From MSG -
How fascinating it is, therefore, that Jeter failed to win the AL MVP award on Tuesday not because of his statistics, but probably because of intangible qualities. How ironic that his distant relationship with the last Yankee to win the MVP, Alex Rodriguez, very possibly cost him this honor.
I am not certain that outside influences can aid Rodriguez. It is most probable that he must work through these issues himself, gain a comfort zone in his skin and in New York by his own mechanisms. But I am sure of this, it does not help him in any way to have such a strained relationship with the player lined up beside him in the field.
Jeter and Rodriguez will attempt to tell anyone who will listen that their rapport is fine. But that is just not reality. That is something said by guys who are always protecting their images, guys who are selling to Madison Avenue and hardly want to be viewed as brewing anything close to dissension. However, from within their clubhouse and within their entourages, plenty of folks will tell you that there is no real fraternity between the two and that what exists, at best, is indifferent co-existence.
Jeter’s passion-less support could only be read for what it was: passive-aggressive hostility. It was read that way by his manager, his teammates and, most important, Rodriguez. Try as he might to project an edge of toughness, Rodriguez is soft, trapped in the strange conundrum of badly wanting his nemesis, Jeter, to like him. Heck, Rodriguez wants everyone to like him.
“Like sands through the hourglass… so are the Days of Jeter & A-Rod.”