Skip to content

Quote of the Day: Derek Jeter’s slow demise edition

May 3, 2011, 12:02 PM EDT

New York Yankees v Texas Rangers, Game 6 Getty Images

 “It’s almost sad to see how fast [Jeter] has lost it. Everything looks slow, soft, old. I hate saying it, because everyone respects Derek. But it’s true.”

– An American League scout, quoted by Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record.

Klapisch’s article is a good one. Rather than just wring his hands about Jeter’s awful performance, he reminds us of the last time a Yankee icon simply lost it: 1951 and Joe DiMaggio.  The difference, as Klapisch notes, is Jeter’s new contract hanging over everything.  Should Jeter walk away if he can’t find his stroke this year?  Is he even capable of doing so?

In thinking about this I’m struck by the notion that the air of professionalism and high-quality public relations that has served Jeter so well throughout his career now works to make his thoughts and motivations on the matter a mystery.  Last year, when Chipper Jones was struggling he talked openly about whether he could or should continue to play through the duration of his contract.  We’ll likely never get such public emoting about it all from Jeter.

Not that we deserve it. It’s his career and his life. But the mystery about it all probably does work to increase the public scrutiny, with our fretting about it filling the void that Jeter’s lack of public comment creates.

  1. spudchukar - May 3, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    The same confidence that drives one to success, is probably the same confidence that creates a situation where we are the last to know.

    • bigharold - May 3, 2011 at 2:24 PM

      Absolutely, .. just ask Muhammed Ali.

      You can’t accomplish what great athletes do without overcoming ones own doubts time and again and thereby developing a supreme confidence. Which, in the end is usually the same thing that causes you to be the last person to admit it.

      On the other hand a few years ago he started the season at .190 for the first month or so and turned it around. I hope he can do it again this year. Failing that, I hope he has the good sense to see where he’s at and walk away. Although frankly if he can walk away from the 34 million bucks that will be left on his contract after this season he’s a better man than I am.

      The simialrities with DiMaggio’s demise have been lurking in the back of my head since last season. DiMaggio left because as someone once said; “he couldn’t be Joe Dimaggio anymore”. If Jeter is as smart as he’s been credited for and he doesn’t turnm it around I think he’ll quit too. I just hope it doesn’t come to that this year.

  2. pisano - May 3, 2011 at 12:10 PM

    Jeter and Posada are more than done. Last nights game was proof, they both came up in the late innings(7th.& 8th.) with a chance to blow the game wide open, Jeter struckout swinging and as usual Posada took a called third strike. Let me add in both cases there were runners on second and third. This is not a isolated incident,this happens all the time. These two need to be replaced asap.

    • JBerardi - May 3, 2011 at 12:21 PM

      But what of Jeter’s leadership, professionalism, and other assorted pixie dust? It was less than six months ago that I was being told he deserved his contract simply because of what he “means” to the Yankees.

      • BC - May 3, 2011 at 12:32 PM

        Posada isn’t done, at least as a hitter and emergency catcher. Jeter…. well, I’m starting to think so.

    • deathmonkey41 - May 3, 2011 at 12:49 PM

      “and as usual Posada took a called third strike”

      You should really study the game more. If there had been someone on first, he wouldn’t have taken strike three, he would have ground into an inning ending doubleplay. He can only work with what he has…duh.

  3. Charles Gates - May 3, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    ‘The contract…the contract.’ — Kurtz

    • BC - May 3, 2011 at 1:07 PM

      +1

    • Old Gator - May 3, 2011 at 9:46 PM

      I suspect that the Steinbrenners are muttering the original dialogue in their sleep.

  4. randomdigits - May 3, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    It isn’t that quick. Folks were calling last season an outlier for Jeter when in fact ’09 was the outlier. Jeter has been in noticeable decline for years and in ’09 he had one of those rebound years the great ones tend to have toward the end.

    Unfortunately for the rest of baseball the Yankees have the capacity to swallow the bitter pill that is Jeter’s contract without grimacing.

    • bobwsc - May 3, 2011 at 1:49 PM

      come on man…he won a gold glove. decline? nooooo…

      • Utley's Hair - May 3, 2011 at 2:19 PM

        Hey. I fixed this typo for you:

        come on man…he “won” a gold glove. decline? nooooo…

        There ya go….

      • bobwsc - May 3, 2011 at 2:23 PM

        right on

  5. JBerardi - May 3, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    “In thinking about this I’m struck by the notion that the air of professionalism and high-quality public relations that has served Jeter so well throughout his career now works to make his thoughts and motivations on the matter a mystery. Last year, when Chipper Jones was struggling he talked openly about whether he could or should continue to play through the duration of his contract. We’ll likely never get such public emoting about it all from Jeter.”

    Funny how that “professionalism” doesn’t have much value once it’s divorced from the ability to hit .300 with power on a consistent basis.

  6. yankeesfanlen - May 3, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    Ther are a lot of personality and character similarities between Jeter and Joe D. The public perseption of these has changed over the years. Joe was a Yankee win at all costs and had the determination to do his best on every play. So does Jeter. But in their contemporary time frames, Joe was hailed by most, and Jeter just looks….so corporate.
    Both held out for what they were worth but apparently only one quit while he was ahead.
    Hit 3000, even if they’re dribblers to poor fielders, and hang it up Derek Sanderson Jeter.

  7. cur68 - May 3, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    It is sad. All of us older than Jeets, have been through it. Reflexes are the the first to go. You notice that, while you can see the fly buzzing around your house, you can no longer just grab it mid air like you used to. That’s where Jeter is. He probably sees the ball as well as ever but he just hasn’t the reflexes to catch up to it anymore.

    IMO the fix at the plate is possible; shorten the swing, open the stance, lower the hands into the hitting zone, bunt more, work the count, go after only off speed pitches, and hanging breaking pitches. If he plays like a guy with limited power he’s got a chance to still be useful; get on base, get RBIs, erode the pitcher.

    • Utley's Hair - May 3, 2011 at 12:31 PM

      Aw crap…I replied to you below. Snark really loses something when you have to tell its recipient to go somewhere to see it…

      —sigh—

      • heyblueyoustink - May 3, 2011 at 12:53 PM

        Like our Canadian friend stated, the reflexes are the first to go ;-)

      • Utley's Hair - May 3, 2011 at 12:59 PM

        Why I oughtta…!!!! Don’t MAKE me turn this car around!!!!!! Now, where was I…?

  8. fivetoolmike - May 3, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    I’m not a Jeter apologist. And it’s totally legit to be concerned. I just wouldn’t be surprised to see a good couple of months this summer left for Jeter.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 3, 2011 at 12:33 PM

      Why? Realize that, as mentioned above, this hasn’t been a sudden deterioration of skills. Outside of ’09, he’s been a merely average player (’07, ’08, ’10). I didn’t think it would continue to be this bad, but good god he looks terrible at the plate.

  9. aceshigh11 - May 3, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    I take no pleasure in this as a relatively young Red Sox fan, because Jeter has been one of the key figures in our little rivalry for almost as long I can remember.

    Jeter and Rivera are the two Yankees that I have total respect for no matter how many times they’ve bested us in the past. It takes a miserable person to wish ill on two class-acts who play hard every day.

    I never bought into the conventional wisdom that Jeter would bounce back this year…he’s at the age, pre-PED era, where most players start to decline naturally.

    It’s a bummer, and that contract is a huge albatross, but such is life.

    • JBerardi - May 3, 2011 at 12:58 PM

      Rivera, sure. He’s awesome. He’s the guy who turned down more money from the Red Sox this offseason. Jeter, on the other hand, is the guy who bitched for extra money that NO ONE was ever going to give him because he thought he deserved it. I’m convinced that most of Jeter’s supposed heroism basically comes out of the fact that he’s SUCH a boring interview that people can just project whatever they’d like to see in a star player on him. But once the baseball ability is gone, the Jeter mystique suddenly vanishes and it’s just another marginal baseball player regurgitating cliches.

  10. Utley's Hair - May 3, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    “You notice that, while you can see the fly buzzing around your house, you can no longer just grab it mid air like you used to.”

    But what if you use chopsticks?

    • BC - May 3, 2011 at 12:34 PM

      Or a spoon.

      • aceshigh11 - May 3, 2011 at 12:42 PM

        BECAUSE IT’S DULL, YOU TWIT…IT’LL HURT MORE!

      • BC - May 3, 2011 at 12:54 PM

        OK, how about a .38?
        Then again, this coming from a guy who once cracked a plaster wall killing a wasp by hitting it with a dictionary as hard as I could….

      • Utley's Hair - May 3, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    • heyblueyoustink - May 3, 2011 at 12:58 PM

      I have a puppy to handle such tasks

      • Utley's Hair - May 3, 2011 at 1:03 PM

        You have a puppy that catches flies with chopsticks? Now THAT I gotta see….

      • heyblueyoustink - May 3, 2011 at 1:22 PM

        Well….he is a Blue Heeler…..I could probably teach him to do so…..though the no opposable thumbs might be a problem……plus he’d probably just take the chop sticks and hide them….

    • cur68 - May 3, 2011 at 1:00 PM

      Chopsticks and spoons are for professional fly catchers. Use mere mortals use our hands. Unless we’ve just had cheesecake. Then we zap them with our laser vision. Chocolate cheesecake is magic you know.

      • heyblueyoustink - May 3, 2011 at 1:25 PM

        Flies don’t get much thought….bees and wasps……oh baby, mortal enemies of my family stretching back hundreds of years…..anything not bolted to the ground is game on taking them out…….

        Mint chocolate chip ice cream,…..that’s where the real magic is at

      • cur68 - May 3, 2011 at 1:46 PM

        heyblue: Oh yeah, you’re with the ice cream lobby. You ice creamers are ok, I suppose. You all have frozen brains but you seem harmless enough and you do nice cakes, so I’ll give you a pass. Good taste in puppies btw. My next dog is going to be a Mad Max’ s dog lookalike, I promise you. I feel after my border collie and my bull terrier cross I can handle a heeler.

        If Jeter had a heeler he’d get some practice in with the reflexes on a daily basis. Nothing retrieves like a heeler and getting it back from one takes the reflexes of king cobra on meth.

      • heyblueyoustink - May 3, 2011 at 2:15 PM

        Tell me about it, he herds the older heeler hound mix we have……will straight up grab her leash and drag her to us if we ask him to…..all at 16 weeks……he’s a full time gig, but if trained right and raised with love, well you know, their intelligence level is second to none…..dock jumping is in his future

        And Ice cream, good for all occasions and versatile….plus, we have our own fleet of trucks.

      • Utley's Hair - May 3, 2011 at 2:16 PM

        Ice cream goes great with cake. It’s like they were made for each other. They even have cake/cake batter flavored ice cream.

        And pie? Meh. You need to heat up the pie for it to be as enjoyable with ice cream as cake is. The pie eaters just don’t see the truth.

        Aw, hell, now I’m drooling.

      • yankeesfanlen - May 3, 2011 at 5:03 PM

        Border Collies and cake rule! Have them on hand at all times!

  11. mkd - May 3, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    I detect a subtle difference between Joe Dimaggio’s pride and Derek Jeter’s pride. DiMaggio was so proud that when he couldn’t be DiMAGGIO anymore he retired. I think Jeter might be so proud that he will be unable to ever admit he has lost anything.

    I want him to get to 3000 hits just for the sake of the thing, but after that his legacy is in his own hands. If he walks away from the contract because he can’t live up to his own standards anymore then he will really truly prove that he has the kind of character people are always reading into him. But color me skeptical.

    • bigharold - May 3, 2011 at 2:47 PM

      I agree with your point completely but there is another aspect working against Jeter. After this season he’ll still have 34 million reasons to stick around. In DiMaggio’s era that would be the equivalent of about a million bucks or about ten times what the Yankees offered Joe for his farewell tour. DiMaggio might not have been as willing to go under those circumstances.

      But, you are correct. If he can’t return to something approaching his former production his reputation will certainly take a huge hit. Worse, he will find himself the highest paid bench player in the history of MLB, an honor that will take decades to eclipse. I can’t see Jeter walking away under those circumstance. At least I hope not.

  12. spudchukar - May 3, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    Maybe a better question then when will he step aside or be benched but by who. Pena and Nunez are the likely first choices but neither have played exclusively at SS in the minors and may not be the defensive answer. Jeter is about 1/3 of the way to 3000 hits, and should reach that milestone no later than the All-Star break. Perhaps a trade with Seattle, bringing Brendan Ryan to NY, a player who is the best in the business as a defender, could solidify the infield. He has speed, but not much offense, but the chances of securing a veteran SS, who can do both seems fantasiful.

    • JBerardi - May 3, 2011 at 1:17 PM

      Why on earth would Seattle or for that matter ANYONE want to trade for Jeter?

      • Alex K - May 3, 2011 at 2:17 PM

        I think he meant trading someone else for Ryan, not Jeter.

        But if he meant trading Jeter, I second your question.

      • spudchukar - May 3, 2011 at 2:22 PM

        Dude, I guess I didn’t state exactly, but at no time was I suggesting Jeter be traded to anyone. He has a 5 and 10 anyway, and would veto any trade. If it becomes more apparent that the Yanks need SS help, outside of the aforementioned Pena/Nunez, then I was offering a valid option. The Cards didn’t get much for Ryan, they choose to dispense with him for other reasons, and because they wanted to do it before the upcoming season urgency played a role. I always believed Seattle knew they would depart with either Ryan or Wilson soon and acquired Ryan with the belief with time one would bring a top notched prospect.

      • spindervish - May 3, 2011 at 3:01 PM

        Dude, neither of those guys is bringing back a “top-notch prospect.”

      • spudchukar - May 3, 2011 at 3:11 PM

        Yeah, Spinder.. you are correct, after I reread the comment, I winced knowing top-notched was indeed hyperbolic, how about… a valued prospect.

  13. Chris Fiorentino - May 3, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    Here’s what gets me, and it is the same BS that happened with Gil Meche. When did it become the responsibility of the PLAYER to quit or retire??? When did it become the right thing to do for the PLAYER to stop playing the game, even when they are under contract, that is guaranteed by the way??? It is so ludicrous to read some of you with your “When will Jeter know to step away” nonsense. BS. He has a contract and he should fulfill the contract to the end. The contract doesn’t read “You have to hit this average and this many HRs and knock in this many runs and have this OPS.” It reads that “You will play for the Yankers for the next 3 years” PERIOD.

    Enough of the nonsense already guys. If the Yankers didn’t want to have a declining guy on their team, they should have just signed him to a one year contract. If he didnt want that, he could retire. They offered him 3 years and he took it, just like ANYBODY would have and should have. It isn’t up to Jeter to call it quits. It’s up to his employer, the Yankers, to say that he is done and to fire him and eat the stupid contract they gave him.

    To look at it from the other side, when a guy signs a 5 year contract and in the second year, he is outperforming it, does the team rip that contract up and give the player what he deserves? No f’ing way. You signed it, you play until it is done or hold out or retire. Same goes here. What Gil Meche did was still one of the dumbest things ever done by a player in any sport, yet he was called a hero. Puh-leeze. He is a putz is more like it. Same for Jeter if he were to walk away from his contract.

    • JBerardi - May 3, 2011 at 1:38 PM

      Ok, but if Jeter really does decide he wants to retire, and the Yankees agree that he should, who’s to say that’s wrong? If the two sides mutually decide to nullify the contract they mutually decided to sign, who’s to say they shouldn’t do that?

      Now, I don’t think it’s Jeter’s RESPONSIBILITY to pull his own plug, but if that’s they way both parties want to go at some point, I can’t see why anyone would have a problem with it.

    • Jonny 5 - May 3, 2011 at 1:38 PM

      Yeah, pretty much. But don’t forget how he extracted more from the Yankees on the other hand in ways i consider “lame” media bickering and whatnot to get the fans involved. He’s guilty imo of one thing, overvaluing himself. Now he’s going to hear about it. I agree with your premise, and I think you’re mostly right, but I think Jeter got one over on the Yankers here. Any time a player is paid more, then they do less, they will hear it. But yeah, don’t expect him to give any $$$ up. That’s just not normal.

    • bigharold - May 3, 2011 at 3:13 PM

      It’s Jeter’s responsibility to retire inasmuch as he is responsible for his reputation and baseball legacy. He’s certainly not obligated to retire and if he walks away from 34 million bucks, or any part thereof, then he’s a better man than me.

      Lets avoid getting into the debate as to whether Jeter has “enough” money or how much does he need because that’s a different topic. But, one could reasonable assume that Jeter doesn’t “need” the money. That being said, there are only two reasons to play ball; for the glory and to win championships. If this is in fact the downward spiral his team might well win championships but he will have little or no part in it. Why would Jeter risk jeopardizing his legacy buy sticking around to long and becoming a distraction? Why would he suffer the indignity of being benched and becoming a role player with no role? DiMaggio left because he couldn’t be DiMaggio anymore. Mantle lamented that he stuck around for the last season because it cost him being a lifetime .300 hitter. Jeter is at least as smart and aware as DiMaggio or Mantle.

      He’s not obligated to leave if he can’t be “Derek Jeter” anymore but if he sticks around too long he might well be even sorrier. At the end of the day Jeter is responsible for his own reputation. He’s spent his entire career protecting it so I can’t see him ignoring it now.

    • spindervish - May 3, 2011 at 3:16 PM

      As usual, you take this too far. You’re right that it’s not really the player’s responsibility to retire if the team was stupid enough to give him a 3-year deal. You’re right that Jeter owes the team nothing more than to play as hard as he can for the duration of the contract and that if the lack of production continues it’s the team’s own damn fault for giving him that idiotic deal.

      But calling Meche an idiot for walking away from a contract is just, well, idiotic. The guy’s a millionaire, he clearly either couldn’t or didn’t want to perform at a high level anymore (I forget the exact circumstances), so he called it a career. I suppose he may have felt some responsibility to the team to actually earn his money, and so some altruistic impulses may have been a factor in his decision (which is altogether refreshing, and far from “the dumbest thing ever”), but mostly I think it was a matter of personal and professional pride. He didn’t want to be another broken-down loser collecting a check he no longer deserved, and his good fortune up to that point put him in a position where he had the financial freedom to make such a decision. Kudos.

      You occasionally make some decent points, but for some reason you seem to relish always being a raving prick about it.

      • Chris Fiorentino - May 3, 2011 at 3:34 PM

        I don’t forget the exact circumstances…they stuck out with me then, and still stick out with me now.

        Gil Meche signed a 5 year, $55 million dollar contract. He killed himself the first 4 years, to the point where his arm was a wreck. He was over-used and because of that, he was injured. He decided he couldn’t stay with the team anymore and retired because of injury. That is absolutely, completely idiotic. I don’t care how “altruistic” you think it is, if I were a fellow player, I would have been pissed off beyond comprehension at this act of lunacy. Basically, what Meche did was sign a big contract at the height of his marketability, then when he was abused and overused over the course of the first 4 years, treated it like a non-guaranteed contract and left when he could have rehabbed for a year, collected what was RIGHTFULLY his, and then retired. But he lined the Royals owner’s pocket with an extra $11 million while screwing over his fellow union members.

        Dumbest. Thing. Ever.

      • spindervish - May 3, 2011 at 4:19 PM

        I have little doubt that you would’ve been “pissed off beyond comprehension.”

        Serious question though: how exactly did Meche’s decision screw over his fellow union members? I don’t pretend to know much about contract negotiation or union dynamics, but this point doesn’t seem to hold water. Taking a contract at less than market value screws other union members, sure; but once the contract is signed, how does walking away from the last year affect anyone other than the player and the team?

    • 5thbase - May 3, 2011 at 3:56 PM

      It was dumb for Gil Meche because he had zero legacy to worry about protecting – everyone forgot about him approximately 6 seconds after he retired.

      Now I don’t think that’s is a matter that Jeter should hang it up for some moral obligation, but will he want to because it’s so painful to be so ineffective compared to what he is used to? A side note would be his future endorsements. I wouldn’t think this would outweigh the millions still on the table, but it can’t help his marketing at all to be embarrassing himself on the field like he is.

  14. Jonny 5 - May 3, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    This is EXACTLY why Jeter should have taken the offer the Yanks offered him ,maybe bumped it a tad more for good measure, but to extract the maximum amount of $$ kind of demands for you to play like you’re paid to play “Very well”. So, I knew the stories would come, I knew they’d come soon, and Jeter probably did too. He decided to be greedy and now has to cope with the effects of that.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 3, 2011 at 2:01 PM

      And this is where the Yanks financial advantage trumps everyone else’s. If Jeter’s decline continues (as it probably will), no way he plays out the 3 years (+ player option) of the contract. The Yanks can and will (and should) swallow those years and cut him. I figure end of next year at the earliest if Jeter doesn’t leave first.

      • Jonny 5 - May 3, 2011 at 2:17 PM

        I know! and it pisses off non Yankees fans to no end!!!! Although there are a couple of other teams who’s fans can’t complain much either.

      • b7p19 - May 3, 2011 at 3:29 PM

        “Although there are a couple of other teams who’s fans can’t complain much either.”

        I hope you realize where you fall in this catagory.

      • Jonny 5 - May 3, 2011 at 4:51 PM

        Absolutely. And trust me. It always hasn’t been so. For the last 5 years out of over 100 they’ve been “big market”. Just glad I was here to see it.

  15. uyf1950 - May 3, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    I find the comments here about Jeter and Posada both comical and interesting. Of course both Jeter and Posada are done or as close to done as you can get. What I find interesting and to be honest hypocritical in a way is what some of the fans of other teams are saying. Most of you would be hard pressed to go down your own teams roster and not find at least one player that the team would not like to cut lose because of either salary or contract length. So let’s not act as if Jeter’s situation us unique, because it isn’t. His situation stands out only because of who his is and who he plays for.

    As for the comment made by JBerardi “Why on earth would Seattle or for that matter ANYONE want to trade for Jeter?” Probably no on would nor would the Yankees ever trade him.
    As for who may or may not be available should the Yankees decide to go in another direction sometime later this year or before next season. Jose Reyes comes to mind, he’s a FA at years end. Worse case Jeter hangs around in 2012 he either gets moved to another position which I think is unlikely or the Yankees platoon him with Nunez at the SS position. Then in 2013 he keeps the bench warm. So what.
    My personal opinion is he hangs it up before his current contract expires. Whether or not that happens is purely speculation on my part but it really doesn’t matter because after this year he will not be playing SS full time…and you guessed it that’s just my opinion as well.

    • noneofyourbusiness95 - May 3, 2011 at 2:03 PM

      As I read spudchukar above he didn’t suggest trading Jeter only trading SOMETHING for Ryan.

    • JBerardi - May 3, 2011 at 3:26 PM

      “Most of you would be hard pressed to go down your own teams roster and not find at least one player that the team would not like to cut lose because of either salary or contract length.

      Care to name some? I’m thinking about it now, and it’s hardly every team. Off the top of my head:

      Indians – Halfner, Sizemore (and maybe not, now)
      Mariners – Chone Figgins
      The The Angels Angels – Uhh… Vernon Wells?
      Giants – Zito
      Astros – Carlos Lee
      Cubs – Alphonso Soriano, Fukudome, maybe Zambrano
      Mets – Basically their whole roster.

      That’s eight counting the Yankees. Versus twenty-two teams I can’t think of anyone for.

      • Chris Fiorentino - May 3, 2011 at 3:38 PM

        Red Sox – Lackey
        Phillies – Joe Blanton

      • spindervish - May 3, 2011 at 4:23 PM

        It’s just another in a long line of ludicrous things that dude has said from behind his Yankee-colored glasses.

      • uyf1950 - May 3, 2011 at 4:29 PM

        Twins – Mauer – 8 years $184MM (in his 1st year of that contract)
        Nationals – Werth – 7 years $126MM (in his 1st year of that contract)
        Let’s not forget the Red Sox and the $103MM plus contract to Dice K (that includes his posting fee)

        That’s nearly 1/2 of the 30 teams and most of the teams that aren’t listed don’t have payrolls big enough to have players with problem contracts. So yes most fans would be hard pressed to go down their teams roster and not find a problem player or contract.

      • uyf1950 - May 3, 2011 at 5:02 PM

        spindervish – I really don’t enjoy constantly proving you wrong. But perhaps if you put on glasses instead of referring to my rose colored glasses, and you at least tried to occasionally hide your anti Yankee bias you would see things more clearly.

  16. mentalotherhalf - May 3, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    So much has been said about his presence at the plate: the position of his hands on the bat; the kick of his front foot; what he does with his front elbow. The most consistent and obvious of these is his step toward the plate. which Kevin Long apparently labored over this winter to little or no results. I think all of that is either cause or symptom of one fact that should be glaringly obvious, but which I don’t hear anyone discussing directly: he’s off-balance.

    Even when he doesn’t swing, he falls toward the plate after every pitch.

    Balance is fragile. It can be compromised by inner ear problems, eye problems, weak knees, and just about any other moving part of the body malfunctioning. Maybe Jeter has multiple of these problems. But there’s only one correction that really needs to be made: remain standing upright while at the plate!

    The guy knows how to see and time a pitch. And swing a bat. He just needs to be standing upright when he does those things. To whom can a letter be written? It’s just so I can quiet the demons that come at night, who whisper in my ear: “It’s possible that he hasn’t even noticed that he’s falling over like a bench player on a last-place team after a bachelor party.”

    I just need to watch one game where goes through each of his at-bats without falling over. Just to know he can do it. Just to know he’s not suffering mini-fits of narcolepsy.

  17. marinersnate - May 3, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    What? Jeter’s contract a problem? I recall last winter on this blog Yanks fans complaining that ‘The Captain’ was being ‘disrespected’ and ‘low-balled’ by their FO with it’s meesly lil’ 3yr/$51m offer (and a player option for a fourth year). One guy argued that 10 more years at “$1 more than A-Rod makes” would be a “fair” offer. Apparently Jeter and his agent thought so too, which is why they found the Yanks first offer (3yr/$45m) “baffling”. With no other team in the league willing to pay half that, what is “baffling” is that Jeter was able to get what he did in both dollars and especially years.

    Now just one month into his new deal, his contract is a “problem”? Oh no.

  18. jkay123 - May 3, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    It’s def time for Hanley, rollins, andrus, desmond, pennington, fontenot, gonzalez, wood, barlett, escobar, brignac, tejada, cedeno, hardy, casilla, tolbert, ryan and scutaro to hang it up too. I mean, some of these guys are in their early to mid 20’s, can you imagine what theyll hit like turning 37 and 38 like Jeter? I understand the common response is Jeter’s contract, but it’s been a month, we doesn’t everyone settle down and wait till years end for their remarks. Obviously he got old, really old, but at years end his offensive numbers will stack up to most of the SS’s in baseball, if not better. They pulled the same nonsense a few yrs ago after a 190 month and ended up having an MVP season.

    • paperlions - May 3, 2011 at 8:50 PM

      I hasn’t been a month, it has been a year….plus this is just the continued decline he has shown over the last 4+ years….the 2009 outlier season just allowed some (including Jeter) to play it off and make excuses for a little longer.
      .
      Suggesting that players in the prime should hang it up now because they can’t hope to have the career than a player at the end of the line had is the epitome of idiocy.
      .
      Jeter has never had an MVP season, in fact, he’s only been the best player on his team 1 or 2 years.
      .
      I also have no problem with Jeter’s contract or for how long he decides to play. It isn’t his job to make the lineup or roster decisions….just to play baseball when asked.

  19. jkay123 - May 3, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    Mariners nate, just one month in and your entire team is a problem. ‘oh no.” Worry about that figgins contract instead.

    • marinersnate - May 3, 2011 at 5:49 PM

      Thank you. And you be sure to tell someone else what their opinion can and can not be on a public forum. Pfft.

      Good day.

  20. smarterthangirardi - May 3, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    I dont think posada is done, not because hes my favorite yankee, but because he still gets the big clutch hit 6 times out of 10, he hits the ball harder than anyone on the team (except that new kid rodriguez at 3rd) and because he has shown signs of life that hes starting to heat up…Now hear me out on Jeter he WILL hit for you theres no doubt about it, but his hits will come in the 2nd inning with 2 outs and no runners on. He has lost all of the clutch hitting ability that once made him an icon but most of all hes scared to admit that hes basically done. One more thing about his leadership, Derek never led by riling up the clubhouse with speeches, that was left to the fiery players (like posada usually) Jeter led by example on the field how he conducted himself and the results he got from that, he doesnt get those results anymore and all that example crap is out the window

    • jwbiii - May 7, 2011 at 9:02 PM

      By “6 out of 10,” you meant “1 out of 13″, right?

  21. macjacmccoy - May 3, 2011 at 9:01 PM

    Come on Craig everyone except you I guess saw right through what Chipper was doing last year. We all knew he wasnt going to retire and that he would collect every penny of his contract. He was just saying it so people would be like wow hes so selfless and a team player. He just wanted to placate everyone wondering if he was hurting the team and to ease the pressure on himself and apparently you fell for it. It had nothing to do with emotions and everything to do with public relations. I think it will be more real and honest for Jeter to say nothing then to put on a farce like Chipper did.

  22. droopyyydog1 - May 3, 2011 at 9:16 PM

    Its over Johnny err Derek… But heah if the Yanks are willing to keep paying I’m playing. As for the Yankee fans complaining, this is what you wanted;The Captain finishing his career in the pinstripes. Unfortunately its going to be a SLOOOOW painful finish like Mattingly’s.

  23. steveflack - May 4, 2011 at 12:13 AM

    As a diehard Yankee fan, I’d rather lose with Derek Jeter, than win without him. He’s had a great career, leading his team to 5 World Series victories, and 6 Pennants, and has received none of the respect he deserves. If Derek wants to play out the rest of his contract, I say let him.

    Besides, I’m fine with 27 World Championships right now.

    It’s just too bad Derek’s decline has led to the Yankees currently being in last place.

    Oh, wait. They’re not.

  24. rapmusicmademedoit - May 4, 2011 at 7:02 PM

    Replace him, okay, with who?, Think about it, who do you have.

    May 4, I ‘ll put my money on Jetes, in November.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Patience finally paying off for Royals fans
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Castillo (3447)
  2. G. Stanton (2661)
  3. A. Rizzo (2412)
  4. H. Ryu (2410)
  5. J. Hamilton (2234)
  1. M. Trout (2196)
  2. N. Arenado (2153)
  3. E. Gattis (2026)
  4. C. Kershaw (1977)
  5. D. Ortiz (1934)