Picks of the Pen (11/29): I Hope You Love Derek Jeter

Because there’s a lot of him this week.


At some publications, “headline news” and “Photo Shop” are habitually uttered in the same sentence (Hey!  The Knicks are winning!)

[NY Post]


The craziness that is the Derek Jeter contract negotiations took another shocking turn when Bill Madden of the New York Daily News reported that Jeter is said to be seeking a six year, $150 million contract to stay with the Yankees. New York is offering a mere three years and $45 million (for which they’ve been raked over the coals). Unless Jeter comes off his $25 million per year demands, Brian Cashman and company should be scanning the market for a replacement.

In a far less-publicized conflict, the Yankees have another high-profile free agent negotiation going on, this one with closer Mariano Rivera. As Andrew Corselli of Yanks Go Yard tells us, Mo is asking for two years and $36 million; a raise from the $15 million per year he was making at the end of his last deal. New York would like the 42-year-old closer to settle for a one year contract.


I was a “Sports Editing Intern” with Bleacher Report for about 90 seconds one summer, and it was the most backwards, disease-ridden bundle of foolishness I’ve ever been attached to.  “I’ve decided to leave my position,” I informed my “editor.”  “If you leave now, we won’t give you credit for the internship,” he replied.  “Thank you!  OH, THANK YOU GOOD SIR!” I exclaimed.  It was like having a murder expunged from my recored.  So it always cracks me up when they’re hiring. And then it cracks me up more when they get reactions like the ones following the job posting.

What good is a gold medal after you win it?  It just sits there on your mantel, waiting to be pawned for drugs, I assume.  But as Ed Carroll tells us at Deep Left Field, Shin-Soo Choo used his as a get-out-of-Military service-free card.


I never get into hyperbole.  In fact, hyperbole is the most annoying thing possibly ever.  That being said, Joe Posnanski’s latest on the value of relievers and their impact on ninth-inning leads may well be the most important article you read all offseason.  Sometimes, we can get bogged down in the sabermetrics of things, so JoPoz’s simple look at late-inning leads over the years is effective and refreshing.  And also damn good.

Erin at Twinkie Talk digs in and takes a look at Tsuyoshi Nishioka in light of the news that the Twins had the winning bid to negotiate with the Japanese shortstop.  As a Royals fan with a gaping hole at short, I wanted them to take a shot at him, too, and with the posting fee at around $5.3 million, I partly feel the Royals could have done just that.  Instead, the Twins will try to sign him as they build for another run at the AL Central in 2011.


The selection of Terry Collins as the next manager of the New York Mets has already been met with a bit of, shall we say, negativity. One candidate for that position was former Met Wally Backman. Backman still feels he should have been the choice, too. John Harper of the New York Daily News caught up with Backman and discussed the decision by Sandy Alderson.

It’s getting kind of funny that every year, the vast majority of the people celebrate Thanksgiving by looking at all the Black Friday ads.  I know we all gotta save a buck. The Tampa Bay Rays have already said they’re going to save a buck in 2011. So, Matt Staton over at Rayhawk Review revealed his shopping list for Black Friday regarding the Rays.  Don’t know if there will be doorbuster specials or not.

SECRET BONUS LINK: Felix Pie goes crazy.


And Now, starting at shortstop for the Boston Red Sox…#2, Derek Jeter? Who would have ever thought that someone would put those words together; however, the Chicago Tribune’s Phil Rogers points out that the Red Sox as well as many other teams would jump at the opportunity to sign him.

To go along with my first link, Andrew Corselli if Yanks Go Yard finally shares his opinion on the messy Jeter situation for the Yankees. Of course he feels the Yankees should retain Jeter, but, feels that Jeter is being a little hostile in the negotiations.


Mitch Harris experienced the first step toward achieving his dream to play professional baseball when the St. Louis Cardinals drafted him in the 13th round in 2008. But that was the only step he would take. Over two years later, he hasn’t moved any closer to his dream. Not one step. Harris had already committed to another team after graduation: The United States Navy. A pitcher at the Naval Academy, Harris served 18 months in the Persian Gulf and now, he wants to take the next step in his dream. He has requested a transfer to the Navy Reserves so he can play minor league ball, but the decision remains uncertain, according to the Springfield News-Leader in Missouri.

Michael at Kings of Kauffman says there is no reason to worry about Zack Greinke yet. His 2010 season was disappointing after a brilliant 2009, but he still has what it takes to recapture some of that magic again in the future.


The offseason moves are coming and going so quickly that I haven’t even had time to analyze all the trades that have gone down yet. At least Big League Stew was able to provide good perspective on another aspect of the offseason process, looking at ten of the biggest “to offer or not to offer” arbitration decisions that recently went down.

Few of our sites are as informative and well-done as Twinkie Talk, and Erin put out yet another gem this week, analyzing the AL MVP award in a dizzying amount of depth.

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