That’s what he told Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York anyway:
“We understand his contributions to the franchise and our offer has taken them into account. We’ve encouraged him to test the market and see if there’s something he would prefer other than this. If he can, fine. That’s the way it works . . . We feel Derek Jeter gives us the best chance to win. But we’re not dealing with Derek alone. We’re dealing with our closer, we’re trying to add to our club, and if putting all out eggs into one basket takes away from our ability to add to our club, I ain’t gonna do it.”
That’s most likely it was rhetorical, meant more to signal to Casey Close that he needs to negotiate with the team rather than grouse to the Daily News or whoever. Of course, the team is clearly planting its talking points with the New York Times and now ESPN New York, so they’re all a part of the same hypocrisy, Senator. It’s just that Cashman has the leverage, it seems, so his little digs are way more delicious.
Know what else would be delicious? If Brian Sabean offered Jeter a three-year, $50 million deal right now, with the stipulation that Jeter can wear a robe out to batting practice every day that says “Derek Jeter: Shortstop for the World Champs,” just so he could piss off the Yankees. Make it happen, Brian. We all need this. Badly.
Back during the 2015 playoffs the sorts of New York media types who love to find reasons to criticize players for petty reasons decided to criticize Yoenis Cespedes for playing golf the day of a playoff game. The Mets won the series with the Cubs during which the controversy, such as it was, occurred and it was soon dropped.
It was picked back up again in 2016 when Cespedes, while on the disabled list with a strained quad, was seen playing golf. Despite the fact that everyone involved said that golf did not contribute to his injury and that golf would have no impact on his injured quad, it was deemed “a bad look” by a columnist looking to get some mileage out of bashing Cespedes for having a hobby that probably half of all ballplayers share. They did it when he showed off his fancy cars too, by the way, even though just about every ballplayer has a fancy car or three. When you’re a superstar in New York — especially when you’re one with whom the media is not particularly close for various reasons — you’re going to catch hell for seemingly nothing.
Now there’s a new twist to the Cespedes golf saga. Yoenis himself says that his poor start — he’s hitting .195/.258/.354 and leads the league in strikeouts — is due to . . . not enough golf! From the New York Times:
He gave a possible reason for the poor start this weekend: not playing enough golf, a hobby beloved by many baseball players. And, yes, he is serious.
“In previous seasons, one of the things I did when I wasn’t going well was to play golf,” he said after a game on Friday in which he struck out four times but still drove in the go-ahead run in the 12th inning. “This year, I’m not playing golf.”
The story says Cespedes quit golf last summer because he worried that it was contributing to hamstring problems. He’s thinking about going back to it soon, as he thinks it’ll help his swing. Given that he’ll catch hell either way, he may as well do what he wants.