MOVE HIM ... HE'LL UNDERSTANDBy Andrew Marchand
Joe Girardi should move Derek Jeter down in the order and Jeter should respect the decision because that is what the Captain's mythic status is built upon -- team above individual.
The greatest building block of Jeter's iconic image has always been that he cares about one number only -- the number of rings he owns.
It hasn't been about personal accomplishment, stats or status in the lineup or anything else, for that matter, that defines the stereotype of the modern day athlete. Jeter's mythic stature is built around the premise he is about winning, and nothing else.
In his first 100 at-bats this season, Jeter had two extra-base hits and looked as if he could barely get the ball out of the infield. But Yankees scouts, executives and personnel people all say Jeter will get better.
Let's assume that's true: So how much better must he improve to deserve to bat leadoff? And what has he done in the past year plus to keep that spot?
If Jeter starts to hit like the guy who accumulated those first 2,800 hits, then by all means he can be restored to his rightful place atop the order. But he needs to earn that spot.
The Yankees are already overpaying Jeter for the past. Unless he drastically improves, the $17 million per season he is being paid the next three years seems, in retrospect, like something that should have been negotiated with a mask and a gun.
But the Yankees print money, and so if they give Jeter more of it, how does it affect you? I mean they can't raise ticket prices, can they? (The Yankees don't run the parking garages, so don't bring that up.)
Brett Gardner is starting to come around and, if this continues for another week, he should be leading off. Feelings or no feelings. The Yankees gave Jeter a bad contract, but that doesn't mean they have to overpay on the field too.
Plus, if Jeter is really all the things his captaincy and legend represents, then he should be all for the move. It is for the good of the team.
DON'T BE STUPID, HE'S NOT THE ONLY ONE UNDERPERFORMINGBy Wallace Matthews
So you think ití's a good idea to move Derek Jeter down in the lineup? Why not just throw a skunk into the middle of the Yankees' clubhouse instead?
It would have about the same effect, both positively and negatively, on the performance of the team.
Right now, the Yankees are 17-10, the second-best record in the American League. They have accomplished that with Phil Hughes on the disabled list, with Alex Rodriguez not hitting, with Jorge Posada not hitting, with Nick Swisher not hitting, with Brett Gardner not hitting.
And, oh yeah, with Derek Jeter not hitting.
So to single out Jeter for any perceived underperformance by the Yankees -- who have, in fact, overperformed in the standings considering their widespread underperformance in the box scores -- is nothing more than mindless and pointless scapegoating.
Is it a good idea to humiliate Jeter more than he already has been this season? Is it a good idea to divide a clubhouse in which the majority is still loyal to the team captain? Would it make any real difference in how the team is playing?
In fact, this might be the dumbest time to initiate such a move, if only because on Tuesday night, Jeterí's bat finally showed some signs of life, producing a couple of professionally hit line drives.
It may have been only a one-night revival, but it was clear to those of us who were in the clubhouse that for the first time in a long time, Jeter actually seemed to feel good about his swing.
Does it seem like a wise move to you to knock him down at a time when he may be on the way to picking himself up?
Dropping Jeter down to the cellar is simply not worth the problems it will bring, especially when the team, in spite of Jeter'ís perceived ineptitude, continues to occupy the penthouse.
And besides, it's just plain dumb.