The other day fellow Yankees blog Pinstripe Alley posed the question: Do the Yankees need a new captain? The true answer is as clear as day, however, with the current Yankees ownership and front office, I’m not so sure it will be the answer most fans expect. Let’s break it down so you can have a little insight into what I mean.
Sep 25, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter (2) celebrates hitting a walk-off single against the Baltimore Orioles during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/NJ Advance Media for NJ.com via USA TODAY Sports
The Captain walks off into the sunset after a storybook ending to his career in the Bronx with a walk-off single. That leaves the Yankees captain-less heading into 2015 and simply put, that’s the way it should remain. Do you know who the Yankees captain was between Lou Gehrig and Thurman Munson? For 30 years that answer was no one. Not Berra, not Maris, not even the legendary Mickey Mantle would wear a C on his jersey because after Gehrig died. Skipper Joe McCarthy said no one should ever be Yankees’ Captain again. That’s what it means to wear the C on your pinstripes. It means you were as valuable to the Yankees as Lou Gehrig was. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be as good as Gehrig was, but it certainly means you have to have the heart and leadership that The Iron Horse had.
Even Derek Jeter’s own road to the Captain-ship wasn’t an easy one. The spot remained vacant after Don Mattingly’s retirement in 1995 until 2003 when Jeter became Captain. That means Derek Jeter himself had to play almost ten seasons, win a Rookie of the Year, All-Star Game MVP, World Series MVP, appear in the playoffs for eight years in a row all while winning four World Series and appearing in one more before Yankees’ brass deemed him worthy of being the next Yankees’ captain. There is clearly no one on this roster that even sniffs those accolades. I would rather go thirty more years without a captain than see someone like Brett Gardner be a captain. That’s no disrespect to Gardy, but he has to earn it. Simply being the highest paid, home grown talent on the roster does not deem captain ship.
Here’s the downside. This is a new Yankees’ front office, right down from the owners to the Assistant GM. This Yankees’ upper management team doesn’t care about the players, which is now overtly evident with neither Hank nor Hal Steinbrenner being on hand for Jeter’s final game.
What this Yankees’ regime cares about is money. We see it in the new, disgusting Yankee Stadium and we see it in all of their new marketing. That being said, naming a new captain opens the door for more marketing. New lines of shirts and jerseys can be sold, new commercials can be made, and the whirlwind of publicity a new captain media tour would create would bring in even more revenue. True Yankees fans would lose their minds, but we don’t matter to the current regime. Neither does winning really. It’s all about that dollar.
So, will there be a new Yankees captain? It’s tough to say. But this Yankees faithful is certainly hoping we don’t see one until someone truly deserves it. What do you think, Yankees’ fans?