Week 10 of AtD brings us Caroline Russomanno as “The Ref.” Sports Assistant Brandon Gould, Staff Writer Kevin Lee and Correspondent Joshua Steele answer whether the Yankees should resign Derek Jeter after his worst MLB season ever, whether Randy Moss’s move to the Titans was a smart move by the Vikings and how will it affect the Titans and what happened that one Sunday when more people watched the NFL than the World Series.
1. Hal Steinbrenner said last Wednesday that the Yankees want Derek Jeter back but “having said that, we’re running a business here, so if there’s a deal to be done, it’s going to have to be a deal that both sides are happy with.” What would you do with Jeter after his worst MLB season?
BG: Hal Steinbrenner can continue to say whatever he wants, but when it comes down to it, Derek Jeter will be in pinstripes next season. Jeter’s effect on the Yankees goes far beyond what he does on the field. He’s the captain, he’s a fan favorite and he’s an asset. Jeter brings in a lot of money for the Yankees and if they have to give the guy a few more bucks to keep him a Yankee for the rest of his career then so be it. I don’t want to hear “business” talk coming from Yankees management, they spend more money than anyone else in the league. If they could give Carl Pavano a four-year-deal worth $39.95 million to do practically nothing, you would hope they could come to a quick compromise and give Jeter — a Yankee great — his final contract.
KL: If Derek Jeter is in fact looking for a six-year deal, I just don’t see him returning to the Yankees. A six-year contract would put Jeter at 42 years old, and you just don’t see many shortstops that are older than 40 years old in baseball. The Yankees would like to stand pat on a two-year deal, possibly giving a three-year deal as a final concession. Personally, a two to three year deal worth about $45 to 55 million would be the most logical because Jeter’s performance on the field has to be put into perspective, regardless of how much he means to the city, and because recently first round pick Cito Culver will be major league ready by then. Contrary to popular belief, the Yankees don’t have infinite money, and some of that money is needed to sign Cliff Lee or Carl Crawford. Jeter will be a Yankee next season, but negotiations could get ugly in the process.
JS: Derek Jeter is the ultimate face of the Yankees franchise and Hal Steinbrenner would be an absolute fool to let him go no matter what the cost is. Jeter is an icon not only in the city of New York but also throughout the entire MLB. The extreme value that Jeter brings to the Yankees cannot be quantified in purely monetary terms. The Yankees will probably wind up ‘overpaying’ for Jeter but he has payed them back with the countless clutch hits and championships he has helped bring home.
CR: Brandon gets the 3 for saying that the Yankees are all talk and Jeter will definitely be in pinstripes next season, and for bringing up how much the Yankees have shelled out in the past for players worth far less than Jeter. Josh gets 2 for saying essentially the same thing as Brandon, but with less support. Kevin gets the 1 because Jeter’s worth isn’t measured in age or numbers.
2. Was Randy Moss’s move to Tennessee a smart move for the Vikings? How will Moss affect the Titans’ season?
BG: How are Brad Childress and Rick Spielman still top guys in this league? The Vikings messed up by giving Brett Favre a key to the palace and now they’ve really done it after trading a third-round pick to
use Randy Moss for four weeks. Randy Moss is an arrogant ass? Shocker. They knew that already and if it was a problem they shouldn’t have traded for him. Hopefully, the Vikings look both ways before they cross the street next time. I didn’t really see Tennessee picking up Randy Moss — I thought the Kansas City Chiefs were going to be his next destination — and I don’t think Moss is going to put up big numbers for the Titans. His presence will be felt, but it will be Chris Johnson and the rest of the Titans receiving corps who are going to put up the numbers, not Moss.
KL: I think this was a good move for the Vikings and for potentially the Titans. This was a good move for the Vikings because it reduces the drama that is already surrounding that team with all of the Brett Favre controversy. However, this obviously hurts the Vikings on the field, but the team can possibly play better as a unit without all of the distractions. As far as the Titans, this was a good move for them, if Moss can shut his mouth and just play, although this is a big if. This helps Vince Young especially since Young has a gunslinger’s mentality, and this also helps Chris Johnson, as Moss’ presence will create more openings for him. This acquisition puts the Titans in good position in winning the wild card, and potentially going deep into the playoffs.
JS: Moving Randy Moss was a very smart move for the Vikings. It does not matter how talented a player is, if they are going to destroy the chemistry within the locker room they are not worth keeping around. Brad Childress failed to keep control of Moss which is something that Jeff Fisher will not have a problem doing. This move will also greatly improve the Titans offense, giving the Titans a deep threat and opening up more running lanes for Chris Johnson.
CR: Brandon gets 3 for pointing out that the Vikings should have known what they were getting into before trading for Moss. Kevin gets 2 for saying why Moss could be big for the Titans. Josh gets 1.
3. This baseball season, a World Series game was outwatched by a regular NFL season game. How did this happen and what can the MLB do to hype less popular teams?
BG: The reason that the NFL outmatches the MLB is that football is now America’s sport. People love watching big hits, deep passes and tough runs. Your NFL team has a game that comes around once a week opposed to baseball where teams play every day. It’s like comparing Christmas to Wednesday afternoons. When the day after Christmas is over, people just start thinking about next year’s Christmas and that’s exactly what happens with football. I know that once Monday Night Football ends all I am thinking about is the next Sunday. Then you have Wednesday afternoon where nothing eventful happens, but there’s always the chance that someone famous is in town or something like that – that’s the MLB. The MLB is going to have a tough time matching the NFL’s popularity, but if more personalities like Giants closer Brian Wilson come to the forefront people will tune in more often. Baseball needs players who people can believe in or hate, people who talk the talk and walk the walk.
KL: I think that the fans that didn’t watch Game 5 missed an awesome one. Two of the best pitchers in baseball were showcased on baseball’s greatest stage. Everyone wants to see the Yankees, the Phillies and the Mets in the World Series, but getting a chance to see other teams that aren’t usually televised like the Giants, gives people an opportunity to see some of baseball’s up and coming stars like Madison Bumgarner. What the MLB can do to hype less popular teams is have a college baseball like format. In this format, six teams from the AL and six teams from the NL each play in a one game sudden death match with the top two teams from each division getting bye weeks. Once there are two teams from the AL and NL, that’s when three game series will be held. The only problem with this format is that it could dilute the talent of teams by allowing more mediocre teams to make the playoffs, but this could garner more excitement.
JS: The MLB’s problem with the most recent World Series is that there was no east coast presence. With so many major cities on the east coast the MLB should readjust the league so there is an east and west division. This would make it so there is always a major presence from each coast in the World Series and the MLB would no longer have to worry about having terrible ratings.
CR: Brandon gets 3 and the win because, short of reorganizing the game, the way for the MLB to go is to hype individual players. Why watch the Eagles? Michael Vick. Why watch the Vikings? Brett Favre. Why watch the Rangers? Cliff Lee. It could work. Josh gets 2 because I like his idea — it’ll never happen — but I like it. And Kevin gets 1 because I don’t like the idea of sudden death games in baseball – there’s a reason series are played now.
Brandon sweeps this week’s AtD, 9 – 5 – 4