We’ve talked a lot about how, for Casey Close to get any leverage, he has to get another team in on the Derek Jeter bidding. But there are other constituencies at his disposal. No, they’re not as strong as having a competing offer on the table, but there is a certain brand of Yankees fan who agree with reader metalhead65 that Jeter is worth whatever he asks for:*
Are things really this slow in baseball that you have constantly bombard us with your anti-Jeter rants? You obviously have a personal agenda against the guy who is doing what every free agent does and that is try get as much as possible and since this will be his last contract who can blame the guy? And again please spare me all your stats real and made up ones. We get it he had an off year and is getting older so what? While the Yankees would continue to win without him he is still, like it or not, the face of the franchise. It does not mean anything to you, we get that, but he does to the fans of that franchise and to the city of New York. Now that doesn’t mean they have to pay him but it also does not mean you have to write a column about how he does not deserve it every 5 minutes and point out all his flaws as a player.
I don’t think the Yankees are going to take this kind of sentiment into account as they negotiate and I don’t believe that it will ultimately impact Jeter’s ultimate deal. But it’s not like Jeter and Close are completely inventing the notion of Jeter’s value beyond mere baseball terms. Some people believe it.
*edited slightly for readability
The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.
Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.
The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.
After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.
Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:
The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.
The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.