Saturday, December 4, 2010

Aging Gracefully - You're Doing It Wrong

Clearly I love the Yankees. I love everything about the Yankees. I don't care about how much money they have to buy players, or that people think they "buy" their championships. I don't care that beers at the stadium cost like $12, or that the best seats in the stadium are bought up by stupid people at UBS, Morgan Stanley and other banks filled with asshole guys who never show up for games anyway (ok, the last one pisses me off a bit). I love the Yankees and what they did for my childhood so very fucking much.

So it kind pf pains me to admit that Derek Jeter is being a bit of an asshole with this whole contract negotiation thing. I mean, dude, c'mon. Yes, you passed Gehrigs's record. Yes, you are the captain, yes you are a clutch hitter and yes, you honestly have provided me and the rest of the Yankees fans with moments no other single player in the last twenty years of baseball has provided to other fans, in my opinion. But at the end of the day dude, you're fucking 36, and you're a position player, not a pitcher. I saw you go 0-9 last year in two games. You have your moments and it's time to acknowledge that it's not 1999 anymore. $16 mil a year three-year contract at 36? For the God damn starting short stop position at Yankee Stadium? Do you know how much Eduardo Nunez HATES YOU right now?!

You have more fucking money than certain team salaries have combined. You are the face of Yankees baseball. You are the player the minor league coaches tell their players to exemplify on and off the field (and for some reason, kids from Lincoln Nebraska have a hard time doing that). You have more fucking endorsements deals than God himself. You've managed to keep a solid reputation as a good guy, and one of the few well known professional athletes who hasn't had a major cheating scandal (released) yet. You have a girlfriend that most Yankees fans hate, but I kind of like because I love Friday Night Lights. FUCKING, LET, IT, GO.

You want to end your career as a Yankee and do big things and leave a legacy? Or you want to end up playing your last years in Kansas City for a team that will never make playoffs, and fade into obscurity? You wont to be able to say you spent you're entire career being an important and key player on the most prominent team in baseball, or do you want to haggle for an extra couple million that you don't even fucking need to end up in a Brewer's uniform? I'm sorry, my ex-boyfriend always told me it's never about team loyalty, that it's always about getting paid and being on a team that can better your career. Jeter is past that point. He made the money, he perfected his career. Now he's at a point where he can make the decision to age gracefully and leave baseball unscathed in the eyes of the media and fans, or he can make the decision to be a fucking stingy cheap bastard and completely ruin his image in many (not all, but many) eyes of the fans who have basically watched him grow up over the last 18 years.

Look at other teams. Can any Redsox fan tell me what teams Nomar's played for since leaving the Redsox? How about any Redsox fans who give a shit about Johnny Damon? I mean, Jeter has the unique opportunity to die a Yankee. Bernie Williams is one of those people who gets to say that, too. Paul O'Neill (fair enough that he played for the Reds, but he retired a Yankee). There is something special in leaving the game that way. If Jeter blows it so he can have a couple more million in his already endless bank account. Welp, it'll change my opinion of him. And obviously, my fucking opinion matters.

Like my ex said, I think there are few times in a baseball player's career where a decision they make is about the game and the team, not about their career and money. This should be one of those times. Jeter's not 26 anymore, he's probably not going to win the Golden Glove this year. But he's going to be a starting shortstop for arguably the greatest team in baseball history and make a shit ton of money doing so. Time to grow up, Jeter. Time to see the bigger picture. You made the money, you made the career. I'd hate to see you having worked so hard to keep a clean slate only to fade into obscurity for a couple extra drops in the bucket. Make the right choice and FUCKING RESIGN WITH WHATEVER THE YANKEES ARE OFFERING YOU.

Thanks a mil.

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