If there was anything Dellin Betances‘ arbitration case taught us, it’s there are no clear-cut winners.
Betances was once again underappreciated by the Yankees and the Yankees might lose Betances when he becomes a free agent after the 2020 season. Yankees president Randy Levine made a huge mess for Yankees PR to clean up (doesn’t he always?), but when it came time to clean up the mess, neither PR or Levine spoke to the media.
Instead, the Yankees sent out Joe Girardi to try to calm things down.
Girardi is known for being the Yankees manager, and it’s his job to protect his players. But the Yankees continued to handle the situation poorly by dragging Girardi into a situation that had little to do with him in the first place. Girardi said he was going to help Betances in case the arbitration case bothered him. But Betances doesn’t have a problem with Girardi. He has a problem with the front office. No matter what kind gesture Girardi does, it’s not going to be enough to rebuild the bridge between Betances and Hal Steinbrenner/Randy Levine.
It wasn’t the fact Betances lost the arbitration case that had him in a frenzy. Randy Levine decided to open his big mouth and make the situation catastrophically worse. He claimed Betances was the reason for declining ticket sales (?), he said Betances wasn’t deserving of $5 Million because he wasn’t a closer (??), and he somehow mentioned that like Betances wasn’t a closer, he wasn’t an astronaut, like that was beneficial to the conversation (???).
Betances has always been loyal to the Yankees, but now he may rethink his loyalty and his availability for a team that claims they love him but showed different in the arbitration court room.
“I was planning to put all this behind me,” Betances said. “But for him to say I’m a victim and my agent’s using me? I felt like I was asking for a fair deal. Taking the ball, most setup men pitch for one inning. I went out there for three innings or multiple or guys on base all the time. That’s my job, but I continued to do it over and over, just trying to help the team. And for me to even go through this process, that’s what upsets me the most.
“They take me in a room and they trash me for about an hour and a half,” he said. “I thought that wasn’t fair. I felt like I’ve done a lot for this organization, especially over the last three years. I’ve taken the ball, time after time. Whenever they needed me, I was there for them. I never said no.”
Betances was understandably upset during camp yesterday. But Girardi and CC Sabathia talked to him in order to assure him that he shouldn’t let the front office get to him. This is a role Girardi is going to have to play over the course of the spring, until he’s sure Betances isn’t affected by how Levine treated him over the last two days.
While Girardi is simply doing his job, the Yankees are simply using Girardi being a source of comfort as a way to handle the situation. Brian Cashman has yet to comment on the situation, as well as Hal Steinbrenner.
They’re the ones that should be talking to the media in an attempt to smooth things over.
Not Joe Girardi.
Girardi has one job, and that’s to get his team in shape for the 2017 season.
He’s not being paid to look like the good guy in a situation that never should have escalated in the first place.