I seem to have misplaced my calendar, and I can’t figure out if today is “the Yankees are going to overpay Derek Jeter” day, or if it’s “The Yankees are going to hold the line and pay Jeter what he’s actually worth” day. Can someone help me? Ah, there’s Joel Sherman now:
In a meeting in Tampa last week, Yankees officials did the requisite lap of respect with Derek Jeter. They honored his place in organization history, his meaning to the fan base and his legacy on and off the field. But once the admiration portion of the program was complete, Yankee officials also made sure to tell Jeter it is their intention to offer him a baseball contract. Period.
Snark aside, I like the way Sherman — or, if the phrase came from a source, the source — phrases this. Because that’s what we’re really talking about here is whether Jeter is going to get a “baseball contract” or something that places some Face of the Franchise value on him. Sherman called it a “victory lap deal” on his Twitter feed this morning, and I rather like that construction.
But whatever you call it, that’s the kind of conversation that is important. Now that it has been had, the dollars are way easier to consider. Well, that is unless Jeter simply doesn’t believe that he should get a baseball deal as opposed to a multi-faceted marketing/warm fuzzies kind of deal.
Wild Card teams get to set their roster for the one-and-done game and then reset it for the Division Series if they advance. As such, you sometimes see some weirdness with the wild card roster. The Yankees, who just set theirs for tonight’s game, are no exception.
Masahiro Tanaka will be tonight’s starter, but Luis Severino, also a starter, will be around as well in case Tanaka gets knocked out early and they need more innings. In all, the Yankees are carrying nine pitchers and three catchers. In addition, they have Rob Refsnyder, Slade Heathcott, and pinch-runner Rico Noel as bench players. In case you forgot, pinch running can matter a lot in a Wild Card Game.
Either way, it beats having a regular season-type roster with 13 pitchers or something. I mean, if you’re using more than nine pitchers, you ain’t winning anyway.
Here’s the whole roster:
It was inevitable that someone would report on what, specifically, was going on with CC Sabathia in the run up to his decision to go into rehab yesterday. And today we have that story, at least in the broad strokes, from the New York Post.
Speaking to an anonymous source close to Sabathia, the Post reports that the Yankees’ starter more or less went on a bender from Thursday into Friday and continued on to Saturday, which resulted in his Sunday afternoon phone call to Brian Cashman in which he said he needed help.
Notable detail: Sabathia is referred to as “not a big drinker” in the story. Which is something worth thinking about when you think of others who have trouble with alcohol. It’s not always about massive or constant consumption. It’s about the person’s relationship with substances that is the real problem. Many who drink a good deal are totally fine. Many who don’t drink much do so in problematic ways and patterns. For this reason, and many others, it’s useful to avoid engaging in cliches and stereotypes of addicts.