Thursday, January 29, 2009

Time for Yankee captain Derek Jeter to stand up for his teammates regarding 'The Yankee Years'

I've been wondering when Derek Jeter was going to say something about Joe Torre's "The Yankee Years." He did so last night at a charity event. The New York Times reports:

Was Jeter surprised and/or disturbed by the Torre/Tom Verducci assertion in “The Yankee Years” that Rodriguez has a “Single White Female” obsession with him?

“Ah, it gets to the point where it just seems like we’re always talking about the same things, you know?” he said. “It seems like every year it’s about the same thing.”

Is he suggesting it's Alex's fault that this is all in the headlines again? He's not the one who wrote the book; Torre is.

When asked whether Torre should be writing about confidential clubhouse stuff, Jeter gave this answer:

“To be quite honest with you, people had all the excerpts on TV and reports on this and that,” he said. “To be fair to everyone, I think you have to wait to see what’s in it first, and then give Mr. T an opportunity to address it.”

Sorry, Derek, I don't need to wallow through 500 pages to figure out that it was wrong for Torre to write confidential clubhouse tales in his book. And you shouldn't have to, either.

Besides, "Mr. T" already had "an opportunity to address it" - he's the one who wrote the book in the first place!

Look, I'm not going to suggest that Jeter stand up for A-Rod, because that ship sailed a long, long time ago. But I do think that the captain of the Yankees ought to have an opinion on the other allegations the book makes about Jeter's other teammates.

What does Derek think about these revelations:

* Newsday's Neil Best, who has read "The Yankee Years," said that in the book, Torre reveals that Johnny Damon, Jeter's current teammate, was suffering from emotional and physical issues in the spring of 2007. Damon was starting to tick off the "old guard" Yanks. Damon, when confronted by Torre in a private meeting, told him "I'm not sure I want to do this" anymore. According to Best:

The book says one teammate visited Torre and was near tears discussing Damon, saying, "Let's get rid of him. Guys can't stand him."

Damon isn't the only person Joe writes about having emotional or mental problems - Torre does the same about Carl Pavano, Randy Johnson, Chuck Knoblauch, and Kevin Brown, to name a few - but Johnny is the one who is currently Jeter's teammate.

So Jeter really needs to be asked:

1) If it's appropriate for his former manager to write about his former players' psyches and personal issues, and

2) If he thinks the standard for getting rid of a player should be whether he's in with the in-crowd.

* The book talks about how Brian McNamee's "program" was an open joke in the clubhouse. So what did Jeter see regarding performance-enhancing drugs on the Yankees? Was he part of the "don't ask, don't tell, don't care" contingent, as the book describes it? (And yeah, I know all about the clubhouse code. But given that Torre appears to have violated that code dozens of times in the book, I think it's a fair question for the captain.)

* Torre describes the post-2001 teams as being selfish, writing:
"It was just not an unselfish team. The team wasn't tough enough . . . A lot of those players are more concerned about what it looks like as opposed to getting dirty and just getting it done. Those other teams, they were ferocious."

Does Derek agree with these revelations? Given how many times he has said over the years about them not being the same team, I think he does, but I'd like to hear if he agrees that most of his current teammates are "more concerned about what it looks like as opposed to getting dirty and just getting it done."

* And finally, Jeter ought to be asked about his own involvement with the book. Was he interviewed for it? Did he provide any of the anonymous quotes in it? And why hasn't he read it yet? What, Joe wouldn't give him a review copy? Sheesh.

I think Jeter said all the right things the night Yankee Stadium closed - his speech that night was one for the ages. But it's time for him to open his mouth again and say something substantive about "The Yankee Years." As captain of the Yanks, he doesn't get to sit this one out.

What do you think Derek Jeter should do? Leave us a comment.


Anonymous said...

Lisa, you don't actually expect to hear Jeter say something that hasn't been carefully scripted for him do you? His on field comments after the last game were the only things he has said unscripted since becoming a Yankee. I have always admired Jeter's on field efforts and desire to win but his leadership skills are a different story.

Anonymous said...

He's not going to say a word. He's the captain of the dynasty era of the late 90s, not the current Yankee team.

Greg Cohen said...

This is Jeter's major flaw as a captain. He can lead on the field, but he's so far been unable to lead off of it.

He let A-Rod hang out to dry when he was being booed at The Stadium every night. Now he's doing it again.

Alvaro Fernandez Ravelo said...

Greg, it's not a flaw, Jeter is just not up to the task.

I can imagine Dodger players CRYING now to Ned Coletti "Let's get rid of him. Guys can't stand him."

And how about drilling some tough questions to Larry Bowa and Don Mattingly who so faitfully followed Torre??

Anonymous said...

Why obsess over what Jeter says about the book? He didn't write it, so why should he explain it? I respect Jeter's ability to refrain from the bashing and trashing of his teammates--that's the mark of a true leader.

Anonymous said...

Why obsess over what Jeter says about the book? He didn't write it, so why should he explain it? I respect Jeter's ability to refrain from the bashing and trashing of his teammates--that's the mark of a true leader.

Anonymous said...

Because he's the captiain Irene. With certain positions come certain responsibilities. How can a captain NOT be expected to receive questions on this?

I agree, "captain" is nothing more than an honorary title for Jeter. If you lead by example there is no need to have the official title, no?

Damon, Wells, Sheffield, Cashman, Brown, A-Rod, Steinbrenners, etc didn't write the book either. Think they aren't going to get questions?

Anonymous said...

Irene ..well said. People who have never been in the clubhouse have no clue what Jeter said or what he didn't say and I find it comical for those who say he isn't a good leader. He's actually the smartest in the bunch for keeping his opinions to himself. Quiet leadership doesn't mean it's not good leadership. The best leadership is by example not by talk.

Jeter has no explaining to do ..if anyone does ..that would be Joe since his name is on the book.

Go Yankees 2009 !!!

Alvaro Fernandez Ravelo said...

And I'm pretty sure Lisa has a LOT of examples in which Jeter has defended some one but not stepped to the plate A-Rod, basically.

Besides, when referring to the "old guard" guess who is that?

Anonymous said...

I love Jeter, but in my opinion he never should have been made Yankee captain. He doesn't have the makeup for it.

Posada does.

Uncle Mike said...

Jeter doesn't have to say a word. He's got results that speak for themselves.

The same cannot be said for Rodriguez. But he CAN'T say a word, because anything he said will be twisted into "A-Rod's whining again" -- even if, wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles, it actually isn't whining.

The only thing A-Rod can do to silence his critics -- including me -- is to win the whole thing. Then -- and only then -- will what Joe Torre said about him no longer matter.

Subway Squawkers said...

Why should Jeter take a stand? Because Joe betrayed some confidences about Derek's teammates. And said they were selfish. Why shouldn't we expect the captain to stand up for his guys?

I mean, really, where are Jeter's loyalties - to the Yankees, or to Torre? He doesn't get to *not* take a stand here.

For all of Torre's finger-pointing in the book about the current Yankees being not the same team, who has tried to make this team come together? Who has tried to be a real leader? It sure wasn't Torre, or Jeter.

The only one in recent years that tried to lead is Johnny Damon, and what did he get for his trouble? The "old guard" guys gossiping like washerwomen about him to Daddy Torre, and one player saying to get rid of Damon because players couldn't stand him. I guess Damon is just one of those selfish players Joe talked about who didn't know what it took to win championships. Oh, wait.

Damon had the best line, I thought, about the whole thing. The author of the controversial book "Idiot" said, "Unfortunately, when books come out, no good comes of it," he said. Heh!

Anonymous said...

Meh, I much like Jeter am tired of the same Jeter vs A-Rod questions/debates year after year. The fact of the matter is that Jeter isn't going to say anything about Torre's book, and he isn't going to say anything about A-Rod. He's going to more or less keep quiet as he always does, give non-descript answers as he always does, and wait for the whole thing to die down as it always does. It's only 14 days till pitchers and catchers. And as someone who is extremely tired of winter, that's something to get excited about.

Anonymous said...

As I said ...the only one who has to answer for Joe's book is JOE...

If someone wants to add their opinions it's there prerogative but it's not a requirement no matter who they are...

It's the fans ..who basically have no clue to the reality of a situation except what they read by this "source" or that "source"...that want to mouth off all the time.

I ordered the book...I'm going to read it and then I'll form my own opinions and not what the masses tell me I'm suppose to believe. I do have a problem with Joe bringing out the player tales especially if
they were confidential but I'll wait to jump on the bashing bandwagon till then.

15 days till ST ...Go Yankees 2009 !!!

Anonymous said...

Exactly who is telling you what to think? Please, stop the silliness.

Anyway, no one is asking Jeter to respond just for the hell of it. He's supposed to be a leader. And as far as I'm concerned if you're only going to be a silent, lead by example leader you don't need the official title. Just got out there and do your job.

Managers aren't silent leaders. Why? Because speaking up goes with the position. But I guess in Yankeeland having an official leadership position doesn't require one to step up in speak unless shutting down a stadium.

Uncle Mike, Jeter's "results" have nothing to do with this situation. So, so very irrelevant. And its not about A-Rod and people getting off his back. Whether its true, irrelevant, he doesn't produce etc is so not the point of why some of us don't like this.

The hypocrisy and double standards is the issue. The first time someone you guys didn't like reported things that were said behind closed doors about someone you did like you'd have a fit.

Just like some people are trying to get upset with what Moose said about Mariano.

The hard truth is always okay, right up until its said about us as an individual or someone we like. Example: getting upset over something as small as thinking Jeter should step up and be a captain.

Is Joe Torre Judas? No, not to me. But wrong is wrong, regardless of who does it.

Its not difficult.

Subway Squawkers said...

Alvaro, since you mentioned it, here's a link to Jason Giambi talking about how much he appreciated Jeter standing up for him after the BALCO thing:

Anonymous said...

Lisa, did you hear Boomer on Kay's show. How many more comments/ interviews like this will happen?

Some of these guys that were mentioned in the book arent like A-Rod, they will speak up and not take the high road.

Anonymous said...

Remember the Sheffield incident when he basically called Torre a racist? Everyone expected Jeter to stand up for Torre and say, "That's not how he is. Stuff like that never happened." But he didn't. He avoids controversy like the plague. Does that make him a bad leader? Not in my opinion - as long as he leads in the clubhouse.

Anonymous said...

Nah, we're just talking about what we think a captain should do. We expect him to do exactly what you expect him to do...nothing.

Anonymous said...

I love the silent leadership comments. You can only assume that is happening. I'd like to see it happening.

I'll take the leader who tells 20,000 people to get off my back rather than the one who comes up to my locker and says just ignore those 20,000 people booing you.

Easy for the guy who never gets booed to say!

Anonymous said...

Guy who never gets booed? When Jeter got off to a bad start a few years ago, the fans booed him.

"I don’t blame them,” Jeter said. “If I was a fan I would boo me too.”

Unknown said...

I think Jeter is a spoiled little child who harbors animosity towards anyone who slights him in any way. I think he is a lousy captain, he is not vocal, has no diplomacy and is riding the coattails of 96-2000 teams accomplishments.

I pray the Yanks are wise enough to let him go after his contract runs out next year. Please tell me who in their right mind thinks he should have been the 2nd highest paid player in MLB? A singles hitter who is constantly rated as the worst full time defensive player.

I'll never forget after Yanks won the World Series in 98 I was at China Club in NYC and Jeter had a table near us. As a lifelong Yankee fan I said to him great season. His response was similar to a rapper thug just nodding his head and give me a yo yo wassup. On the other hand I saw Chuck Knoblauch at another club a year later and I said hello. He introduced himself, shook my hand and asked me how our night was. Basically a complete gentleman versus Jeter the overrated child thug.

Alvaro Fernandez Ravelo said...
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Alvaro Fernandez Ravelo said...
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Alvaro Fernandez Ravelo said...

D, I had a similar experience with Derek Jeter. Back in December 1997 I was in the Dominican Republic's airport waiting for a flight back to Guatemala stopping at Panama. Jeter came into my gate, I asked "Are you Derek Jeter?" and his entourage laughed. They said "See, there is nowhere you can hide." Obviously, he went to a gate which wasn't for his flight because he didn't wanted to be harassed. He made an awful face and did signed an autograph, but it isn't a joyful memory for me.

However, someone in a the right field bleachers in 2007 told he was a great guy, that she had a positive experience and I just dismissed my memory as a bad day for Jeter, just as anyone can have.

But I do agree with almost everything you say about him.

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