Via a radio appearance, General Manager Brian Cashman was quoted in the Daily News today:
“As far as I’m concerned, and I’m not to decision maker on this, that captaincy should be retired with No. 2,” Cashman said. “I wouldn’t give up another captain’s title to anyone else.”
The idea of this sounds pretty silly. Of course, the decision is above his pay grade, and undoubtedly, Cashman has some emotional attachment to Derek Jeter given that his tenure and success coincides with Jeter’s career. Does a new captain need to be named now? No. Is a captain a necessity? Of course not. It’s really just a title if you really think about it. Regardless of your opinion on having a captain, the option shouldn’t be completely taken off the table. Sometime down the line there will be a another player worthy.
There have been thirteen captains in the franchise’s history (including the Highlanders years), with varying time periods between each one. The longest “drought” was 37 years after Lou Gehrig retired, ending when Thurman Munson was appointed in 1976. I’m sure guys like Joe DiMaggio or Mickey Mantle could have held the title, but the organization likely declined out of respect for Gehrig’s tragic death. Yet eventually, enough time had passed and Munson was clearly deserving. So, if the team didn’t retire the captaincy after Gehrig, then there’s really no reason to eschew it for Jeter. Someone will emerge, whether it’s five, ten, fifteen, or forty years from now, and be worthy of the title. There’s no need to worry about it today, but I have no problem with somebody succeeding Jeter down the road.