confusing public comments made by the organization with public negotiations.

Hal answering a question, that things could get messy is not negotiating in public. That's a general statement to a scenario asked during an interview.

Levine stating they looked at this as a business deal, not a marketing deal and its about baseball is not negotiating, again, a very general comment.

Things definitely kicked up a notch from the Yankees camp after the "baffling" comment from Casey Close.

While I don't feel it was necessary for Cashman to make his "shop around" comments public, he could have let the market speak for him and to Jeter, it came from a probably defensive group who felt they were being fair and didn't appreciate Close's comments to Lupica.

And I think its unfair for those who cast the Yankees as the bad guy to completely ignore that they had a very smooth and painless negotiation with Mariano Rivera. So its not like its impossible for the Yankees to have such a thing.

And without calling Derek Jeter evil and a bad guy, you have to acknowledge maybe there was a reason other than the Yankees that this negotiation went the way it did.

Am I hijacking this thread? Almost done Lisa. :)

When its all said and done I don't think the Yankees (Hal and Hank) care all THAT much that Derek is angry. Sure, they don't want to alienate him and they love the way he's represented the Yankees, but they don't believe for one minute he's bigger than the organization.

And from Cashman's interview with Francesa I know he doesn't sit around nervously wondering if Derek Jeter likes him.

Symphony said...

Meant to also say that individual players and their agents have the luxury of simply not speaking.

It's not possible for an organization to ignore the dozens of publications and outlets they must give media access to on a daily basis (about more than just Derek Jeter and his contract status).

We all know the topic of an interview with Cashman could be about feeding the poor for Thanksgiving and the media would still throw in a hot button question.

Which takes me back to my point that general public statements and negotiating (in public) are not the same thing.

Uncle Mike said...

"That's Casey, that's Casey. You guys assume that I control everything that Casey does.” Blaming the agent for things going wrong? Most fans will have no problem blaming an agent. Franklin Roosevelt used to do this when Eleanor said something FDR wanted said, but, for political reasons, couldn’t say himself. Richard Nixon used his Vice President, Spiro Agnew, the same way. Those of us who support Jeter can compare him to the great leader who saved the nation from Depression and the world from fascism, and those who oppose him can compare him to Tricky Dick – see how far that gets you.

“It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Brett Favre the Second! Good grief.” Oh, Lisa/Charlie Brown, we know Jeter isn’t Superman. Remember when he flew into the stands? He was bleeding. Superman doesn’t bleed!

“Three years ago, when A-Rod re-signed with the Yankees, the press conference was done very low-key, via a conference call. Nobody remembers what was said…” We remember that he opted out of the biggest contract anybody ever got, embarrassing himself, the Yankee organization, and all of baseball during the World Series. Show me where Jeter has EVER done ANYTHING like that, and then you can compare the situations.

“I (Symphony) think its unfair for those who cast the Yankees as the bad guy to completely ignore that they had a very smooth and painless negotiation with Mariano Rivera. So its not like its impossible for the Yankees to have such a thing.” True, but that statement makes the exact opposite point as well: If the Yankees could do it for one of the two men without whom none of the modern Pennants (after 1981) happened, why not for the other one?

Lisa Swan said...

Alvaro,

Interesting story on Jeter! Thanks for telling it. And the Alou one, too. I hope you didn't shake Moises' hand, though! (Google for details!)

Symphony, those are very fair points about the negotiations. And about the front office. I don't think any of them are losing sleep on this, if Ken Davidoff's blog entry today is any indication.

r.waters81 said...

Seriously, what is with all the vitriol towards Jeter? Even after he signed? He's given the Yankees fifteen Hall of Fame worthy years; he's not Carl Pavano or Javy Vazquez. And he's on the team for the next 3 years. So if you really want to chant "Derek Diva" at him, it'll sure prove your point that you should cheer for the uniform and not the player who wears it.

Lisa Swan said...

Um, Mike, a vice president is not the same as an agent. Jeter is paying Casey Close 10% of his salary to negotiate for him. You can't have your agent whine in public about how you're this generation's Babe Ruth, and then say that Casey was just stating his opinion.

As for the rest of your Jeter-worshipping, ant-A-Rod screed, I've heard it all before. I have to say that I get a kick out of the Jeter defenders twist themselves into knots to support everything he does. Jeter could start a dog-fighting ring, and his fans would be saying that those puppies had it coming!

Lisa Swan said...

r.waters81 writes, "He's given the Yankees fifteen Hall of Fame worthy years; he's not Carl Pavano or Javy Vazquez."

And he's been compensated extremely well for those fifteen Hall of Fame years, between his 10-year Yankee contract, the new one, and all the endorsements. But that's not enough for the captain, since the Yankees didn't give him an A-Rod-esque deal. Sorry, don't see why the Yankees have to kiss his ring.

r.waters81 said...

He signed the freaking deal!!!!! What do you want to do? Void the deal and pick up JJ Hardy?

Jeter knows full well that millions of people will pay an arm and a leg to pass through those turnstiles at a $1.5 billion park that he helped generate revenue for, pay $9 for a beer, $6.50 for a hot dog, and $25 bucks for a $2 dollar novelty shirt that has his likeness and the number 3000 on it. So he wants as big of a cut of that money as he can? Can you blame him for asking?

BrooklynGirl said...

r.waters81: What exactly is Jeter "angry" about? All is fair in love and multimillion dollar contracts for aging sports stars. Lisa was on point when she termed his performance at the news conference "disingenuous". His "anger" should be directed at his agent and not the Yankee management or the media. Everybody was just doing their jobs; Casey Close spoke, Mike Lupica reported, Brian Cashman responded. As they say in retail "You broke it, it's yours". Since he plans on playing until he's 45 (no plans to do anything else with your life Derek?)maybe he will negotiate that contract himself. That way he won't be "baffled" or "angry" with anyone.

FHPromos said...

I just think that this was an issue of respect and Jeter felt disrespected to be offered less than he made in years prior. Take the money value out of the equation, if an everyday joe goes into a negotiation and is offered a pay cut how do you think he is going to feel. Granted his last year was probably the worst of his career, doesn't his prior body of work mean anything? Are we back to the age of, how did Miss Janet so eloquently sing in the 80's "What Have You Done For Me Lately?".

I would be offended and angry too if my boss did that to me and told me to look for a better offer. The Yankees acted like a haughty and corporate entity in direct contrast to how maybe George Steinbrenner may have done it. Maybe the new regime wants to assert itself in a way different than the Boss. Who really knows.

Again, money aside I see where Jeter is coming from. Why should we hold Jeter, who has been known to bleed for his team on the field, to a different standard. He is is human after all.

FH

Symphony said...

"True, but that statement makes the exact opposite point as well: If the Yankees could do it for one of the two men without whom none of the modern Pennants (after 1981) happened, why not for the other one?"

Of course it makes the opposite point, which is why you didn't see me say other wise. This isn't some either/ or fallacy. Even if the Yankees could have handled it differently, that doesn't mean Jeter couldn't as well.


And Derek Jeter has every right to feel whatever he wants to feel. His anger and feelings of disrespect is a Derek Jeter problem. The Yankees don't have to sit around feeling bad about what they did.

This is his previous contract in reverse. When the Yankees got gun shy on the $118 million, then had to go up to $189 million after A-Rod's contract I'm sure they didn't like it.

The Yankees paid him a sum they didn't really like and now he had to sign and deal he really didn't like. Sometimes you win and sometimes the player across the table from you win.

BrooklynGirl said...

FH: If you are meaning to say that sometimes humans can be delusional then I see where you are coming from.

To repeat ad nauseum Jeter was paid $189 MILLION DOLLARS over the past 10 years for his services he earned it and deserved every penny. In addition by benefit of playing for the NY Yankees and winning those championships,he has earned MIILIONS more in lucrative endorsements from Ford, Gillette, Gatorade, and other firms. He has paid very well for those past achievements. He will be a first ballot Hall of Famer. Now 10 years later at the age of 36 (almost 37) he is showing signs of decline that in the eyes of management justify being paid a slightly lower amount of money. He belived that he should get a deal similar to the bad deal the Yankees made with A-Rod. Why? Well because he's Derek Jeter, Captain of the NY Yankees. Well he was wrong. And in "Jeter World" that is not a good thing. It briefly spun off its axis into a galaxy called "cold truth" and "reality potion" and "public arena". He wasn't in control of the story and peoples perceptions about him in the media. He was baffled, felt he was betrayed(embarrassed?), then had to sit down with managment and and sign a for less than he originally wanted. He had no leverage, they made a fair offer, and all of this could have been avoided if he signed it and moved on ala Mariano but he didn't. He came off in the press conference like a pouting teenager, throwing his agent under the bus when he should know better.

To paraphrase, tough negotiations don't build character, it reveals character.

r.waters81 said...

"To paraphrase, tough negotiations don't build character, it reveals character."

So we're gonna sit around and bash on the character of our captain for the next four years? That seems like it would be productive...

BrooklynGirl said...

No bashing on my part FH. But I'm tired of Jeter constantly being portayed in the media(especially the NY papers) like he can't do wrong,writers giving him a pass all the time. He's the the one always spouting off about "it's about the team" and "he just wants to win". He's ours for the next few years and I'm sure he will do his best to help the team win. But folks need to stop treating him like he's a saint or found the cure to cancer. He been a very good shortstop for long time. He is probably on the decline,how fast we will see for ourselves. Sooner or later he will have to be replaced; that's not a crime that's baseball plain and simple.

Lisa Swan said...

FHPromos, thanks for reading. But most players at the downside of their careers take pay cuts, especially when they've just come off the worst season of their career. And yeah, it is "what have you done for me lately." When Jeter had a great 1998 season, he took the Yankees to the cleaners in arbitration. When he had a lousy 2010, they had the advantage. That's baseball.

But if Jeter had his nose joint out about that, he wasn't even honest regarding it in the presser. He's still playing the "I really don't care about money" card, which looks phonier every day.

r.waters, Jeter is a $7 million shortstop making 16+ million a year, who thinks he should be getting 25 million. Too bad for him. He needs to get over it -- that's what a team player would do, after all.

As for the t-shirt issue, the Yankees make the same amount of money off Jeter's shirts as everybody other team does -- a 1/30 share in the profits.

Uncle Mike said...

"Sorry, don't see why the Yankees have to kiss his ring."

Because where would they be without its wearer? Staring at "1978" banners at Fenway Park and Citi Field. Hearing the name of Thurman Munson connected with "Curse of... " Wondering why the hell A-Rod's been with them since 2001 and still hasn't helped them win a World Series. Seeing a string of managers (including Joe Torre) who couldn't get it done. Watching Mariano Rivera let go and having someone else figure out what do to with him (i.e. the way the Mets did with Jason Isringhausen).

Or, Lisa can just use Mark McGwire's words: We're not here to talk about the past. To which we can use William Shakespeare's: "What is past is prologue."

Symphony said...

You have to blame 2001-2003 on someone other than A-Rod, he wasn't a Yankee.

People talk all day long about the years Jeter helped bring championships but act like he wasn't involved in the 8 years (2001-2008) that they didn't win. Only the non-dynasty players get blamed for that.

Too often fans want to have it both ways with their favorites.

r.waters81 said...

Wow, the poor Yankees. Only 1/30th of a profit on those t-shirts. It still doesn't change the fact that the Steinbrenners are making money hand over fist on fans at Yankee Stadium. And that doesn't even count the hundreds of millions of dollars they make off the YES Network, and the over $500 million they're gonna save in taxes because their old man croaked this year.

Rooting for the Yankees front office to win a negotiation, especially over a player who has probably been the single most important Yankee over the past 15 years when they became a "global sports empire" as they've said in every single memorial about George Steinbrenner, is like going to a casino, setting up right behind a blackjack table, and cheering for the house. If, God forbid, the Yankees had to shell out a few extra bucks a year to keep Derek Jeter, then so be it. And to top it off, there would be NO WAY Hal, Hank, Levine, Trost, Cashman, etc. would be able to truthfully say "We didn't have enough money in the budget to sign guys like Lee and Crawford because we gave it all to Jeter." and still overcharge people for anything associated with the Yankees. They know that they need to keep opening their gigantic wallet and outspend everybody on big-names if they want to keep their "empire" afloat, because studs like Strasburg, Posey, and Heyward are not gonna be around when the Yankees are picking last every year.

There is much more to the Yankees brand than WAR, UZR, and OPS+.

Symphony said...

Those of you who will defend Derek’s honor (as if he needs your help) are very confused about the rest of us. Just because people don’t carry Jeter’s water doesn’t mean we are against the guy. The overwhelming majority of fans I’ve listened to on the radio or read online have no problem with Jeter getting what he can. The key words being what he can. I, for one, am not pro-management. I’m about as pro-player as you can get. To this day one of my favorite moments is when someone tried to put John Calhoun on the spot about his large salary during these economic times and he said he wouldn’t give a dime back.

But if the owners don’t want to give Jeter what he wants then those of us who can balance cheering our favorite players with looking at the bigger and long term picture are not going to sit around being offended for the players.

Not giving Derek Jeter the amount of money he asked for is not embarrassing or disrespecting him. If he feels that way, as I said before, that’s his problem. I believe the only comment that the Yankees could have done without was Cashman’s when he said shop around. But, you know what? I’m not going to hate the Yankees or carry some lifetime or even five-minute grudge over it. There is no shortage of great Yankees who have had to deal with the business side of a child’s game.

In fact, business comes first and if people can’t handle it maybe they should ignore it until spring training and just watch the games.

Alvaro Fernandez Ravelo said...

I thought it was the water sweat of the drinks! Yikes! Hahaha

Lisa Swan said...

"Rooting for the Yankees front office to win a negotiation, especially over a player who has probably been the single most important Yankee over the past 15 years when they became a "global sports empire" as they've said in every single memorial about George Steinbrenner, is like going to a casino, setting up right behind a blackjack table, and cheering for the house."

Geez, I didn't know Derek Jeter was the reincarnation of Joe Hill here. Somebody better get him to a soup kitchen already, so he can have a decent meal.

I root for the Yankees to make deals that will help the team win. I noticed that at no point in this negotiation did Jeter or any of his minions even try to claim that he would make the team better anymore, and help the Yankees win #28. They just want him to get paid -- again -- for past performance.

r.waters81 said...

"I root for the Yankees to make deals that will help the team win. I noticed that at no point in this negotiation did Jeter or any of his minions even try to claim that he would make the team better anymore, and help the Yankees win #28. They just want him to get paid -- again -- for past performance."

Fine. So go to Yankee Stadium, drink as much liquid courage there as you can afford, boo him every at bat he doesn't hit a home run, and chant "Derek Diva" every opportunity you get.

But by continuing all this vitriol towards the guy who is the captain of the team is making you just as bad of a fair weather Yankee fan as anybody who booed A-Rod cause he wasn't a true Yankee and didn't earn his all of paycheck some years.

Lisa Swan said...

"Fine. So go to Yankee Stadium, drink as much liquid courage there as you can afford, boo him every at bat he doesn't hit a home run, and chant "Derek Diva" every opportunity you get."

Um, where did I ever say I would boo him? Stop putting words in my mouth.

I would never show up at a game and boo a Yankee. Not even Jeter, even though he couldn't lift a finger to ask Yankee fans to stop booing A-Rod (when he didn't have a problem doing that for Giambi and Knoblauch.)

By the way, I don't remember the captain saying a word over some teammates calling A-Rod "A-Fraud," as recounted in "The Yankee Years."

"But by continuing all this vitriol towards the guy who is the captain of the team is making you just as bad of a fair weather Yankee fan as anybody who booed A-Rod cause he wasn't a true Yankee and didn't earn his all of paycheck some years."

Oh, please. Why do you care what I think about Jeter? You're getting the vapors because I think he's been a greedy egomaniac over his contract? Well, he has! And I'm not going to change my mind over it. Somehow, I think he will survive.

FHPromos said...

I see both Lisa and Brooklyn Girl's points about Jeter (or any player for that matter) being in decline and it being "just baseball" when deciding what to do with them. I guess we'll find out in the years to come whether or not 2010 was just an off year or if it was the beginning of the end to Derek Jeter's career.