The Yankees and Jeter are “not even in the same ballpark”

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Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times reports that, according to someone in the know on the Yankees-Jeter negotiations, the parties are “not even in the same ballpark.”

If so, it would be the first time Jeter has left the ballpark in ages. Hey-o!

No, seriously, there’s reportedly trouble in paradise, as the Yankees are taking an outrageously hard line:

“We do appreciate the contributions he has made to this organization,” Cashman said in an interview with The New York Times. “And Derek Jeter is the person we want playing shortstop.” But, Cashman added, the money in a new contract “ has to be a fair salary” that reflects the fact that Jeter will turn 37 next June . . . “We have told them directly, face to face, how we came up with our offer, and we have made it clear to them that our primary focus is his on-the-field performance.”

Wait, that’s not a hard line. That’s fairly reasonable.  And that “fair offer” stuff is not actually even true, because Schmidt confirms that often-mentioned three-year, $45  million offer, and that values Jeter way above what is fair for a guy of his age and skills.  Really, I’m not sure what the Yankees need to do to be more reasonable here.

But as the guild obligates us to do, let me say this: I still think a deal gets done. I think that when it gets done it will be pretty darn close to what the Yankees are currently offering and that, if there is any sweetening of the deal, it will be of the bells and whistles variety (performance incentives, creative options, etc.) that allow Jeter to claim he did better than what the Yankees were initially offering.

Because really, what leverage does Jeter have?

Yoenis Cespedes blames a lack of golf for his early season slump

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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.