Derek Jeter's quote on Yankees' championship mentality should egg Brian Cashman on

Yankees icon Derek Jeter is still World Series or bust.

Aaron Judge Press Conference
Aaron Judge Press Conference / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages
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After the Yankees' 2022 ALCS failure, fan recommendations of "Derek Jeter to the front office" were at an all-time high.

After all, hadn't the team's iconic shortstop very recently appeared at the stadium to accept a plaque, assuring the crowd that they'd be seeing a lot more of him moving forward? The time seemed to be right to excommunicate Brian Cashman from his long-held post, with a new captain potentially on the horizon in Aaron Judge, as well as a new shortstop in Anthony Volpe.

Ultimately, the Yankees opted to maintain the status quo, and Jeter turned to broadcasting, a decision that might surprise any fan of the tight-lipped persona from his playing days.

Jeter, now a member of FOX's broadcast crew, is unencumbered by his Marlins ties, and certainly has time to be around the Yankees more moving forward, whenever the need arises. This season's team looks much different from last year's group approaching the halfway point, but Jeter's assessment of the club is similar; whether they're ahead of the 1998 team's pace or sagging behind, there's plenty more time for things to reverse.

That said, Jeter is no fan of aiming to sneak into the playoffs and hoping for the best, a fate likely tied to the 2023 Yankees.

Yankees Hall of Famer Derek Jeter wouldn't be satisfied just making playoffs

He doesn't *think* anyone is going to sit there and say that, but ... there's a chance they might sit there and say that. And that's the wrong mindset.

The full quote, followed by a few statements of fact (his Yankees made it look easier to win than it really was, the fans have every right to be impatient), further clarifies his position on complacency:

"They’re almost at the [All-Star] break, so there are a lot of games left. I remember last year, I was at the premiere of the documentary in New York and this is when the Yankees had gotten off to the huge start that they had and they started comparing last year’s team to the ‘98 team. And I said, there’s a long way to go then, too. You never know what’s going to happen over the course of a season. They’re just fine from a timing perspective, but I think it’s something they should take day to day. I don’t think anyone in the Yankee organization is just gonna sit there and say, ‘Hey we just gotta get into the playoffs.’ I just think that’s the wrong mentality to have."

Derek Jeter

Fair or not, the fan perception is that this current iteration of the Yankees will go far enough to ensure they're always marketable, and will never lose a key cog like Judge, but don't flex the financial muscles they have to reach rarefied air in the same way that Steve Cohen's Mets do.

On the flip side, Steve Cohen's Mets are also proving that outspending everyone en route to a title is very hard. Fans of the 2002-2008 Yankees could've also told you that.

Ultimately, you can win with a $290 million payroll (shocker!), but you have to properly allocate resources, fill any and all holes, anticipate a few more holes, fill them as well, and make sure the organization's mindset is to finish the job rather than leaving the ending up to chance. That's been Jeter's mentality from Day 1. Hopefully, that's still what gets preached inside the Yankees' clubhouse.