Even when things are going perfectly in the Bronx, someone has to inject some kind of negativity:
As vital as Jeter has been to the organization since becoming the
starter in 1996, the Yankees soon must decide how much he is worth to
them. Jeter’s 10-year, $189 million contract expires after the 2010
season, but the Yankees have not formally approached him about an
extension. “I haven’t even thought about it,” Jeter said . . . “It’s 2009,” Jeter said. “It’s not 2010.” Then Jeter paused before adding, “Or 2011.” By mentioning 2011, Jeter was seemingly intimating that he just needs to know where he is playing before then.
Or just acknowledging that he is under contract for 2010 and wanted to be accurate.
Look, there is zero chance that the Yankees aren’t going to get something done with Jeter that ensures he will end his career in pinstripes. I’d wager my kids on this. Sure, the Yankees will overpay somewhat for the production they’re likely to receive. Sure, they’ll still have the problem of where to play Jeter as he reaches the end and can’t really handle shortstop anymore, but the chances of ever seeing him in another uniform are nil, because it’s in absolutely no one’s interest for him to walk, and everyone involved knows that.
I know it can get boring writing “everything going wonderfully in Yankee-land!” stories, but suggesting that there is some kind of contract issue on the horizon for Jeter and the Yankees just isn’t credible, even as muckraking fodder.
Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that former Red Sox DH David Ortiz and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant won the 2016 Hank Aaron Award in their respective leagues.
Ortiz, 40, flourished in his final season, batting .315/.401/.620 with 38 home runs and 127 RBI in 626 plate appearances during the regular season. His .620 slugging percentage, 1.021 OPS, and 48 doubles led the majors while his 127 RBI led the American League. Ortiz also won the Hank Aaron Award back in 2005.
Bryant, 24, is the likely winner of the National League Most Valuable Player Award as well. He hit .292/.385/.554 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI over 699 plate appearances. He also led the league by scoring 121 runs. Bryant is the first Cub to win the Hank Aaron Award since Aramis Ramirez in 2008.
Last year’s winners in the AL and NL, respectively, were Josh Donaldson and Bryce Harper.
If you’ve happened to catch any of the coverage of the 2016 postseason on Fox and FS1, you’ve heard former Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez as part of an analyst panel with host Kevin Burkhardt and former major leaguers Pete Rose and Frank Thomas. Rodriguez has drawn rave reviews not just for passing a rather low bar we set for former athletes-turned-commentators, but because he’s adding real insight drawn both from his playing days and from doing research.
Indeed, Rodriguez is taking his new job as an analyst quite seriously, Newsday’s Neil Best reports. Bardia Shah-Rais, the VP of production for Fox, said of Rodriguez, “This is not a hobby for him. It’s not a parachute in. He’s invested. If we have a noon meeting, he’s there at 11:30 a.m. He’s emailing story ideas in the morning. He wants research. He’s almost all-in to the point where it’s annoying.”
Rose also praised Rodriguez, saying, “You’ve never been around a guy who prepares more than Alex does. Alex does his homework. He knows the game. He understands players. He’s into the deal . . . Frank does a great job in preparation, too. I’m the only one that don’t prepare as much as these two guys. I don’t know if that’s because I can’t write or what it is. But these guys do their homework and they ask questions and they ask the right questions and then you put that in with our experience, all the things we’ve been through and how good we get along with each other, that’s why it shows up on the TV.”
Rodriguez, who hasn’t officially retired despite not having played since the Yankees released him in mid-August, wouldn’t commit to more TV work beyond this year’s postseason.