We never met the sane Captain Tracey. We met the insane and irrational character left after his crew died, trying to find a way to make their deaths a worthy sacrifice for a "noble" goal - immortality.
I obviously have severe problems trying to understand the excuses made here on behalf of Mr. Tracey who essentially is a spineless opportunist who just tries to save his skin and at the expense of his fellow Starfleet shipmates.
"noble"goal? Here's some original dialogue:
TRACEY: He will if you order it. We must have a doctor researching this. Are you grasping all it means? This immunising agent here, once we've found it, is a fountain of youth. Virtual immortality, or as much as any man will ever want.
KIRK: For sale by
TRACEY: By those who own the serum. McCoy will eventually isolate it. Meanwhile, you inform your ship your situation's impossible. Order them away. When we're ready, we'll bargain for a whole fleet of ships to pick us up.
And they'll do it.
Sorry, to remotely compare this jerk to the likes of Jim Kirk or Matt Decker, is like insulting either one of them.
Jim Kirk and - apparently - Matt Decker had character and if their crew had died I believe they'd rather "join" their shipmates than to seek profit and violate the Prime Directive.
Maybe some of the infection got to Tracey's brain and I hope that's a good explanation, because otherwise I couldn't believe Starfleet appointing starship captains without some kind of character test, first