Hate is such a strong word. Hate is much more than disliking something or someone, it is having a standing resentment towards a specific person or entity. Let’s not hate!

Here is the sequence of events that has triggered much hatred in the MLB world:

  • New part owner Derek Jeter of the Miami Marlins declares a fire-sale and lets the world know Giancarlo Stanton will not be a part of his team moving forward.
  • Stanton refuses trade offers to the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants then updates his no-trade clause to only include the teams that were in final four of last seasons playoffs.
  • The Yankees, Jeter’s former team as a player, purchase (do not call it a trade it was a sale) Stanton.

I am not innocent of hating in this situation and shared my feelings via my personal account and the company twitter account:

Learning To Let Go Of The Hate: Derek Jeter

Although not a Yankees fan, I was among the legions of baseball fans that respected Mr. Jeter as a player. After reading an article from another website I’ve come to realize that Jeter is nothing more than a pawn in a bigger game. A man who always seemed to want to be loved while in New York is now playing the role of the man taking all the blame in Miami.

…the Bruce Sherman–led investment group that bought the team in September…

…when most billionaires got so rich in the first place by wringing every last dollar out of companies, cities, and people, then leaving desolate ruins in their wake.

Sherman has experience doing just that to beloved privately owned civic institutions, when a little more than a decade ago, he gutted the Knight Ridder newspaper company, leaving dozens of the country’s most prestigious news organizations—including the Miami Herald—with skeleton staffs and shoestring budgets. The baseball world should have known better than to greet Sherman’s purchase of the team as a relief.

So why didn’t it? First, Loria was so uniquely reviled within the sport that we forgot the first rule of the mid-2010s: It Can Always Get Worse. Second, because Sherman was never the headline name on the Marlins’ investment group: Derek Jeter was.

Sherman, for all the immense consequence of his investments over the years, maintains a low public profile—his public persona is mostly his lack of a public persona—and is described as “shy” and “publicity-averse.” What a savvy strategy: If you’re making billions torching newspapers and baseball teams, why would you want publicity?

Into this void stepped Jeter, who cashed in decades of public goodwill earned as the face of noncontroversial athletic conservatism, along with tens of millions of his own money, for a 4 percent stake in the Marlins. That Jeter, and not Sherman, will take the fall for trading Stanton is a tragedy particular to American social climbing. Rich and famous workers are workers nonetheless, and their wealth and power are limited accordingly.

Sherman invited Jeter to join the rentier class—or at least feel like he was part of that exclusive club—in exchange for a 4 percent buy-in and one particular service: Jeter, as the team’s CEO, would look like he was in charge. Now he’s a well-paid human shield, like Roger Goodell for the NFL, soaking up public scorn while the men who wield real power soak in profit. The relationship between Jeter and Sherman is like the relationship between an occupying army and the local puppet ruler, or a mafia boss and his stooge. The Ringer.com

It is so easy to scream collusion because the trade of Stanton went to Jeter’s former team, but everyone knew this was going to be about whoever was going to take on the largest amount of Stanton’s remaining contract and not about the players being moved. Stanton made it known he wanted to be a Dodger. There was never a reported Dodger offer that covered all but the reported $30M which the Yankees left behind.

Would this writer still like to see the MLB adopt a rule which barred former players turned ownership from making trades with their former team? Yes. Is there going to be another situation like this in the next 5-10 years? Probably not.

The bigger concern for baseball and for Miami Marlins fans, would be the MLB instituting a salary floor to ensure the liquidation of assets still leaves some semblance of a team playing at Marlins Park in 2017-18. Just have to  remind yourself that Jeter is just following orders from the other 96% of ownership.

Learning To Let Go Of The Hate: Giancarlo Stanton

The above video was from November 2014 press conference when Stanton signed his 13-year deal with the Marlins. Courtesy CBSSports.com here are the details of his contract:

Here are Stanton’s past salaries under his current contract: 

  • 2015: $6.5 million
  • 2016: $9 million
  • 2017: $14.5 million

Here are Stanton’s future salaries under the deal: 

  • 2018 (age-28 season): $25 million
  • 2019: $26 million
  • 2020: $26 million
  • 2021: $29 million
  • 2022: $29 million
  • 2023: $32 million
  • 2024: $32 million
  • 2025: $32 million
  • 2026: $29 million
  • 2027: $25 million
  • 2028: $25 million team option/$10 million buyout

At the point of his opt-out following the 2020 season (his age-30 campaign), Stanton will have $218 million left on his contract. Likely, he’d need to believe that he’d do better than $218 on the open market in order to exercise his opt-out.

The belief at the time of the signing, a belief you can hear in the posted video, is that the structuring of the contract was to allow the Marlins the flexibility to build around Stanton. Unfortunately Stanton missed 88 games in year one of the contract and 43 games in year two of the contract.

The Marlins traded for All-Star Dee Gordon heading into the 2015 season but he missed half the 2016 due to a PED related suspension. The team had developed some pieces around Stanton such as Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich. The untimely death of staff ace Jose Fernandez in 2016 was a blow the team still has not recovered from.

One needs to remember, this latest installment of a Marlins gut job…eerrr…rebuild came to Stanton. This was not Giancarlo demanding a trade, it was him being told to pack his bags. The fact the Marlins very publicly spoke about pre-arranged trades with two teams not on his trade list is on a black eye on the organization, not him.

For the people who like to ask aloud “if he cared so much about the team why sign for so much money?”, just stop it! If a Brinks truck were backing onto your property, would you say “no sir, I’ll just take one bag of money instead of all of it”?

Learning To Let Go Of The Hate: New York Yankees

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The Yankees acquiring Stanton does not hand them the World Series on a platter, it simply awakens the “haters” who love to mention their ability and willingness to spend money. Let’s list some examples (sources here and here) of the Yankees supposed “World Series purchases” since 1995 (when Derek Jeter arrived):

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The 1962 World Series champion Yankees featured the last time the team had two 50+ HR hitters (Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle). Naturally that’s the expectation being put on the duo of Stanton and sophomore Aaron Judge.

The “Bash Bros” experiment is not always successful. When Prince Fielder joined Miguel Cabrera in Detriot in 2012-13 the expectation was World Series rings. The reality was a World Series loss and a ALCS loss, respectively. Cold as it is, you do not get congratulated for finishing second or fourth. The last incarnation of the “Bash Bros” that worked was Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire when the Oakland A’s won the “earthquake” World Series in 1989.

Learning To Let Go Of The Hate:

The Yankees have so many rivalries, the entire AL East comes to mind, and typically monopolize ESPN broadcasts. Love them or hate them, the addition of Stanton circles them on everybody’s calendar.

We spend far too much time as fans “hating” players instead of appreciating their talents. It is shameful how many fans are hoping Stanton’s injury history rears its ugly head again this upcoming season.

Let’s hope whatever is happening in Miami right now ends the same way things ended with the Houston Astros this past season. We enter this season expecting a 100 losses by the Marlins but hopefully in a few years they are contending for World Series.

Let’s not hate. Lets keep rivalries fun!

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New York Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton And Derek Jeter, Let’s Not Hate!

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