The New York Yankees recently made headlines when they defeated Dellin Betances in his arbitration case. But someone in the organization should have kept their comments to themselves.
Yankees president Randy Levine bashed Betances after the Yankees won their case in front of an arbitrator on Friday afternoon. Levine’s comments ranged from Betances making a futile case, Betances being the reason the Yankees weren’t selling tickets last year and how the setup man didn’t deserve to make $5 Million because he “didn’t have the stats”.
Even though the Yankees won their case, they may have lost Betances once he reaches free agency. However, this isn’t the first time the Yankees have hurt their homegrown players. In fact, disrespecting their own has become an unfortunate trend.
One player that comes to mind is Jorge Posada. He was one of the best catchers in baseball who struggled during his final season in pinstripes. The Yankees didn’t help matters when they decided to drop Posada in the order on May 14, 2011. To retaliate, Posada went to the front office and complained, but ended up being written out of the lineup completely. The Yankees continued to bench Posada until his big RBI game on August 13, 2011.
The Yankees even treated their captain Derek Jeter terribly during contract negotiations in 2010. The Yankees continued to play hardball with Jeter almost the entire offseason before they agreed to a deal before Christmas. The Yankees continued airing out their laundry on the back of the New York Daily News and The New York Post, something Jeter didn’t appreciate. The Yankees and Jeter kept things civil after Jeter agreed to a new contract, but I doubt Jeter forgot the headache the front office gave him while trying to reach a new deal.
The Yankees and current left fielder Brett Gardner have a good relationship, especially since he’s the only player in recent Yankees history to have a contract extension. But there were moments where the Yankees had disregard for Gardner’s feelings. Every offseason, the front office loves including Gardner in trade rumors, even though Gardner cemented his status as a reliable outfielder for the ball club. Hearing constant trade rumors would put any player on edge, but even more so for a player that has done nothing to deserve being traded. Another blow was dealt to Gardner when the Yankees paid $153 Million, $100 Million more, for Jacoby Ellsbury, a player who was almost like Gardner in every way imaginable.
There was the Andy Pettitte debacle in 2003; the Yankees focused their efforts on locking up Gary Sheffield during the offseason instead of Pettitte. There was the Yankees refusing to properly negotiate a contract with Robinson Cano when he became a free agent, resulting him in signing a 10-year, $300 Million contract with the Seattle Mariners. There was the Yankees stringing along Rob Refsnyder when in reality he doesn’t have a set role on the roster. Of course we can’t forget Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, two players that shuffled from the bullpen to the rotation, and ended up failing in the Bronx. There was David Robertson, who the Yankees continuously shuffled between the seventh, eighth and ninth inning, and Adam Warren who was thanked for his 2015 season with a trade to the Chicago Cubs. Luckily, the Yankees retrieved Warren back during the 2016 season.
The Yankees have caused rifts among their homegrown players, and frankly it’s only a matter of time until they do something to cause a rift in their relationship with Gary Sanchez. Yes, baseball is a business, but at the same time the Yankees need to remember that their players are not robots. They have feelings, and when they feel like they’re being wronged, they have a right to defend themselves.
Levine was completely out of line regarding his comments to Betances. Why kick someone down especially after you already got what you wanted?
The Yankees are only pushing Betances away, and it’s only a matter of time before they find themselves facing him while he’s on a different team.
All because Randy Levine had to gloat and burn what was left of the bridge.