After the 1934 regular season, Jacob Ruppert, then Yankees owner, offered to make Babe Ruth the manager of the Yankees’ top minor-league team, the Newark Braves. Ruth’s wife and business manger advised Ruth to reject the offer, and he took their advice.
That would end his 15 year stint with the Yankees, during which he hit 659 home runs, and became possibly the most beloved Yankee of all-time. Splitting up with Ruth on bad terms was a bad move from a public relations stand-point, but the Yankees prevailed.
Bernie Williams, a fan-favorite, life-time Yankee, played 16 seasons in New York before his contract expired in 2006. He wanted to play in 2007, and even said he would accept a role as a backup outfielder. The Yankees offered him an invitation to Spring Training, but did not guarantee him a spot on the roster. Williams declined, and the Yankees once again broke up with a popular Yankee on bad terms. The Yankees, again, prevailed.
After the winning a championship in 2009, the Yankees had two more beloved players to resign. Hideki Matsui, the World Series MVP, and Johnny Damon, who was almost certainly going to be back, had messy negotiations with the Yankees. Neither returned, and the Yankees prevailed
The Yankees have won an astonishing 27 World Championships because they have one goal: winning. They never make decisions based on emotions, and they never resign players just to improve fan morale. Why? Because the Yankees know that the best way to make your fans happy is simple. All you have to do is win.
After the 2010 season, the Yankees are back where they have found themselves in prior decades. One of the most popular Yankees of all-time, Derek Jeter, is nearing the end of his career and is looking for a new contract.
The Yankees want to bring him back, and rightfully so. Jeter still has some years left in him, and can still contribute.
But Jeter and his agent have gone far enough to express their desire for a four, five, or even six-year deal. The Yankees, on the other hand, are geared more towards a three-year deal.
This is a perfect time for the Yankees to return to their fundamental practice that has helped them win more championships than any other team in history. Instead of backing down and making the emotional induced decision to keep Jeter around for as long as possible, the Yankees need to stick to their guns and do what they know is best for the future success on the team. I think we all know what that means.