“King of New York?”

Could anyone ever imagine seeing Derek Jeter (pictured above) sporting a uniform other than the pinstripes?

O how the mighty have fallen.  MLB free agency is already heating up.  And as usual, the Yankees are in the thick of the conversation for any major player on the market.  One of the marquee names is one who most are very familiar with.  People refer to him by a plethora of nicknames.  Some of these are Mr. October (or November for that matter), The Captain, the Quintessential Winner, and the King of New York.  You all know who I am referring to after hearing the laundry list of nicknames.  None other than Number 2..

So when did the Jeter love affair become so bitter? 

The kid rose up through the Yankee organization and debuted with the Bombers in 1995.  Starting in 1996, he became the every day shortstop and captured the AL Rookie of the Year Award.  He also won his first of 5 World Series.  16 years later, the love affair appears to be over.  The 5 Gold Glove Awards, the 11 All Star selections, and the 4 Silver Slugger Awards are just a mere memory.

Derek Jeter is no longer the King of New York.  He has now become dare I say, damaged goods.  A “has been” if you will.  It is hard for me to say.  But the numbers do not lie.  Last season, Jeter, had the worst batting average of his career (when playing the full season).  A man who has a career .314 batting average hit just .270. In addition, he had both the lowest on base percentage and lowest slugging percentage numbers of his career.  The King played like a shell of his old self.

In 2009, Jeter had an outstanding season in which he appeared to be back to his old form.  The team won a World Series, and all was good.  This season, Jeter looked mediocre, and old at times.  Now Derek is a free agent.  Could anyone really see this guy wearing anything but the Pinstripes?

Jeter made 22.5 million last year.  The Yankees offered Derek a 3 year contract worth 45 million (15 million a year) last week.  Jeter is looking for something in the range of 23 to 25 million  a season.

Derek was by far the highest paid shortstop in the MLB last year.  The next highest paid SS in the League is arguably the best SS in the game, Hanley Ramirez.  Ramirez is over 10 years younger than Derek and will make a salary of 11 million in the upcoming season.

As much as I respect the Yankee Captain and realize all he has done for the organization, there comes a time when the man has to wake up and smell the roses.  He is no longer one of the elite shortstops in the game.  I realize that generally as people age, their salaries increase within companies.  Their performance generally improves each year as well, or at least plateaus.  Jeter’s play has gone backwards. 

Will the King of New York wake up before it is too late?  Or will America have to witness one of its elite stars dawn another jersey?

I just pray that this does not turn into a Brett Favre Part 2.  America could not handle something like that again.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

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4 responses to ““King of New York?”

  1. 3 Years for ~ $15MM per year is fantastic given what Jeter batted last year. There is no way his agent should be asking for a contract for more than 3 years.

  2. Steve,
    I am in complete agreeance with you. It would be a shame to see Jeter sport another jersey due to stubborness over a 3 year, 45 million dollar deal.

    -TheSportsKraze

  3. Gooch from The Bronx

    This is nothing like the Brett Favre thing. Jeter had a mediocre year and could come back strong next year. Who knows? I do think that based on his numbers and his probable number of years in the game left, $45 million for 3 years is plenty fair. If not, Jeter can join other greedy athletes and see if he can do better elsewhere. I doubt it. Take the money and stay with the Yankees Jeter.

    • Gooch,
      I agree with you in that comparing this situation to Brett Favre is a bit of an exaggeration. Jeter may bounce back this year. But the Yankees have presented him with a more than fair deal.

      Jeter will come off as extremely selfish if he walks out on a 3 year, 45 million dollar contract.

      DJ has always represented the best of what Yankee Baseball is. It would be a shame to see it end on anything but a high note.

      -TheSportsKraze

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