In Sports Decisions, Feelings Can’t Get In The Way Of Business

The Yankees lost to the Boston Red Sox last night 11-6. But what was glaringly obvious was the play of the Captain, shortstop Derek Jeter. Jeter went 1-5 as he continues his year-long slump. Jeter is getting paid roughly $17 or $18 million this year and he has produced a measly .261 with 2 homeruns and 17 RBIs. In my opinion, the Yankees overpaid and thought too much with their heart and not their business mind. I understand his meaning to the Yankees organization, but is his meaning worth $17 million when his production has been steadily declining?

Another example of a player who was declining being overpaid is Yankees catcher Jorge Posada. He's been a good player for the Yankees, but he's been in decline for a while and now the Yankees are stuck with his contract too. Posada can't even catch anymore because of health issues and he hasn't exactly been the best designated hitter either. So, let's recap. The Yankees have a catcher whose body has broken down and a shortstop who doesn't have the same range and is slumping at the plate.

Jeter and Posada are just the newest examples of players who are overpaid because an organization thought more with their feelings than with their business minds. If I was the Yankees, if Jeter wouldn't have accepted my first offer, he could have walked. And in terms of Posada, I would have let him move on so a younger catcher could be brought in. These types of situations happen all the time in sports and it has to stop. When sports franchises do things like this, they set their franchises back ultimately a couple years more. Owners and general managers have to start being smarter and thinking two moves ahead.

I'm not professing that I would be a good general manager, but what I am saying is that being general manager is like a chess game. You have to be two moves ahead, but if you make a one bad move, it could be the end of your job and tenure. General managers, take your emotions out of decisions please. Fans want a winning team and a championship-caliber team, not a team full of sentimental players or lovable losers. Ask the Cubs what the "lovable loser" label ever won them.

12 Responses

  1. Yeah its tough and whats all ways suprised me is the pressure that these GM’s or Owner’s feel they have to sign big names. There is tons off players out there and its not all the most talented player that the best for for the team. Like a Milton Bradley, Terrell Owens, Shaq to celtics, Hedo to Raptors, there’s so many more in all sports. To many moves arent based on will it work.

    • Like Kenny Rogers said, “You gotta know when to hold ’em. Know when to fold ’em.

  2. Carlos

    I agree they overpaid for Jeter but they had too. They needed him as much as he needed them. It’s about the legacy and they felt his legacy was worth that salary. He is coming up on 3000 hits and they couldn’t let him do that in a Twins uniform. He wanted more money than they paid him but he knew he wasn’t worth that on the open market and that’s why he took less money than he originally wanted. The Posada situation is totally on the organization. It’s not that he can’t catch it’s the organization said he would not catch in any capacity. You take away what a man has been doing all his life they tend to struggle to find that new niche. As a catcher if he was struggling at the plate he still could make contributions behind the plate. Now he is not catching and is slumping at the plate he doesn’t have anything else to focus on. All he is doing is thinking about his struggles at the plate and it has become a mental thing. But in both situations that’s the price you have to pay for legacy. No one wanted to see Michael Jordan in a Wizard’s uniform.

    • But at what cost do you pay for legacy? That’s the magic formula that some teams figure out and some do not. And as far as Posada, health reasons were why they removed him from doing catching. He would not physically be able to hold up. Its going to be interesting if they make it to the World Series. If they did, and that’s a big IF, where would Posada play?

  3. Though what Derek Jeter makes would be extreme to any other team, his worth to the New York Yankees is beyond measure. Along with Don Mattingly and Yogi Berra, he is the most popular living Yankee. The fact that he is approaching 3,000 hits is also part of it. Jorge Posada is in the last year of his contract, and, if he doesn’t improve, he will be a high-priced bat off the bench, but the Yankees can afford it. The Yankees, for the Yankees, are struggling with attendance, and if they let Jeter walk, they would’ve upset millions of Yankee fans. They can afford the contract. Their bad pitching contracts are more of a problem at this point in time, and they signed Posada to a four-year deal, with this being year four, after a one of his best seasons.

    • The decisions of a GM are never easy, but I would have applauded Cashman for letting Jeter walk, especially after the negotiations they had.

  4. Lee Love

    Having been born in NYC and a life long Yankee fan (and that’s not easy living in chicago) I agree with the points made in the blog. While I appreciate the loyalty Yankee management has shown towards Posada and Jeter, I believe it was poor business execution from the standpoint of building for the future. Yankees have always taken pride in having the most players with HOF statistics but is that good for maintaining a winning team? don’t think so but they certainly can afford to do those things whether we like it or not. They obviously think the big names will keep people coming to the ballpark. Makes you wonder how the young George Sr. would have handled this.

  5. MrDcSports

    This is a great post. I say it all the time in sports, business before loyalty. Sometimes even fans are blinded by what someone has done in the past & not what they’ve done lately. Unacceptable for a GM to be blinded by it, their job hangs on the balance of decisions like that.

  6. We see this all the time. I think it was a good move to bring them back in because they put butts in the seats, not to mention they are fan favorites. But paying Jeter $18 mil is ridiculous. That money could’ve gone to paying a nice young player with promise.

  7. 7Boss1

    So sad but so true I love the Yanks but I didn’t love the moves hopefully they turn it around but its unlikely

  8. JW

    So, let me get this straight…Are the Yankees suddenly broke? This is a team that has thrown money all over the place for decades, now all of a sudden we are worried about “overpaying” a couple of star players? Are the Yankees not in contention right now? So, what’s the problem here?

    • They may be in contention, but what pitching do they have? I don’t have a problem with them paying players, but in this case, they overpaid for players that aren’t producing for that money. They should have used that money on pitching because pitching wins championships ultimately. Sure, you throw timely hitting in as well, but pitching wins championships. The 2010 San Francisco Giants are the perfect example of that.

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