I just watched the video of the Jeter press conference yesterday and ...if anything I respect Derek more than I ever did. He showed class, and even his comments criticizing the Yanks and the media were delivered in a dignified manner. It has always been my view that there should be no correlation between how well an employee is compensated and how he is treated by his employer. I never bought into the argument by some employers that "I pay you top dollar so I can treat you like crap".

I say this while at the same time agreeing with many that today's athletes are over paid, and our society is dysfunctional in the sense that we over compensate ball players while other professions of arguably more value (pick your choice - teachers, EMS workers - et,c etc, etc.) are left by the wayside. It's so easy to blame the athlete when in my view it's baseball rules that are at fault. They owners agree to pay the athlete a given sum because they are allowed to by the rules! Blame the owners, the players union, blame whoever you want, but if the rules didn't allow open bidding without restrictions, players would have no choice but to settle for less.

One argument on behalf of athletes - in this case MLB, is that they are entertainers, and considering the entire population in the world there are only roughly 750 who are good enough to be on MLB roster (I think the potential figures are much greater as logic would dictate there are many more athletes who could make MLB - it might be more of a comment as to MLB scouting abilities).

As far as owners are concerned, as much as I admired Steinbrenner in his latter years as Boss I detested how he treated some players in his earlier days. But I'll say this and if I'm wrong correct me. There were certain elite players he never criticized publicly. I don't remember him ever criticizing Munson or Mattingly. I think Jeter would've fallen in that category.

While that may be open to conjecture, there is no way to cover up the fact that Derek was treated shabbily by the Yanks throughout the negotiating process. Yankee pride and tradition were not on display by the current ownership. The National Enquirer mentality the media has shown in recent years took glee in trying to change Jeter's image from one of class and humility to one of selfishness and greed. Oh how the press and for that matter the public today loves to build someone up only to rejoice in ripping them a new orifice.

The only one who exemplified "Yankee pride and tradition" was Derek Jeter - not the New York Yankees.


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