Archive for December, 2010

08
Dec
10

What Recession? Derek Jeter and Albert Haynesworth are doing just fine!

Stock market got you down? Worried about those proposed tax cuts, and whether or not congress will keep extending unemployment benefits? Well don’t be so gloom and doom. America must be doing pretty well right now. Don’t believe me? Just ask Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, or Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. Both of them are doing just fine.

Two years ago Albert Haynesworth signed a contract worth nearly one hundred million to play for the Washington Redskins. After a less than steller first season with the team (Haynesworth had four sacks in 09) Albert decided to come to camp with a positive attitude and turn it around this season… Oh, wait. Nevermind all that. Albert skipped mini-camps this off-season even though the team was bringing in a new quarterback and head coach and making a good first impression might have been important. Haynesworth then proceeded to fail multiple conditioning reports and demanded a trade over the season. Haynesworth spent much of the 2010 season bitching about playing in a 3-4 defense and asking out of Washington. So far he has 2.5 sacks this season which ranks him about 100th in that category. Money well spent, as usual, by Dan Snyder, the Redskins owner.

Equally unimpressive this last year was Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter who batted .270 for the season with 10 home runs. Since 2006 Jeter has earned 105 million dollars playing shortstop for the Yankees. In that time he has hit more than 14 HR’s only once and batted in more than seventy runs only once (both in 2006). Of course shortstop is not a power hitting position, but many baseball insiders would secretly admit that Jeter has lost his range and is no longer a gold-glove caliber shortstop. Jeter is 36 years-old and can not run the bases or throw out guys at first with any consistency. None of that takes away from the great player he once was but at best Jeter can be descirbed as a declining player being paid “elite money” at an advancing age.

The Yankees are no longer an automatic lock for the World Series, having won just one title in the last ten years, and have a lot of aging players that are making too much money. In the off-season GM’s Brian Cashman and Hank Steinbrenner tried to offer Jeter, who is a free agent, a reasonable contract slightly below his current salary. The deal, worth 3 years/45 million was instantly rejected by Jeter. Eventually the Yankees increased the offer to 3 years/51 million dollars, but Jeter was still miffed about it. “I was pretty angry about it, and I let that be known. To hear the organization telling me to go shopping… I wasn’t going to. I was angry with the way I was portrayed. I heard about greed and all of the sudden I had ego and arrogance, Yeah, I was angry.”

Jeter, who is a Hall of Fame talent, could have remained silent about his negotiations but decided he wanted to know how hurt his feelings were over the Yankees measly offer. Are you kidding me? If Jeter’s last name were Johnson he would be lucky to command five million on a one or two year deal, and would probably be asked to play some at DH. The Yankees, who have made Jeter one of the highest paid players in MLB history offered him a respectable contract, and he’s the one who is upset? 

The Yankees are in the midst of trying to sign Cliff Lee, the best pitcher in baseball, to a large contract, and Jeter could have come to the organization and said hey guys I know times are tight and we haven’t won in a while. Just let me stay a few more years and let’s works something out. Jeter could offer to play some at DH so the team could get better defensively, but unfortunately Jeter, and his inflated ego are too big for any of that, and sadly the Yankees caved and will pay him his ridiculous salary.

I know that times are tight right now, and unemployment is near ten percent, but at least the party is still rocking for some people. Athletes deserve what they can get I suppose, but do they have to be so, bleeping arrogant about it too? Derek Jeter and Albert Haynesworth are prime examples of everything that is wrong in sports. Maybe some day other people will realize this as well.

Sincerely,

Jack B.