A-Rod: Jeter and I are not B.F.F. anymore

A-Rod’s strategy this season is to tell the truth at all times. Today, he revealed a secret he’s been harboring these last three years: Derek Jeter and he are not close friends anymore:

"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 there it is. A-Rod has set up  a "Liar Liar" scenario in which he must tell the truth at all times. What else will A-Rod reveal this year? My guesses:

  • He was a bit peeved when Torre batted him 8th against the Tigers.
  • Rodriguez would prefer to move his locker away from Giambi’s because Jason smells unusually bad after games.
  • He hates Mike Mussina, and, in fact, hates about 80% of his teammates.
  • He once killed a man just to watch him die. It didn’t help him get out of his slump and so he hasn’t kill another man.
  • A-Rod’s kind of embarrassed to admit it, but he doesn’t "get" most of Fellini’s films.

Seriously, what if A-Rod told the truth about whether he plans to opt out of his contract this year? What would he say? What do you think?

49 comments… add one
  • I seriously thought this was an Onion story before I realized the link was real.

    SF February 19, 2007, 1:58 pm
  • “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.”
    Oof. Someone wouldn’t let someone else wear their Superman underoos, I think.

    SF February 19, 2007, 2:00 pm
  • Alex says in the same interview that he was pissed and emabarassed at having to bat 8th.
    He said it’s not his job to question the move and it forced him to look in the mirror and figure out why he deserved it.
    See PeteAbes blog for the Q and A – it’s the last question.

    Jim D February 19, 2007, 2:33 pm
  • Alex says in the same interview that he was pissed and emabarassed at having to bat 8th.
    He said it’s not his job to question the move and it forced him to look in the mirror and figure out why he deserved it.
    See PeteAbes blog for the Q and A – it’s the last question.

    Jim D February 19, 2007, 2:35 pm
  • He also says: I want to open the new Stadium with Mo and Jeter.
    One writer tried to get him to renounce his options, which is really silly. He’s got a contract and he’s very clear he knows what it says. But he says over and over and over again that he wants to be a NY Yankee.

    Jim D February 19, 2007, 2:36 pm
  • This is just too easy.

    LocklandSF February 19, 2007, 2:56 pm
  • I don’t know about other people, but I think the A-Rod/Jeter relationship would make an excellent Reality TV show on VH1. It would be more entertaining than Flava Flav’s romance with Brigitte Nielsen.
    What a soap opera.

    Devil Rays' Fan February 19, 2007, 3:00 pm
  • “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.”
    That’s a regrettable statement.

    Paul SF February 19, 2007, 3:01 pm
  • In the list of truths A-Rod will be revealing, you forgot, “Girls have cooties” and “I know how to ride a bike.”

    john February 19, 2007, 3:04 pm
  • I was pretty impressed with the way he handled the bullshit. Because, seriously, that’s what it is. Complete bullshit. He’s getting asked stupid, awful questions and he’s answering them truthfully and frankly. Stupid questions get stupid answers.
    I really was impressed when he completely dodged the issue of the ‘opt-out’ clause. The guy asked “so will you be opting out?” “I want to be a Yankee” “So does that mean you’ll be opting out?” “Listen, the plan is to go into 2009 and open the new stadium with derek and Mo” “So….are you gonna opt out?”
    Seriously, some reporters must be legally retarded. Bravo Alex for actually putting up with people posing as journalists. You can listen to the entire interview on Pete Abraham’s blog.

    Andrew February 19, 2007, 3:17 pm
  • A-Rod would be a lot better served if he just stopped talking. Seriously, it seems like every time he opens his mouth he opens up another Pandora’s Box. It does him not good and it doesn’t do the Yankees any good. I’ve tried to like the guy, and I do feel sorry for the way some of the fans and media in New York treat him sometimes, but ugh…he always comes off as such a tool.
    -“You go from sleeping over at somebody’s house five days a week, and now you don’t sleep over.”-
    I can’t believe he actually said that. I know he didn’t mean it quite the way it could be interpreted, but still…why the hell would he say that to the press?

    mouse - SF February 19, 2007, 3:23 pm
  • I thought what A-Rod said today was fine. He addressed the issue and is hoping to nip it in the bud before it gets blown way out of proportion. We’ll see if it works. But, Mouse, I don’t think the quote you’re alluding to is going to provoke much serious controversy; It’s just fodder for Sox fans, but I doubt Jeter’s going to have to field question tomorrow about the nature of their relationship 10 years ago. I could be wrong, but I can’t imagine Jeter saying “We were going through a experimental stage…”

    Nick-YF February 19, 2007, 3:33 pm
  • “A-Rod would be a lot better served if he just stopped talking. Seriously, it seems like every time he opens his mouth he opens up another Pandora’s Box.”
    he’s really in a no-win situation. the tabloid writers are going to write speculative pieces on the jeter/rodriguez “friendship” saga whether he answers their questions or not. they have been for years. at least this way he gets his take in print alongside the bull these guys are tossing around.
    people have always given rodriguez a hard time for spitting canned soundbites (myself included) at every microphone he’s ever seen. now, when he finally begins to grow a pair and tell it like it is he’s still being thrown under the bus.
    yeah, the quotes are unfortunate, but i respect the fact that he’s stepping out from behind the facade and facing this crap head on. it’s about time.
    i’ve never been a fan of the guy, but if he can keep this up, that might just change.
    speaking of fountains of unfortunate quotes, did anyone else see the picture of schilling over at nomaas.org? is that real? (they like to photoshop from time to time.)

    Yankee Fan In Boston February 19, 2007, 3:34 pm
  • “A-Rod would be a lot better served if he just stopped talking”
    You hit the nail on the head, mouse. Once again, for a guy who is so concerned about his image, he’s a regular stupid quote machine. Yeesh.

    Andrews February 19, 2007, 3:37 pm
  • “A-Rod would be a lot better served if he just stopped talking”
    You hit the nail on the head, mouse. Once again, for a guy who is so concerned about his image, he’s a virtual stupid quote MACHINE. Yeesh.

    Andrews February 19, 2007, 3:38 pm
  • Oops, how the hell did that happen?

    Andrews February 19, 2007, 3:39 pm
  • that happened to me the other day.
    (it figures that however that happens it isn’t snagged by the anti-spam page.)

    Yankee Fan In Boston February 19, 2007, 3:58 pm
  • I think it’s admirable that A-Rod is trying to answer questions truthfully. I think it’s not so admirable that he’s been lying all these years (by his own admission). I’m not sure it’s better for him to be admirable, as opposed to smart. If he has been lying to the press for so long, that would explain why the press hates him — no one likes it when they’re lied to, especially when it’s your job to print such things as fact when they turn out to be fiction. Trust me on that one.
    It’s clear he’s in a no-win situation with the NY media. That’s been clear for a long time, however, which makes his attempt to clear the air dumb, regardless of how admirable it is. He could take a lesson from Manny, who speaks to the media once a year, then lets them say what they want. He does his talking on the field, and the columnists are enraged because they can’t dent his image.

    Paul SF February 19, 2007, 4:05 pm
  • A-Rod’s a smart guy. I think he views getting batted 8th as a lesson more than an insult. It was “embarrassing” for him but it was also a kick in the ass to get him going. He dodged the opt-out questions very well; it would be stupid for him to just denounce the clause and say he won’t use it. No one smart would put themselves at that kind of disadvantage. A-Rod should be here next season.

    Russell W February 19, 2007, 4:14 pm
  • I think A-Rod wouldn’t be helped by taking the Manny approach to media management. Incidentally, I think it would be the height of hilarity if Manny started a media management consultation firm after he left the game. It turned out that ManRam was actually quite savvy and that the whole Manny being Manny thing was an act, a way to deal with the media on your terms. But truly I don’t think Manny’s example should be considered anyone’s ideal. The guy has wanted to be traded from Boston for the last million years, and I think it has something to do with the media and what they write about him. He’s loved by the fans but that’s because he’s an unbelievably great hitter who gets big hits, and therein is the only way A-Rod will win over the fans: if he gets big hits in big spots. The media stuff is just a bunch of noise.

    Nick-YF February 19, 2007, 4:16 pm
  • As for Ramirez speaking to the media once a year, I think it’s a bit different than with A-Rod. Manny clearly hates being in Boston, A-Rod is clearly still humbled to be a Yankee.

    Russell W February 19, 2007, 4:16 pm
  • I agree and disagree, Russell. I think A-Rod was smart and took it as a lesson and a wake-up call, but I think the only short-term effect was as an insult — which is all on Torre, imo.

    Paul SF February 19, 2007, 4:17 pm
  • the difference between manny and alex rodriguez is that manny appears to have the ability to ignore the press and their ramblings.
    rodriguez, for whatever reason, can’t seem to do that. he tried last year. he himself called that one of the most difficult years of his career. it didn’t work for him. it might be time to try something new.
    everyone knew he had been lying. it was obvious that he was doing so. yes. that is likely a reason the press doesn’t particularly care for him.
    if you listen to the entire interview, it is apparent that he is attempting to start fresh. admitting you were wrong is a fine first step.
    i’ve read a few schilling apologists here defending that guy for admitting when he made verbal missteps. he gets plenty of second chances.
    i’m not a huge rodriguez backer, but i’d imagine that it was difficult for this guy who everyone seems to think is so image conscious to admit he was lying and wipe the slate clean. it is a clumsy and awkward position to be in. he isn’t handling it too gracefully, but why should he? he hasn’t said a word that wasn’t rehearsed in front of a mirror ad nauseum for years.
    i’m cutting him some slack. it is likely that he will make me regret it at some point in the next couple of weeks, but hey i’ll chalk it up to that whole spring training, rebirth, renewal thing.

    Yankee Fan In Boston February 19, 2007, 4:23 pm
  • I really am a big fan of Alex the player (as you can see by my name), but he needs to just shut up. I can write a whole paragraph putting it in nicer terms, but it is not worth it. Sometimes blunt is the way to go. Nobody cares about his relationship with Derek, just be teammates you don’t need to be BFF’s. Nobody cares that you are up at 6 a.m. while other players are still in bed, just get ready for the season and shut up. I don’t care that you were offended that you batted 8th, you know a way around that PRODUCE. Now granted nobody produced in the playoffs last season, but not everyone is A-Rod. Nobody cares who you play for in the WBC, just play. Going into each season I say the slate is clean, this is the year he will FINALLY shut his mouth and just play yet he never learns. It’s not that what he says is so awful it just comes off as peculiar like why would you say that and more importantly why NOW? I beg you Alex please, please just shut your mouth and play the baseball you are capable of playing.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 19, 2007, 4:34 pm
  • he was just answering the questions that he was being asked, triskaidekaphobia. and, for once, he said he would answer the jeter question if it would be the last time he was asked.
    i think he’s just as sick of hearing the talk as you are (probably even more), which is why he’s trying to quell this nonsense in spring training, as opposed to in the heat of a pennant race. again.
    i still say it’s a good thing that he’s snapping back (albeit awkwardly) at these guys. listen to the reporter ask the same question time after time after time, trying to trap rodriguez in a mislaid word. if that is what he was putting up with all last year, it’d wear me out, too.

    Yankee Fan In Boston February 19, 2007, 4:42 pm
  • “obody cares about his relationship with Derek, just be teammates you don’t need to be BFF’s.”
    Trisk, he’s asked these questions all the time, and so yeah, someone cares. And really, your view is way too exaggerated in my humble opinion. He does play and he does produce. He also participates in the great analysis of A-Rod which is perhaps a mistake. His 2005 was spectacular. Not just good. It was one of the best performance by a righty-bat in a Yankees uniform you ever saw.
    And again, Manny’s public image is supported by his performance on the field, not because he doesn’t respond to the media. His media strategy does not help him. In fact, he seems to adversely affected emotionally or personally by what is written about him since every freaking year he wants to get out of Boston, and he cites his need for privacy as a major reason why. If A-Rod were to enlist Manny’s strategy, his fans and enemies alike would grow very concerned, believing he had fallen victim to early Alzheimers.

    Nick-YF February 19, 2007, 4:45 pm
  • manny also benefits from a loving public.
    boston fans worship manny despite his desire to play elsewhere.
    rodriguez says he wants to play in NY, and he’s booed incessantly.
    manny is loved unconditionally here, where rodriguez must win the love of yankee fans with every at bat and every play in the field. it is a different dynamic on any number of levels.
    i am not giving rodriguez a pass. his “handling” of the media has definitely played into this, but i still don’t fully comprehend the all out manny lovefest in boston. probably never will. i’m okay with that.

    Yankee Fan In Boston February 19, 2007, 4:49 pm
  • manny appears to have the ability to ignore the press and their ramblings.
    I’m taking this too literally, but it’s not an appearance. He HAS the ability to ignore the press and their ramblings. It’s an underrated skill.

    SF February 19, 2007, 4:56 pm
  • “In the list of truths A-Rod will be revealing, you forgot, “Girls have cooties” and “I know how to ride a bike.””
    l o freaking l

    Kazz February 19, 2007, 5:04 pm
  • The amazing thing about Manny is that the fans adored him even before the team won the World Series. They loved him when the Sox were not winning jack. I think it’s a testament to Manny’s attitude. Though he’s asked out of Boston on numerous occasions, it’s like nobody takes it personally (which we shouldn’t). He’s avoided commenting to the media, and that’s served him well. He’s asked out, but never answered why, and the issue sort of just goes away until it happens again, no bad smell hanging around or lingering in the room. Through it all, there’s always been a weird preternatural joy (I am nervous about using the word “joy”, but am doing it anyways) in his game. It’s like baseball is what he knows, what he does, and it doesn’t appear as if the weight of the world is on him when he plays, even as he clearly has gifts that he’s honed through hard work and dedication. He can mash, and no doubt that’s contributed to our acceptance of his foibles, but it’s not just the hits: it never is with ballplayers. There’s something else.
    He’s an odd bird, that Manny.

    SF February 19, 2007, 5:07 pm
  • I kinda disagree, SF. Why does he want to get traded every year? Because the winter months are too long in Boston? Because he can’s stand watching the Celtics bumble around? He’s incredibly uncomfortable with the press. That’s at least what his agent says. I don’t think he ignores so much as avoids.

    Nick-YF February 19, 2007, 5:08 pm
  • Nick, I think you missed something in my post, the part where I said that he “avoids commenting”. He goes nowhere near the press, and I imagine it’s a combo of not trusting them, fearing them, feeling uncomfortable (just like you say). The end result is that even through the ask-outs he’s been protected to some extent.

    SF February 19, 2007, 5:12 pm
  • Let’s add another perspective:
    Manny obviously dislikes the Boston media. So do a ton of knowledgable fans. That’s a commonality that’s worth points.

    SF February 19, 2007, 5:13 pm
  • “And again, Manny’s public image is supported by his performance on the field, not because he doesn’t respond to the media. His media strategy does not help him. In fact, he seems to adversely affected emotionally or personally by what is written about him since every freaking year he wants to get out of Boston, and he cites his need for privacy as a major reason why.”
    I don’t think this is true, Nick. Granted, Manny came to Boston at a differnet time, immediately produced, and continued to produce consistently every year thereafter. He has five years of Hall of Fame-caliber production under his belt in Boston, so he does have more leeway to use his approach with the media. But the approach does help his public image, not hurt it. His complaints about privacy I’ve always interpreted as the same that others, including David Wells and Theo Epstein have complained about — you can’t walk down the street unmolested in Boston when you’re Manny Ramirez. It has nothing to do with press coverage, which has been extremely negative. By saying nothing, Manny has contrasted the angry tone of the columnists and EEIdiots with silence, making the anger seem that much more contrived and ill-placed. It’s a good strategy, but granted, one few athletes can afford — or are even physically capable — to do, and certainly not one Manny himself could have pulled off without so many consecutive years of solid play.

    Paul SF February 19, 2007, 5:15 pm
  • I was responding to the post where you said that he had the ability to ignore the press and their ramblings. I posted before your longer post but typepad went very slow…ly

    Nick-YF February 19, 2007, 5:17 pm
  • “Trisk, he’s asked these questions all the time, and so yeah, someone cares.” I guess in a sense you are right, but the people that care are the reporters. Does the general public need or want to know that he hasn’t slept over DJ’s house in X amount of years? Sometimes keeping things to yourself is the best route. He always seems to be cleaning a slate or trying to write a wrong. Just be Alex, don’t try and be who you think we want you to be.
    “And really, your view is way too exaggerated in my humble opinion. He does play and he does produce.”
    I respect your “humble” opinion, but my opinion exaggerated or not is just that, mine. Again I will state I am a BIG fan of Alex the player. But it’s exaggerated for a reason, I am sick of hearing about it. When someone asks him about his relationship with DJ or his workout routine his answer should be “I am doing what’s best for this team and getting ready for the upcoming season the best I know how.” No need for details it makes him look bad! That’s my point.
    The next time you defend this guy ask yourself if you think Paul O’Neill or Don Mattingly would say nonsense like this? It’s just pure distraction from the real matter at hand and that’s winning the AL East and so on.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 19, 2007, 5:21 pm
  • “He does play and he does produce.”
    My comment wasn’t questioning his production. Joe Torre obviously questioned his production enough to move him to 8th, that’s my point. If he he produces in that series he doesn’t hit 8th. His production in my eyes really isn’t the issue it’s his distraction to the team that bother’s me. Just as Mo’s, Bernie’s, etc does as well.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 19, 2007, 5:26 pm
  • By saying nothing, Manny has contrasted the angry tone of the columnists and EEIdiots with silence, making the anger seem that much more contrived and ill-placed.
    Paul nails this, I think. If Manny had engaged the media over the past six years, I bet he’d be in a far lesser place with the fans. He’d have certainly said something that could have been interpreted as antagonistic, or stupid, or impolitic. Or he might have said something that actually WAS one of these things. To the press it’s irrelevant, and Manny’s detachment makes guys like the CHB into noise machines.

    SF February 19, 2007, 5:27 pm
  • Don Mattinly still has sleep-overs with Dave Winfield, Trisk, so your comparison doesn’t work.
    My point, and sorry if I came across as too harsh, was that your desire for A-Rod to just shut up and perform seems a bit..too harsh, since A-Rod certainly does perform.

    Nick-YF February 19, 2007, 5:29 pm
  • kind of a Ghandi approach, Paul. Interesting. Let me clarify what I mean by Manny’s approach with the media possibly hurting him. I think his public image would be unchanged whether he spoke to the media or not (unless he was filled with Tim Hardaway-like soundbites). I think the fact that he is seen as a loveable space cadet is entirely based on the way he looks on the field and the various anecdotes of players and reporters about Manny, in which Manny is kind of described as a loveable savant. Now it’s entirely possible that Manny’s not talking actually lends creedence to the idea that Manny is a loveable…(I keep on struggling with word) umm…moron, and that by him actually talking to the media, he might ruin that myth by proving that he can string words together or something. But it also seems that Manny isn’t very happy playing in Boston.; otherwise why ask for a trade every year? Am I so off with this hypothesis? And maybe actually dealing with the media might help Manny come to grips with his uneasy feelings. Maybe they wouldn’t be as adversarial if they got to know him better? And so you still have the Manny everyone loves, and a happy Manny at that!

    Nick-YF February 19, 2007, 5:33 pm
  • You were not too harsh at all Nick, we are all men. But go back and read my original post. I am not questioning his ability or performance, that’s up to Mr. Torre. My point like I said above was if he produced in the eyes of Mr. Torre, he wouldn’t be batting 8th. Just say no comment or say what I told him to say above.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 19, 2007, 5:36 pm
  • You were not too harsh at all Nick, we are all men. But go back and read my original post. I am not questioning his ability or performance, that’s up to Mr. Torre. My point like I said above was if he produced in the eyes of Mr. Torre, he wouldn’t be batting 8th. Just say no comment or say what I told him to say above.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 19, 2007, 5:36 pm
  • I am not questioning his production. And no you weren’t too harsh Nick.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 19, 2007, 5:40 pm
  • Uggg how did that happen??

    Triskaidekaphobia February 19, 2007, 5:41 pm
  • Manny tried this in 2004 (?) and apparently didn’t like it. Ortiz got him to come out a bit, he was engaging and friendly, nothing bad happened, and I don’t think anyone but Manny really knows why he ditched the experiment.
    I agree, Nick, that Manny doesn’t like playing in Boston, and that possibly the media are part of the reason why. Nevertheless, I”ve never heard anyone really say that. I do think the Boston writers try to portray him as an idiot savant, which is clearly inaccurate to anyone who pays attention to his play and his work ethic — as well his annual press conferences at the beginning of spring training. As SF said, the intelligent Sox fans who don’t blather on to whatever radio host is on at this hour don’t like the media’s treatment of Manny, and his silence merely reinforces their support of him. Could A-Rod do something similar in New York? I don’t know — and as a reporter myself, I hate advocating for no comments, which are usually unhelpful for everyone involved — but clearly talking is not working for him.

    Paul SF February 19, 2007, 5:44 pm
  • Sorry Paul but what are the endorsement differences between A-Rod and Manny?
    When you’re getting paid as well (by third parties) as A-Rod is, he has to talk and doing so promotes his products.
    Even still if you watchor listen to the remarks, he’s very comfortable. Further, he’s not the first HOFer that has struggled in dealing with the NY media. Go take a look at Clemens’ years before and after his pinstripes.
    A-Rod’s coming around. He’ll still make dumb comments, but he’s getting more comfortable. His therpist should get a bonus.

    Jim D February 19, 2007, 8:13 pm
  • never figured arod and jeter for the jama party type…think they made s’mores?

    dc February 19, 2007, 9:45 pm
  • I think the point A Rod was trying to make with the “sleep-over” analogy, is that when they were still both teenagers, they were a part of a super exciting crop of young talent (they both shared the same position on top of that), they spent many nights hanging out, every day playing in different leagues together and on all-star young talent showcases. I bet they even shared lots of hotel rooms and dorm-style living arraingements during that time.
    They have different lives now. A Rod is married. Derek Jeter is a…bachelor…and they both travel alot.
    Derek: Hey Alex, what are you up to tonight?
    Alex: Probably going to head back to the hotel, watch a few videos on tomorrow’s pitcher and call my wife…you know try to get bed early. How about you?
    Derek: I jsut finished watching video. I’m probably going to go out and have sex with someone.
    Alex: Sounds good.
    Derek: Yup. Talk to you later. Sleep well.

    walein February 19, 2007, 11:04 pm
  • Sure, it’s probably better A-Rod is now going to tell the truth, although that’s not what he’s paid $25 million a year for. The best thing he could do is to have a headcase-free year at bat and in the field. If his new attitude helps him do that, so much the better.
    This reminds me of Pedro in the Who’s My Daddy days. I admired him then for saying what he thought, so I guess I should feel the same way about A-Rod, but some of what he said made him sound like a little kid.
    Obviously it’s not a big deal, and it’s not easy to have a microphone in your face all the time. But I’d rather talk about what a great season he’s having than his psyche.

    john February 20, 2007, 8:40 am

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