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February 19, 2007

A-Rod: I Lied About My Relationship With Jeter

This will probably not be filed under "Best Foot Foward."

From the AP -

On the first day of his fourth season with the New York Yankees, Alex Rodriguez finally acknowledged his relationship with Derek Jeter has cooled.

After insisting for three years that they remained close, Rodriguez said it was ''important'' to him to publicly confirm what others have said since he joined the team.

''People start assuming that things are a lot worse than what they are, which they're not. But they're obviously not as great as they used to be. We were like blood brothers,'' Rodriguez said Monday. ''You don't have to go to dinner with a guy four, five times a week to do what you're doing. It's actually much better than all you guys expect, but I just want to let the truth be known.''

Sitting in jeans and a black sweat jacket in the first-base dugout at Legends Field after his physical, Rodriguez did three rounds of interviews: English-language television, Spanish-language television and print reporters. He addressed his relationship with Jeter in all three.

''We were best of friends about 10, 13, 14, years ago, and we still get along well. We have a good working relationship. I cheer very hard for him. He cheers hard for me. And most importantly, we're both trying to win a world championship,'' Rodriguez said.

What's changed? He made it sound as if they had just grown apart.

''The reality is there's been a change in the relationship over 14 years and, hopefully, we can just put it behind us,'' Rodriguez said. ''You go from sleeping over at somebody's house five days a week, and now you don't sleep over. It's just not that big of a deal.''

During the offseason, former Yankee Darryl Strawberry said Jeter needs to ''embrace'' Rodriguez. A-Rod said he didn't feel Jeter needed to support him more.

''I'm a big boy. I'm 31 years old now, so I should be able to help myself out there,'' he said. ''I care about what he thinks about me on the field. I think it's important for us to be on the right page. And we are. We're here to win a championship together.''

When he was first asked about Jeter, Rodriguez said this would be the only time he would address the topic.

''Let's make a contract: You don't ask me about Derek anymore, and I promise I'll stop lying to all you guys,'' A-Rod told reporters.

So, is Alex also calling Derek a liar here since Jeter said, as recent as four months ago, that there was no tension between him and Rodriguez?

Never a dull moment in Yankeeland these days. It's getting to the soap opera level.

Like green tea through Torre's bladder, so are the days of our Yankees.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at February 19, 2007 12:55 PM

Comments

Let me get on my soap-box here. Steve, you are worse than the media interview I just heard of ARod. I thought, for the first time ever, that he tried to be honest and not give any responses that were scripted. He seemed genuine.

If he takes the route that he doesn't have to address the Jeter issue and he prefers to keep it in the clubhouse then he still gets murdered. He comes out and says that it isn't what it used to be, then he still gets killed. He doesn't have to go into detail, all he has to say is that it's not the same.

I thought the media was way out of line with the Yankee contract talk too. He cannot rewrite his contract on the spot, he signed it and it's a mutually binding agreement between two parties.

What did you want ARod to say? What would have been the right answer for you so that you are happy?

Posted by: Garcia [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 19, 2007 01:58 PM

So, is Alex also calling Derek a liar here since Jeter said, as recent as four months ago, that there was no tension between him and Rodriguez?
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His exact words, according to the article were, "what people think they know and what they think people are doing. They have no idea. But no, I don't see any tension."

You know just as well as I, that because someone doesn't 'see' something does not necessarily mean it doesn't exist; "the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence," to quote Gin Rummy :)

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 19, 2007 02:06 PM

1) "'People start assuming that things are a lot worse than what they are, which they're not. But they're obviously not as great as they used to be. We were like blood brothers"

2) "We were best of friends about 10, 13, 14, years ago, and we still get along well. We have a good working relationship"

How does the fact that they've grown apart mean that there is "tension"?

Posted by: rbj [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 19, 2007 02:38 PM

I agree with Steve that this is turning into soap opera level. We haven't even started spring training games and there already have been numerous A-Rod stories that have nothing to do with anything that takes place on the field. The media always blows things out of proportion but ARod needs to know when to shut his mouth, they baited him right into this. You know the media is going to run with the whole ARod is a liar thing. It's nobody's business how Jeter and ARod get along except their own. ARod shouldn't be commenting on it in public he should just deny it because the more ammo he gives the media the more he's going to get crushed and he has to understand whether its right or wrong the media is holding him to a different standard than other players. It's almost to Terrell Owens proportions at this point because that guy gets hammered for anything he says even if its taken out of context. They are doing the same thing with ARod, even though he is not as selfish as Owens and doesn't say anything as outrageous.

Posted by: antone [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 19, 2007 02:48 PM

Everything A-Rod said is fine... except the use of the word "lying." The media will run with that word.

Here's my personal opinion: Jeter never forgave A-Rod for his infamous quotes about Jeter never being a threat in the lineup; A-Rod regretted the comments, but ultimately meant them; A-Rod would have buried the hatchet, but Jeter wanted no part of it; Jeter did not want A-Rod on the team and wasn't happy about the trade; the first year WAS awkward and a little tense, because Jeter wasn't happy and A-Rod wasn't sure of his place on the team; in year two both me acted like adults and went about their job, but the press never let up and at this point the media coverage created the tension in the clubhouse, not the men. I think it still exists like that today: Jeter and A-Rod are fine being teammates -- but not friends -- and the media's incessant scrutinizing of the friendship wears out the clubhouse.

Of course, Torre threw a bomb of his own into this thing when he basically said he didn't understand A-Rod and then cowardly batted him eighth during the playoffs. Whatever detente the A-Rod/Jeter thing was headed toward, Torre blew it up. Now it's not just A-Rod/Jeter, but A-Rod/Jeter/Torre.

I still believe that this year, it's all about A-Rod and Torre. And that the A-Rod/Jeter issue is basically dead -- they're not great friends, but they're both professional enough to just get on with it and play baseball.

The Torre issue is a bigger one because Torre is in a position of power. If their relationship gets even worse -- which I think it will -- it could affect the team in a negative way.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 19, 2007 02:55 PM

Let alone any "regrettable comments" these two guys lived in different cities for a long while, one is married with kids and one lives the wealthy bachelor life, they're both alpha males who regard themselves highly .... why wouldn't their friendship have changed over a decade?

You know, I'm embarassed I actually spent the 30 seconds it took to think about that and write it, I think I'm taking a break from baseball until April. My home country is playing England at Croke Park this weekend if any of you want to experience the pinnacle of exciting sporting atmosphere fire up BBC radio on Saturday and tune in!

Posted by: jamesonandwater [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 19, 2007 03:50 PM

BTW, Peter Abraham has audio of the entire interview, unedited.

http://yankees.lohudblogs.com/2007/02/19/alex-rodriguez-interview-audio-from-today

Posted by: Jen [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 19, 2007 03:57 PM

1st day of ST and ARod is on my very last nerve.

Posted by: redbug [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 19, 2007 04:24 PM

Last nerve? Listen to the audio on Pete's blog, and then get back to me.

If anything, this is refreshing coming from Alex. It sounds candid rather than canned. It's also the first time he's appeared to know how to handle the New York media.

Posted by: The Sporting Brews [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 19, 2007 04:32 PM

Wow, Steve, you wrote a while back that you hope the newspaper blogs don't do to you what blockbuster did to mom and pop video stores, and I thought Never. You keep it mostly real, but this a low for you, equivalent to a Lupica piece.

Thanks for the link to the audio Jen, it was really straight forward. Whoever that ass was hounding Alex about renouncing his opt out, he needs something.

Posted by: Tarnished [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 19, 2007 07:31 PM

The best words and images on this, probably objective
were by George Vecsey (NY Times, 9/21/06), some taken from the Verducci/SI--I never read this without laughing:
"Instead of becoming a pariah for his involvement in the Balco drug scandal, Giambi has become the sergeant-at-arms of the Yankees’ clubhouse, the man who does the dirty work when dirty work needs to be done.

According to Tom Verducci’s compelling sounds-right-to-me article in the current issue of Sports Illustrated, it was Giambi who took Alex Rodriguez out behind the barn late last month in Boston and told him to shape up. Even the subsequent closed-door lecture in Seattle from Manager Joe Torre sounded less intimidating than Giambi’s warning to get with it.

Since then, his ego mussed up, his spotless uniform symbolically muddied, A-Rod has been playing significantly better. He had helped the Yankees close to a game of clinching their ninth straight division title going into last night’s game in Toronto.

But it took the pigpen personified, Giambi, to spatter some realistic glop on A-Rod’s self-image.

Profanely punctuating his lecture, Giambi told Rodriguez that walks and bleeder hits were not the reason he was being paid $252 million over 10 years by the Texas Rangers and the Yankees. A-Rod is being paid for power. So be powerful, Giambi urged him, in much stronger words than that.

Right now, Giambi has a sore wrist that makes him slightly doubtful for the postseason, but he has shown himself to be a major player in the Yankees’ hierarchy."
* A brief word on Arod v Jeter from Vecsey:

"Then they took vastly different career paths. Jeter is real, taking emotional and educational lessons from his parents, showing a swagger that helped win four World Series. A-Rod is a phantom, a smile and a shoeshine, to use Arthur Miller’s words for his salesman Willy Loman. Now he is in New York, a streak hitter, a streak fielder, a will-o’-the-wisp in a cold clubhouse. His aloofness became so bad that A-Rod found himself being lectured by Jason Giambi. He has to survive and produce, like Jason Giambi, who is no angel, yet earned the right to lecture A-Rod." from George Vecsey's article, NY Times, 9/21/06

Posted by: susanmullen [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 19, 2007 08:35 PM

The AL NYY 2005 MVP is a streak hitter and a streak fielder...good to know.

Posted by: Tarnished [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 19, 2007 08:48 PM

The AL NYY 2005 MVP is a streak hitter and a streak fielder...good to know.
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EVERYONE'S a streak hitter/fielder, to a degree. The key to having a productive season is to have the good streaks last longer than the bad streaks.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 19, 2007 09:59 PM

Yeah Raf, I'd agree with that, but that is not what I walked away with from that quote. And that is not how that guy referred to other batters.

Posted by: Tarnished [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 19, 2007 10:10 PM

"1st day of ST and ARod is on my very last nerve.

Posted by: redbug at February 19, 2007 04:24 PM

Last nerve? Listen to the audio on Pete's blog, and then get back to me.

If anything, this is refreshing coming from Alex. It sounds candid rather than canned. It's also the first time he's appeared to know how to handle the New York media.

Posted by: The Sporting Brews at February 19, 2007 04:32 PM"

You asked that i get back to you....

I posted my "very last nerve" comment AFTER I listened to the audio.

I wish the Yanks had gotten ARod to agree to a trade last Oct when he was his most vulnerable. Instead, he's had the winter to consider how best to re-start the ongoing soap opera that is ARod everyone must love me. If they don't, it must be their fault.

How about his comments later in the interview, "Whatever you say is important. People listen to you. That's pretty cool. Nobody used to listen to me before."

The man can't stand not being in the spotlight. It's too bad it hasn't been as a result of hitting when it counts.

Posted by: redbug [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 20, 2007 05:21 AM