Derek Jeter has been the steadying presence and consistent, reliable example for dozens of players, in pinstripes, to follow. He has embodied the standard of the Yankees organization.
Once again, how much is that worth?
Before George Steinbrenner’s death, I think the chances of Derek Jeter returning to the Bronx, in 2011, was a 100% certainty. Now, I’m not so sure of it. Things have changed. A leader has died, and a new leader is out to establish his own identity.
Say what you want, George Steinbrenner was bent on not being outbid for the things he truly wanted. His son, Hal, is not necessarily so driven. He’s displayed a more “bullying” personality (if that’s possible) and his decisions have reflected it.
In a recent interview, Hal Steinbrenner was pretty clear about not “handing Jeter a blank check, because he’s loved and revered.” You can find the story (HERE).
That’s Hal Steinbrenner.
But, that was not George Steinbrenner.
I think it’s fair to say George actually LOVED Derek Jeter. You could sense it when he talked about his “favorite ballplayer.” His prized shortstop was groomed to his liking from his late teens to where he stands today. George would’ve never made the comments voiced by his son, just a couple days ago.
George wanted to WIN. And, for better or worse, he had personal connections to his players. Hal is “running a business.” Yep, that’s a direct quote from the article, as well.
There’s no need to hit me with the psychology thing, either. I get it. I understand there’s a good chance good ‘ole Hal is just prompting for negotiations through the media. But, he’s not fooling anyone. Or, is he?
Could Hal Steinbrenner and this NEW Yankees franchise allow their Captain and official leader to find a home elsewhere? I’m still betting against it. But, I’ve been fooled by new bosses, who are hellbent on making changes to prove they can do it, on numerous occasions.
I can absolutely picture Hal staring into a mirror and saying “who is Derek Jeter?” …. “he’s not bigger than me.”
And, if so, this is where a big testicled Andy MacPhail could emerge …..