23 Jun 2011
I really can’t believe Girardi’s statement that Jeter is the leadoff hitter is garnering so much attention. Did you really expect him to say anything other than what he said? Let’s review some facts.
1- Girardi and the Yankees got killed (rightfully) for the way they handled Posada’s demotion in the lineup.
2- Jeter is not current eligible to play and therefore cannot take any spot in the lineup.
3- Jeter is currently in Tampa and therefore not with the team.
Based on those three facts, is there any reason on Earth for Girardi to say anything besides what he did? Of course not, it would be creating a huge story that doesn’t need to be created.
Everyone knows Jeter should not be leading off (except perhaps against LHP), that’s not the issue. The issue is how to handle that move. I’ve thrown in my two cents, but the Yankees are going to have to be extremely careful with this. I’ve seen people dismiss the whole issue and say things like Jeter should stop letting his ego run the Yankees. I hate to break this to you, but Jeter’s ego is what has brought him to the brink of 3,000 hits. Every successful person believes in him or herself and that is part of the reason they are successful. Now some athletes do realize their skills are declining and accept a reduced role, but I would argue that is more the exception than the rule. And remember, if reports are true, Jeter thought he was worth a six-year deal this offseason. That’s not a stance taken by a guy who thinks he has nothing left in the tank.
The Yankees are going to have to figure this one out on their own. Maybe they decide that the internal damage of a Jeter move would be too great. I wouldn’t like that decision, but since I am not in that clubhouse everyday, I would have to respect it. Sooner or later the move will be made. Just don’t expect it to be done on a rainy day in Cincinnati when Jeter is on the DL and 1,000 miles away from the team.