If the Yankees are transitioning into a new era-nobody ever says rebuilding in Yankeeland-the Jeter and Rivera signings make little sense, but that seems to be what the Yankees are doing as they look for young players to handle much of the pitching rotation and perhaps some of the catching. In this context, the simplest explanation for resigning Rivera and Jeter, particularly Jeter, for the numbers the Yankees agreed upon is that the Yankees have let sentiment and their own spin override baseball decisions and that they have gone soft.
1982 was the year the wheels came off for the New York Yankees. Following a string of eight straight seasons of .500 or better which included four pennants and two World Championships, the Yankees lost more than half of their games and did not make it back to the post-season until 1996. This was the longest such period in Yankee history since they acquired Babe Ruth from the Red Sox. 2010 may turn out to be the year the wheels finally come off for the Red Sox.