Via Michael Geffner’s blog -
Derek Jeter, predictably, talked for around 10 minutes this morning about what A-Rod said about their relationship the morning before. “I’m going to do this one time,” Jeter said before he began. And he proceeded to essentially say that he holds a hard line between his private and public life, and that he wouldn’t expound on what happens outside of the ballpark or how he feels about A-Rod as anything but a teammate. “I’m the captain,” he said, “and I support him like every other player on this team.” It was typical guarded Jeter, of course, keeping his emotions and feelings close. I have no problem with that. Find it admirable, in fact.
Jeter really is the modern-day Joe DiMaggio – in terms of his approach with the media on personal matters off the field and non-baseball game related matters impacting what’s on the field.
I wonder if he’ll wear a suit to Old-Timer’s Day every year (like Joe) after he’s retired?
And, I fully expect someone like Ben Cramer (in the future) to do a tell-all book on Derek (where we see some stuff that Jeter tried to keep from the public in terms of how he truly went about his business – like protecting his image, holding a grudge, and more).
Hopefully, now, Alex and Derek will stick to their promises here – and not talk about their “relationship” again with the media. Any bets on who is the first to break that promise?
Update, 2/20/07, 10:31 am ET: More on Jeter’s reaction to A-Rod’s statements from Peter Abraham:
Derek Jeter sat in the dugout in the same place Alex Rodriguez did yesterday. But he wasn’t nearly as happy about it.
But there was no doubt Jeter wanted nothing to do with this issue.
“Am I annoyed that he chose to talk about it? He can talk about whatever he wants to talk about, Jeter said. “Me personally, this is the last time I’m going to address it.”
Like I said yesterday, “Like green tea through Torre’s bladder, so are the days of our Yankees.”
Update, 2/20/07, 11:37 am ET: More on Jeter today from Tyler Kepner:
Derek Jeter spoke with reporters today in the dugout before the Yankees’ morning workout. He would not talk about sleep overs or dinners with Alex Rodriguez.
Jeter knows what some fans want: an all-out “defense” of A-Rod and a statement that he “forgives” A-Rod for his comments in Esquire six years ago. Those statements aren’t coming, so people should stop waiting for them.
The key difference between Jeter and A-Rod is this: Jeter goes to great lengths to keep things uncomplicated, and A-Rod seems to complicate everything. In this case, I think they’re both being sincere. They should get some credit for that. They function well as teammates. The rest is interesting, for sure, but it’s mostly a soap opera.
From an image standpoint, this is good for Rodriguez. Fans appreciate honesty and perseverance. That’s why people cheer for Jason Giambi. If A-Rod wants to win over the fans (and we know he does), he may have finally hit on a good strategy. He’s telling the truth about his relationship with Jeter, and he hasn’t bailed on the Yankees despite his struggles in the clutch. I could be wrong, but I sense that fans will respect him for that.
This is what I said last night. With A-Rod starting this up, he comes out the good guy – no matter what Jeter does. So what if Alex had to toss Jeter out there to make this happen, right?
Does MLB or the Yankees keep stats on sacrificial lambs produced? Maybe they should?