• Would The Brothers Stein Adopt Derek Jeter?

    Posted by on March 4th, 2010 · Comments (22)

    Yesterday, Kevin Kernan, in The Post, suggested that the Yankees should “keep [Derek] Jeter in pinstripes, even as owner.” Here’s a couple of snips from what he wrote:

    The Yankees need to find a way to make Derek Jeter a Yankee for Life. There’s really only one way. At some point the Steinbrenner family would have to take him into the ownership group.

    Jeter, of course, is in the final year of his 10-year, $189 million contract. The Yankees and Jeter will come together on a new deal at some point, but Jeter needs to be a Yankee for Life and there is a way to make him one. The Yankees need to work out a deal with Jeter where they allow him to become part of Yankees ownership after his playing days are complete. Players cannot be part of ownership, so this would have to be a separate deal.

    As it stands now, most certainly, Jeter will follow the player-to-ownership path of Michael Jordan. Jordan should have been with the Bulls for life, but wound up a Wizard at the end of his playing career and over the weekend became principal owner of the Charlotte Bobcats.

    Jeter is set on being an owner when his playing days are done. Without specifically talking about the Yankees, Jeter told The Post yesterday that being an owner is “definitely a goal of mine.”

    Seeing this, my first reaction was to remember this old story:

    Former player and broadcaster Joe Garagiola recalls seeing [Joe] DiMaggio at a golf tournament, long after he had retired, on a day when Yankee owner George Steinbrenner had signed a player to a huge contract.

    “What would Steinbrenner have to pay you if you were playing for him today?” Garagiola asked DiMaggio.

    Replied DiMaggio, “I’d have looked at him and said, ‘Hello partner.’ “

    Poor Kevin Kernan. His suggestion here brought cause for some of the usual FJM Wannabes in the Yankees blogosphere to emerge from their ivory towers – constructed out of their alleged righteousness – gunning for him with torches and pitchforks.

    Sure, it’s a wild idea from Kernan. And, I doubt that the Steinbrenner Brothers would allow Jeter to become part of their ownership group. But, could something close to this happen?

    Back in May of 1984, the Kansas City Royals signed George Brett to a supposed lifetime contract – which basically made Brett partners with then Royals owner Avron Fogelman in some real estate projects.

    Could the Yankees do the same with Jeter? Hey, it’s possible. Maybe they could offer a Derek a share of the Steinbrenner Hotel Properties or something?

    Nah…it will probably never happen.

    But, maybe there’s more to the George Brett thing? This season, Brett enters his 17th year as being the Royals Vice President of Baseball Operations.

    Right now, Mark Newman is the Yankees Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations. And, New York doesn’t have a Vice President of Baseball Operations…as far as I know. So, would it be terrible to make Derek Jeter an offer to be the Yankees Vice President of Baseball Operations, once he’s retired, as part of a deal to keep him with the team after 2010? I don’t think so – do you? For sure…there’s probably a lot worse candidates than Jeter for the job, no?

    Comments on Would The Brothers Stein Adopt Derek Jeter?

    1. MJ Recanati
      March 4th, 2010 | 8:45 am

      1) Without knowing what those so-called FJM Wannabes said, it’s hard for any of us to know if their criticism of Kernan was justified or not. Perhaps they made some good points, perhaps they didn’t. But simply calling them out as FJM Wannabes is hollow criticism unless you tell us what about Kernan’s ideas they were critiquing.

      2) What makes Derek Jeter qualified to be a VP of Baseball Operations? I wouldn’t give him that, or any other, title just because he’s Derek Jeter. Ex-jocks get WAY, WAY, WAY too many plum jobs in their sport after hanging them up and far too few of them do a good enough job that we should continue doling out important jobs to them. Michael Jordan stinks as an NBA executive. Ditto Isiah Thomas. Wayne Gretzky flopped in the NHL after hanging up his skates. Matt Millen is famously one of the worst NFL GM’s of all time. See where I’m going here? What makes Jeter qualified? If he is, he should have to prove it.

    2. March 4th, 2010 | 9:21 am

      Notes from the ivory tower: Not sure if the FJM wannabe crack is directed at me or not – I’m one of the bloggers who criticized Kernan. So I brought my pitchfork over, just in case!

      I think Kernan’s column’s idea is an awful – and poorly reasoned – one. As I noted in my Subway Squawkers blog about this subject, the Steinbrenner brothers shied away from putting the untouchable Yankee legend Don Mattingly in a position of authority. And the family of course remembers how Yogi Berra stayed away for 15 years after being fired, causing a PR disaster for the family. So why would they give somebody even more untouchable than Derek Jeter among the fan base partial ownership? It makes no sense, especially when Kernan compares Jeter to Michael Jordan (as if MJ has been successful as an owner; drafting Adam Morrison, among other dopey moves, proves the point that being a great player does not equal being a great owner.)

    3. Corey Italiano
      March 4th, 2010 | 9:33 am

      The Yankees need to find a way to make Derek Jeter a Yankee for Life. There’s really only one way. At some point the Steinbrenner family would have to take him into the ownership group.
      ——–
      This sentance makes 0 sense, and has caused me to stop reading the article. How do these people get paid to write this crap?

    4. March 4th, 2010 | 9:37 am

      @ lisaswan:

      Bad news/good news.

      Bad news – I didn’t read your blog – so, I have no idea what you wrote. Good news – since I didn’t read it, my comments did not refer to you.

      Those who it refers to know that it refers to them, I’m sure. So, to anyone, if you’re not sure if it refers to you, then it probably doesn’t.

    5. March 4th, 2010 | 9:50 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      What makes Derek Jeter qualified to be a VP of Baseball Operations?

      What were Stick Michael’s qualifications when Steinbrenner brought him to the front office after he retired from the field? Anyway, since you asked about Jeter…

      1. He knows more about baseball than most people. Yes, he’s talented – but, he also has to work hard at understanding how to perform well.

      2. He’s very hard working – note his actions on and off the field.

      3. He wouldn’t be doing it for the money – he’s got more money than he’ll ever need in his life. If he does it, it will be because of his love of the game, organization, and wanting to excel at a challenge.

      4. He’s already proven that he will never embarrass the organization by saying or doing the wrong thing.

      5. He understands what it takes to build a winning baseball team – how many times has he talked about the importance of pitching through the years, etc.

      6. He totally understands how the Yankees organization and the New York media.

      7. He’s young enough to understand the mindset of today’s players.

      8. He can relate to players of all races, etc.

      9. If you recently hear him talk about the importance of Matsui – check his interview on WFAN yesterday – he knows that its not all about stats and HRs, but, also about being a professional, a good teammate, and having a willingness to put team goals first. And, I’m sure he can spot that in a player.

      10. Because of his on-the-field career, he will command the respect of players, coaches, others in baseball, etc.

      Ten reasons enough for you?

    6. MJ Recanati
      March 4th, 2010 | 10:12 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      1. He knows more about baseball than most people. Yes, he’s talented – but, he also has to work hard at understanding how to perform well.

      How do you know he knows more than most people?

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      2. He’s very hard working – note his actions on and off the field.

      Hard work is not a substitute for competence. Spending 50 hours working only to get the wrong answer isn’t a comfort.

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      4. He’s already proven that he will never embarrass the organization by saying or doing the wrong thing.

      Just because he hasn’t yet, doesn’t mean that he won’t in other ways. You constantly harp on how Cashman has failed, why wouldn’t Jeter’s potential failures be as embarrasing to me as Cashman’s so-called failures are to you?

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      5. He understands what it takes to build a winning baseball team – how many times has he talked about the importance of pitching through the years, etc.

      Speaking in platitudes and cliches aren’t examples of understanding anything. 10 year olds say the same thing but you wouldn’t exactly turn the keys over to them, would you?

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      7. He’s young enough to understand the mindset of today’s players.

      Irrelevant. Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas are too and they fail their tests badly. A GM’s age has nothing to do with building a baseball team.

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      8. He can relate to players of all races, etc.

      That’s nice. Who cares?

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      9. If you recently hear him talk about the importance of Matsui he knows that its not all about stats and HRs, but, also about being a professional…I’m sure he can spot that in a player.

      Still doesn’t make him qualified to run a ballclub.

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      10. Because of his on-the-field career, he will command the respect of players, coaches, others in baseball, etc.

      Theo Eptstein, Brian Cashman and Mark Shapiro are respect, are they not?

    7. March 4th, 2010 | 10:28 am

      @ MJ Recanati:

      Do you really think a VP of baseball operations “runs a ballclub”?

      No, he offers advise, counsel, etc.

      If you don’t think Jeter is qualified to do that, then I’m just going to say I disagree and leave it at that.

    8. MJ Recanati
      March 4th, 2010 | 10:39 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Do you really think a VP of baseball operations “runs a ballclub”?

      Depends on the ballclub. But, fine, let’s assume that he doesn’t run a ballclub and merely advises, counsels, etc.

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      If you don’t think Jeter is qualified to do that, then I’m just going to say I disagree and leave it at that.

      I never said he WASN’T qualified, I simply said I don’t know that he is and, further, that the fact that he’s a Hall of Fame player doesn’t guarantee that he is either.

      You’re welcome to disagree but the 10 reasons you listed certainly didn’t do anything to convince me.

    9. Tresh Fan
      March 4th, 2010 | 10:42 am

      Remember Reggie Jackson? There was talk about making him a part owner back in the day (1979, 1980) and for most of the same reasons enumerated here. Nothing came of it, of course, and I forget which sportswriter was behind that one. But it just leads to one of the biggest assumptions we have about being a successful major sports owner: viz, all it takes is just a lot of money and a knowledgeable interest in the game. Apparently, little to no business acumen is needed—at least very little is ever shown—and only a small investment of one’s time. Jeter has a ton of money. Jeter is very knowlegeable about the game in general and very enthusiastic about the Yankees in particular. He’d make a great owner, wouldn’t he?

    10. MJ Recanati
      March 4th, 2010 | 10:58 am

      Tresh Fan wrote:

      Jeter is very knowlegeable about the game in general and very enthusiastic about the Yankees in particular. He’d make a great owner, wouldn’t he?

      My ideal owner has a ton of money, hires a good GM and stays the hell out of the way. Would Jeter do that? Most ex-jocks — not just Jeter — tend to believe that their experience in the game trumps anything a good GM can accomplish. Jeter may not have the bluster of a Steinbrenner but I’m sure he has the arrogance (even if it’s more subtle) of a Jordan. Personally, I’d never want Jeter involved in the Yanks in any role other than spring training instructor. Too much can go wrong.

    11. hantu13
      March 4th, 2010 | 11:36 am

      I guess it would have been too difficult for Kiernan to actually look this up, but the last Forbes estimate for the Yankees is around $1.5B, tops in the majors.

      I’m not entirely sure of the structure of the current ownership group, but it’s hard to see the Yanks giving Jeter more than a 3-5% (which is really, really high) stake in the team. At current valuations, the stake is worth $45-$75M…

    12. hantu13
      March 4th, 2010 | 11:38 am

      Considering Jeter’s lifetime earnings so far- north of $200M and by the time his new contract is up, close to $300M, why is this even a big deal?

    13. Tresh Fan
      March 4th, 2010 | 11:44 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:
      My ideal owner has a ton of money, hires a good GM and stays the hell out of the way.
      __________________________

      Ah, the good old days of Dan Topping and Del Webb! In THE BALL CLUBS (1996, Donald Dewey and Nick Accocella) they are mentioned only four times: when they buy the Yankees with Larry MacPhail from the Ruppert estate in 1945, when the buy out MacPhail and hire George Weiss as their GM after the 1947 World Series, when they agree on firing Casey Stengel after the 1960 World Series, and when they agree to sell the club prior to the 1962 season and eventualyy do after the 1964 World Series. And in the 20 years they owned the team the Yankees won 10 World Championships.
      Now Larry MacPhail is in the Hall of Fame. Jacob Ruppert was a Veterans Committee finalist last year, and there’s been some talk about putting “The Boss” in Cooperstown. But Topping and Webb, arguably the most successful owners in the history of MLB, have passed completely unnoticed. No one ever mentions them. Why is that?
      I only add here that most major sports owners are what we call tycoons. And tycoons aren’t by nature the type who let other people run your businesses while they “stay the hell out of the way.”

    14. clintfsu813
      March 4th, 2010 | 12:09 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      Personally, I’d never want Jeter involved in the Yanks in any role other than spring training instructor. Too much can go wrong

      What about as manager?

    15. MJ Recanati
      March 4th, 2010 | 12:18 pm

      clintfsu813 wrote:

      What about as manager?

      I didn’t want Don Mattingly as manager for exactly the same reason so, no, I’d never want Jeter managing the team.

    16. March 4th, 2010 | 1:30 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:

      Whew! (Wipes brow.)

      As for Jeter having the potential to be a great front office person or owner, I’m not saying he couldn’t be, someday. But he’s also somebody who literally never watches a ballgame he’s not playing in, and who has almost bragged about how he never watches other teams play in October. (There’s a whole thing about that in “The Yankee Years” – A-Rod was shocked to find out that Jeter doesn’t even have the MLB Extra Innings package.) That lack of interest in what other teams are doing doesn’t exactly scream future front office superstar to me.

      And regarding the George Brett/KC Royals comparison, his old team has finished with a record above .500 exactly once since he retired, so there’s not exactly the same sort of passion for winning – and lack of tolerance for losing – that there is in New York.

    17. MJ Recanati
      March 4th, 2010 | 1:32 pm

      lisaswan wrote:

      That lack of interest in what other teams are doing doesn’t exactly scream future front office superstar to me.

      Great point.

    18. Corey Italiano
      March 4th, 2010 | 2:16 pm

      Completely unrelated, just don’t have time to make a post on it, but during the game yesterday, Michael Kay said that while dividing up the playoff shares, the team was set to give Cervelli a pro-rated total, based on service time. Sabathia got ticked by this and said if the team doesnt give him a full share, he’d give him the balance out of his own pocket. Thought it was pretty cool of him, and wanted you guys to know in case you had missed it.

    19. MJ Recanati
      March 4th, 2010 | 2:41 pm

      @ Corey Italiano:
      That’s AWESOME! I can’t remember the specifics of when CC turned it on and went from his rocky first few starts to dominating the rest of the season but I do remember that in A-Rod’s first game back (Friday night before Mother’s Day), CC pitched a complete game with Frankie C as his catcher and it seemed like the two of them were in synch. Perhaps CC really loves Frankie going back to that game?

      In any case it’s great of CC to do that for the young guy.

    20. redbug
      March 4th, 2010 | 6:37 pm

      Former player and broadcaster Joe Garagiola recalls seeing [Joe] DiMaggio at a golf tournament, long after he had retired, on a day when Yankee owner George Steinbrenner had signed a player to a huge contract.

      “What would Steinbrenner have to pay you if you were playing for him today?” Garagiola asked DiMaggio.

      Replied DiMaggio, “I’d have looked at him and said, ‘Hello partner.’ “
      _________________________________________________________________________________

      I think Mantle said that…noy DiMaggio.

    21. Raf
      March 4th, 2010 | 8:15 pm

      And the family of course remembers how Yogi Berra stayed away for 15 years after being fired, causing a PR disaster for the family.

      To be fair it was the way Berra was fired that he stayed away from the team; he was promised the entire 1985 season.

      redbug wrote:

      I think Mantle said that…noy DiMaggio.

      I usually hear the story attributed to DiMaggiolisaswan wrote:

    22. 77yankees
      March 4th, 2010 | 9:41 pm

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      Completely unrelated, just don’t have time to make a post on it, but during the game yesterday, Michael Kay said that while dividing up the playoff shares, the team was set to give Cervelli a pro-rated total, based on service time. Sabathia got ticked by this and said if the team doesnt give him a full share, he’d give him the balance out of his own pocket. Thought it was pretty cool of him, and wanted you guys to know in case you had missed it.

      Good story – I hadn’t heard that.

      That’s kind up screwed up in a way, because FC got one of the biggest hits of the year in Atlanta, and in my opinion, anyone who’s on the postseason roster should get a full share, even Cervelli, Hinske, Freddy Guzman, etc.

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