On Saturday, New York Yankees president Randy Levine tore into reliever Dellin Betances following the Yankees’ victory in arbitration. The public response since has been swift and unanimous in a way that tells you that Levine really messed up. Here’s how Emma Baccellieri summed up Levine’s misstep at Deadspin:
But it’s ridiculous for a team executive to go out of his way to admonish one player for simply trying to negotiate his salary. And it’s especially ridiculous that Levine would demonstrate a seemingly willful misunderstanding of bullpen value and compensation in order to scorn that player.
Tony Clark, the executive director of the players association, weighed in on Sunday. Clark, like Baccellieri, opted against mincing words:
Tony Clark on Betances: The Yankees' response was "unprofessional" and “should not have happened in the fashion that it did.”— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 19, 2017
While you’d expect Clark to have the back of any player -- that’s sort of his job -- this is about as open-and-shut as it gets. Levine was out of line to go after Betances the way he did -- particularly after the Yankees won the arbitration hearing -- and there’s no justification for what he said.
If you’re a Yankees fan, all you can do is hope that Betances puts this mess behind him and remains open-minded about remaining in New York for the long haul. Otherwise, you at least have to hope Betances’ time in New York outlasts that of Levine’s heading forward.