What's it called when something that's universally acknowledged as a done-deal doesn't get done, but you still know it'll get done, so it's just kind of dragged out for weeks? Derek Jeter's contract negotiation!

The Yankees are trying to play some warped version of hardball with the Yankee Captain during the contract negotiations, acknowledging his importance to the team while also trying to keep things business-casual between the two sides. You'd think they couldn't have it both ways, but they've come up with a way to do so: Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner plays the good angel, reporting that talks are going just swell, while GM Brian Cashman plays the bad angel, giving Jeter tough love about his declining prowess, and refusing to talk to the media.

It's unlikely a deal will get hammered out before the new year, but as long as nobody does anything drastic and join the Red Sox, we think we'll all get through this.