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The Tools of Ignorance: Thursday News

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The public posturing over Derek Jeter has begun.

Hal Steinbrenner played the baseball-is-a-business card on Tuesday.

"He’s one of the greatest Yankees in history no doubt about it, but at the same time I’m running a business," Steinbrenner said. "I have responsibilities. Hank and I have to be responsible to our partners so we have to remain somewhat objective."

Jeter's agent, Casey Close, fired back

"Clearly, baseball is a business, and Derek's impact on the sport's most valuable franchise cannot be overstated. Moreover, no athlete embodies the spirit of a champion more than Derek Jeter."

The NYTimes offered an interesting, and convincing, analysis of why Jeter won't be taking a pay cut in 2011:

Imagine Jeter making less money next season than the undependable A. J. Burnett, who is set to receive $16.5 million.

The Mariners declined options on Russell Branyan and Eric Bedard.

There are plenty of people willing to start speculating about Bedard as a high risk/ high reward option for the rotation, but I'd rather go in house than signing a pitcher for the sake of signing a pitcher (non-Cliff Lee division).

The Rays declined options on Willy Aybar and Dan Wheeler.  I'm not clear on the details, but Aybar remains under team control and arbitration eligible, while Wheeler becomes a free agent.

Wheeler's been a lights out reliever for the last 3 years, but I'm not interested in free agent relievers.  Again, the Yanks have plenty of arms ready to contribute at the big league level.

Baseball America's Yankee top 10 list was leaked yesterday. Come back at 10 AM EST to see the Pinstripe Alley staff's top 10 lists.