Tagged: Joel Sherman

OMG! What Will Become Of Derek Jeter?

Just when Yankee fans thought it was safe to go back on the sports pages, there’s a story by Joel Sherman of the Post that’s driven bloggers bloggy. With spring training a mere week away, why must we be faced with the next soap opera already? And why must it star Derek Jeter?

(No, I’m not the one in the photo throwing myself at Jeet. I don’t own a Giambi jersey or a pair of skin-tight white shorts. Nor have I ever run onto the field. Well, in my mind I have, but that’s for another post.)
The gist of Sherman’s article is that Jeter’s 10-year, $189 million contract will be up in the fall of 2010, at which time the Yankees will be confronted with a Major League Dilemma.
Do they sign The Captain to another huge contract, even though he’ll be a 37-year-old with declining skills? How can they not pony up to keep the veritable Face of the Franchise – the guy who’ll have the most hits in Yankees history? If they keep him, where will they play him? If they let him walk, where will he end up? Is this a game anybody wins?
It’s enough to make me go mental.
But I pulled myself together and came up with some solutions – all of them allowing the aging Jeter to remain with the organization for the rest of his life.
1) He’s given an ownership stake in the team, becomes a Steinbrenner Son along with Hal and Hank, and changes his first name to Harvey.
2) He becomes The Yankee Emeritus, walking onto the field at the end of every game and making a “Thank you for being such great fans” speech, like the one he delivered at the Stadium finale. 
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3) He relinquishes his endorsements of Ford trucks and men’s cologne and instead pitches products geared for his own demographic.
polident_.jpg4) He becomes chairman of the Yankees Assisted Living Facility, a luxurious compound for active seniors
5) He purchases all the food for the Yankees restaurants.
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6) He replaces Kate Smith and sings “God Bless America.”
Of course, what I’d really like to see happen is for time to stand still and for Jeter to be the Yankees shortstop in perpetuity. Amen.

Calling All Healthy Pitchers! Hello? Are You Out There?


No, of course nobody’s answering the phone because there aren’t any healthy pitchers. Not that are available anyway. Which must be why the latest trend in baseball is signing hurlers with a history of injuries. The Yankees? A.J. Burnett. The Red Sox? Brad Penny and John Smoltz. (I know, I know. The Yankees spent millions and the Red Sox didn’t. I’m just saying.)
The Yanks still need a #5 guy in the rotation, since Pettitte seems destined for retirement and/or many days in court testifying about The Rocket.
So back to the rumor mill I go. Yes, there was my post about Pedro the other day. But now people are throwing out names like Freddy Garcia,
who’s had shoulder surgery – twice. A-Rod played with Garcia on the Mariners and is pushing for his former teammate. According to Joel Sherman of the NY Post, Alex likes Garcia’s “fortitude.” I’m all for fortitude, but what about the actual ability to last more than an inning and get major league hitters out?
Randy Wolf is on the list,
despite his two arm surgeries. He nearly pitched a no-hitter with the Padres, but how’s his shoulder right now?
Kelvim Escobar is yet another name being bandied about.
He suffered a tear in his shoulder in ’08 but is trying to make a comeback. Swell. I feel better already.
And, finally, there’s Ben Sheets. He’s still around. Still unsigned. Still waving his medical records at GMs.
He’s had problems with his elbow, his back, his inner ear, you name it. Just look at that delivery. I’d give myself a hernia if I threw like that.
Reclamation projects are very satisfying when they work out. But surely there must be someone out there who does not have the body of a dilapidated house.
It would be great if the Yankees could depend on one or two of the rookies to fill the spot in the rotation, and maybe that’s how it’ll go. But what if Hughes/Aceves/Kennedy go down? We still need a body. Just not this body.
Was it always like this? Were pitchers fragile in the old days when I watched them as a kid? Am I simply “misremembering,” as Clemens would say? Or do today’s pitchers put more stress on their arms? I’d love to hear everybody’s opinion about this. My husband thinks it was the same then as it is now, and reminded me about Sandy Koufax, who left the game in his prime because of injury. My take is that it’s different now; that for some reason these guys get hurt younger and more often. 
I’m beginning to wonder whatever happened to the robust, hearty, healthy athletes who once seemed indestructible.
It feels like this happened to them.
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