Archive for February 25th, 2010

The Value of Jeter, Part 2

Spring Training is underway now, which means fans and the media are gearing up for the 2010 MLB season. This season brings a lot of things: the return of Mark McGwire, another chance for the Mets’ doctors to practice, the long-awaited absence of Chip Caray. It also brings the end of Derek Jeter’s 10-year, $189 million contract.

Yesterday, Jeter addressed these concerns to the media for the first, and he says only, time this year. He didn’t really say anything new: He wants to stay with the Yankees, he’s always wanted to stay with the Yankees, he won’t talk about it again until the end of the season.

All indications, from both Jeter and Yankees GM Brian Cashman, are that Jeter will re-sign, and, as I’ve said before, he’ll probably do it quickly, since he is worth more to the Yankees than to any other team. But his new contract won’t be settled for at least seven months.

Why? Because the Yankees have a policy of not negotiating new contracts until a player’s old contract has ended.* In general, this policy makes sense, since it obviates any awkward mid-season negotiations and allows the team to factor in the production of the last full season when coming up with a contract offer. And since the Yankees have the resources to outspend any other bidder if they so choose, then the risk of losing a player on the open market is not that high. In Jeter’s case, though, this policy is probably a mistake. Continue reading

The Double Bonus: The Talking Cure

As usual, Tim in black and John in red.

In the aftermath of Bob Huggins’ ejection Monday night against Connecticut, ESPN’s Andy Katz raised an interesting question: Why do NCAA officials talk so often with coaches?

Conversations between coaches and officials are much more prevalent in basketball than in pretty much any other major team sport. I postulate that this derived from the positioning of officials on a basketball court; the official on the outside of the three-point line usually finds himself right next to the coach. The frequent stoppages of play, during timeouts and even more so, free throws, give coaches plenty of time to yap with refs.

As such, it’s now a common sight at a college basketball game to see a coach like Huggins or Jim Boeheim or Mike Krzyzewski carrying on a conversation during free throws with refs like John Cahill, Jim Burr, and Karl Hess. In fact, it’s pretty much a go-to shot during the broadcast of a game. Kyle Singler’s called for a block, show replay, have announcers discuss call, Davis misses first free throw, show Krzyzewski talking it over with Hess. We see this several times each game. The announcers even explicitly refer to it as “working the officials.” Continue reading