One can only wonder how Derek Jeter’s turkey will go down Thursday as the 36-year-old Yankee captain enters Thanksgiving without a new contract — and with plenty of stuffing to chew on from none other than co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner.
“As much as we want to keep everybody, we’ve already made these guys very, very rich,” Steinbrenner told the Associated Press this week, “and I don’t feel we owe anybody anything monetarily.
“Some of these players are wealthier than their bosses,” he added.
Jeter, arguably the biggest sporting icon in this city, has remained silent on the Yankees’ very public campaign to bring him back as a free agent, albeit at a “reasonable” cost to the biggest-spending team in baseball history.
General manager Brian Cashman even hinted earlier this week that the greatest Yankee shortstop ever and all-time franchise hits leader — he’ll be only 74 shy of 3,000 next Opening Day — should look elsewhere if he believes the team’s reported offer of a three-year, $45 million contract isn’t good enough.
Again, there was no response from Jeter.
Casey Close, Jeter’s long-time friend and agent, has described the Yankees’ approach to what is shaping up as a very contentious winter of negotiations “baffling," but the song remains the same as the holiday season hits full swing this weekend.