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>Brian Cashman proved once again that he doesn’t know how to negotiate with big-name players. He gave Derek Jeeter eleven million dollars for two years and now the “Jeet” can’t hit major league pitching.

What happened to this potential Hall of Famer? What happened is that he sought advice from a batting coach and didn’t follow instructions given. I’ll give you the Yankee Wizard’s take on him:

1) His mind isn’t made up to hit the ball when he arrives at the plate. He’s still thinking like a lead-off batter, taking the firs pitch. the other night Red Sox ace Beckett consistently pounded the middle of the plate on the first pitch; Jeeter consistently laid off the ball. Why? I would train this old guy to go up there swinging and let the chips fall where they might. Had he hit the first pitch that night he would have had three hits instead of three dinky ground-outs. I’m 74 and I could do better than that, and I don’t make eleven big ones a year, either.

2) Stop wagging your bat, Jeeter. A quiet bat means a quiet mind. He’s hearing the crowd and not concentrating enough. He need to get control of the bat and leave it on his shoulder like some of the good hitters do. Pay me ten grand. I’ll fly to New York and straighten these things out. But you’ve got to have a compliant Jeeter. He’s been around so long that he must be thinking he can’t take advice.

3) Start some strength exercises. He’s not getting around – still trying to hit everything to right field. That’s an ingrown problem that won’t be easy to cure. When I was playing I used a baseball while sitting in the dugout waiting for my trip to the plate. I sat there flipping it into the air and catching it multiple times. this strengthens the wrist. All great hitters hit with their wrist. Hank Aaron did. I did, and a hundred more really good hitters do this. Right now, Jeeter is relying to much on his arms, not his wrists. I would tell him that once he strengthens his wrists, all he has to do is flip the bat out there and let the velocity of the pitch carry it out of the park or wherever it will go.

4) Last and most important: Jeeter is not timing the pitches well enough. That’s what a good hitter – which he isn’t at this point in his career – do when on deck and in the hole. He needs to watch the pitcher and not the pretty babes in the stands. Take his mind out of the crowd and back onto the pitcher. If he’s a fastball pitcher determine what he usually throws for his first, second and third pitches. Stand there swinging, timing each pitch to the two hitters before you. Pretty soon Jeeter’s timing will return.

5) Keep your legs in great shape. You hit off your strong legs, not with your arms. Maybe you didn’t know that? I learned that when I was twelve and it works. It eliminates “floating” shift of weight. Solid leg foundation will help the ball soar out of the park, make singles look like rifle shots, and make it harder for the defense to stop. Bottom line, you get more singles and doubles because of your legs, not to mention the homeruns that will just start flying out of the park.

Start doing stair climbing drills; jump the trampolene; do a lot of running. I believe Jeeter is not even in playing shape. His range is directly affected by how quick he can go right and left and it all depends on conditioning. He would say differently, but he’s not defending like he used to be able to. A high school shortstop can beat Jeeter’s qauickness. I really don’t care bout speed at this stage in his career. but I do concentrate of quickness. There are  lot of quickness drills. Why isn’t he working hard on his legs to get himself ready to go deep into the hole and dig out a sharp ground ball, pivot and throw to first. Why isn’t he fast or quick enough to deprive every hitter those balls hit over the mound and second base. He used to. He can still do so if he will work for that $11 million he makes each year.

Otherwise, I would trade him for a great young minor league pitcher. That’s what he is worth at this stage. In fact, we may have to throw in Joe Giardi for a kicker to get a great pitching prospect. That would be okay, I think Baltimore has a much better manager and so does Tampa. Did you notice in the Tampa series that the Rays held out their best pitcher, Price, so that he could notch up a victory without having to go up against Boston’s Beckett? Makes sense. Joe Giardi hasn’t got that kind of sense. He sends an out-of-shape CC Sabathia up against Becket and gets beaten.

And that’s another gripe I have. It should be in Sabathia’s contract that he shows up at 270 pounds or less each spring training debut. If not, he doesn’t get paid. right now he’s an overpaid mediocre starter, just like all the rest of our pitchers. I fault the pitching coach. I would fire him and get a new manager and hitting and pitching and hitting coaches. That old pitching coach we got from the Cubs, Rothchild, is a castoff and way out of his league.

Since Don Mattingly left to manage in L.A., Yankee hitters haven’t been up to much, and that includes A-Rod Frankly, I’m praying that Mattingly fails as a manager and wants back in his old job as assistant manager and batting coach. We need him badly.

I recall two years ago, it was June before Sabathia worked himself into shape. At that time he had lost seven games and won only nine. then he went on a tear, when it really got hot in July and August. You don’t make a mult-millionaire out of a guy and not make him come in prepared. Unless your names are Cashman and Steinbrenner. The old man wouldn’t have put up with this, that I know for sure. Yankee Wizard

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