I’m confused. It isn’t the first time I’ve been confused, of course, because I’m blonde.

I don’t think of myself as a ditzy blonde, though. I think I have a good grasp on most things, although I still can’t quite figure out why anyone older than 14 would consider Adam Sandler a funny man. I mean, Sandler is funny like Tiger Woods is a virgin. But the mystery of a non-funnyman’s appeal to the masses is not the source of my bafflement. Derek Jeter is.

Unless I’m mistaken, the New York Yankees’ captain had a career-low season in 2010. That is, he had a career-low batting average (.270), a career-low on-base percentage (.340) and a career-low slugging percentage (.370). Yet, he is seeking a pay raise.

Say what? A pay raise?


Apparently, Jeter and/or his mouthpiece, agent Casey Close, are of the opinion that the aging shortstop’s worth is somewhere in the $22-$24 million range, up from the $21M he had to get by on in his career-low season. Furthermore, they expect the Yankees to keep him on the playing payroll for the next four, perhaps five years, that despite the fact that he’ll be blowing out 37 candles on his birthday cake next June.

Am I the only one who sees this posturing as madness?

Apparently not.

George Steinbrenner’s two lads, Hank and Hal, have taken note of the number on Jeter’s birth certificate, as well as his diminishing numbers at the plate, and the Boss’s boys arrived at the very logical conclusion that their captain is in decline and, therefore, if he is to continue playing baseball in the Bronx it will be for three years and $45 million.

Works for me.

I mean, how in the name of Lou Gehrig do Jeter and Close (or anyone else, for that matter) arrive at the notion that a hike in pay is warranted after the worst season of his career? And don’t give me any of that hooey about Jeter deserving special compensation because he is the face of the Yankees’ franchise and it would be criminal if he were to wear anything other than pinstripes. That is, as I said, hooey.

Babe Ruth was, is and always will be the face of the Yankees, and he was wearing Boston Braves linen when he played his final ball game. Does that diminish the Yankee legend that is the Bambino? Of course not.

And if Jeter were to move on and finish his career with, say, the Giants or Cardinals, he’ll be no less a Yankee legend than he is today.

If Jeter truly wishes to wind it down in the Bronx, then he and his people require a reality check.

He is in decline at the plate and, despite a Gold Glove Award that he didn’t deserve in 2010, he has become average at the No. 6 position. Light-hitting, range-challenged, aging shortstops don’t get paid $22-$24 million per annum. Not even the so-called “face” of the franchise.

The only face worth that kind of money belongs to Angelina Jolie. And maybe Brad Pitt.

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