• Jeter: Basically, No Comment

    Posted by on February 20th, 2007 · Comments (16)

    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?

    Comments on Jeter: Basically, No Comment

    1. TK_NYY
      February 20th, 2007 | 10:17 am

      Am I the only die-hard Yankee fan who absolutely doesn’t care about this situation at all? Its really depressing that this crap is going to go on all season… *sigh*

    2. February 20th, 2007 | 10:25 am

      You’re not alone TK. I wish Torre would tell them all to save the drama for their mamma and just be ballplayers. But, this is what you get when you move away from having a team of “ball players” and go towards having $20 million “superstars” at every position.

    3. Raf
      February 20th, 2007 | 10:25 am

      Am I the only die-hard Yankee fan who absolutely doesn’t care about this situation at all?
      ===========
      +1

      Having said that, if baseball catered soley to the die-hards, the game wouldn’t have lasted as long as it has.

    4. Raf
      February 20th, 2007 | 10:31 am

      But, this is what you get when you move away from having a team of “ball players” and go towards having $20 million “superstars” at every position.
      ====================
      I don’t remember the Jays having this problem in the early 90′s. The “Canseco A’s” didn’t have much of a problem either.

      Besides, the “superstar at every position” issue has little to do with what’s going on here; the focus is on two players.

    5. Garcia
      February 20th, 2007 | 10:32 am

      jeter’s equivalent on the football field would be Tom Brady. Let’s hope he learns from Brady’s name being tarnished, as it is right now, and keeps handling himself with the same dignity and class like he has in the past. Basically banging a lot of girls, but not knocking any one of them up. Things seem to get ugly thereafter, so it seems.

      BTW, I wasn’t insulting Brady and see nothing wrong with his situation. Sh|t happens in life and sometimes you just have to deal with it, but that doesn’t make him a bad person.

      As for Alex and Derek, I really think Alex said it best when he said it’s more of a media creation than anything else. There are so many positives to draw from the ARod press conference yesterday, but so many want to make it into a negative.

      For example, people want (Steve, yes you) to make it seem so much more than it really is. ARod was being honest and I don’t think his intentions were to back Jeter into a corner and pass the baton to him so that it paints him as the bad guy. I would hate to think that ARod is that much of a dick.

      Why do I think he’s not a dick – since those weren’t his intentions?

      Look at the way he addressed being batted 8th, he took responsibility. Look at his reaction to the way the fans treat him, he understands it and understands their expectations. He sets a high standard for himself and expects to meet those expectations – the one’s others have for him and he has set for himself. He understands the good and bad that comes with the money he’s making, I have heard before how generous he is with different charities, especially the boys and girls club.

      I am by no means an ARod apologist, there are many things that bug me to no end with him, but I do admire people that are accountable and you have to give him credit for that. With all the crap that came out of the Yankee clubhouse last year (i.e Sheffield and RJ specifically), ARod was never anyone who you heard openly complain to the media about anything.

      He’s not perfect, but we all would like him to be, and it’s time we recognize that he is human and has many of the same flaws we all have but we want our superheroes to be perfect. He’s hardly a superhero and he’s hardly perfect. It feels like Jeter, Bernie, Mo, and Posada are all perfect because they have the rings to make it seem as if they are.

      If you take away the rings from those four, is ARod really a bad person to cheer for? Is ARod really someone you wouldn’t put in that group of those 4 classy players? I sure would. He runs hard, plays hard and he’s accountable. Of course I’d like him to hit more in the post-season, yes I’d like him to hit a liner right through Schilling’s belly so that I can see him wither in pain, yes I’d like for him to carry the team and bring the Yankees a championship. When you look at the positives and negatives, the positives seem to outweigh the negatives and we shouldn’t lose focus of that. We focus so much on the negative and forget about the positive.

      Go Yankees and let’s deal with all the BS right now so that it doesn’t become a distraction in July and August.

    6. Garcia
      February 20th, 2007 | 10:47 am

      Like I said yesterday, “Like green tea through Torre’s bladder, so are the days of our Yankees.”

      —————————-

      Listen to the audio at Pete’s LoHud Yankees blog. I don’t think Jeter seemed peeved at all. I really like how he addressed the “look” people (Steve, yes you AGAIN) say Jeter gave ARod when the pop-up from last year was dropped. He said he and ARod laughed at the fact that people made it out to be more than what it was. Just a dropped pop-up.

    7. February 20th, 2007 | 10:52 am

      FWIW, I was not the only one who saw that look Garcia. See: http://tinyurl.com/2sxmos

      “The fact is, Jeter has kept A-Rod in the deep freeze since he joined the club in 2004. They are never seen palling around in the clubhouse, and last season, when A-Rod and Jeter nearly collided under a pop fly, Jeter laughed openly at the horde of reporters crowding around Rodriguez’s locker after the game.

      Jeter’s smile faded, however, when he learned that the error, originally given to A-Rod, had been switched to him, and he tried to lobby the official scorer into changing it back. And what more evidence is necessary than the memory of Jeter specifically instructing Yankee Stadium fans to lay off booing Jason Giambi in 2005 but declining an opportunity to do the same for A-Rod last year?

      Clearly, there is something serious between these two men, something that might go beyond some catty quotes in a magazine story.”

      - Wallace Matthews, Newsday, yesterday

    8. Garcia
      February 20th, 2007 | 11:14 am

      FWIW, what do you make of Jeter’s comments from today’s press conference then, Steve? One is speculation (that Jeter smiled when he saw ARod being bugged by reporters), the other is coming from the horse’s mouth. What gives here? Is Jeter lying then? He and ARod didn’t laugh at that then.

      I’m just trying to figure out where you draw the distinction.

    9. Raf
      February 20th, 2007 | 11:35 am

      “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar” – Sigmund Freud

    10. February 20th, 2007 | 11:37 am

      ~~~what do you make of Jeter’s comments from today’s press conference then, Steve?~~~

      That he’s annoyed that he has to deal with this today. And, that he’s trying to set the expectation with the media that he’s not interesting in having drama conversations played out in the papers.

    11. Raf
      February 20th, 2007 | 11:47 am

      he’s trying to set the expectation with the media that he’s not interesting in having drama conversations played out in the papers.
      =============
      Good. But I’d be willing to bet that the media won’t let it go. That’s the way things are nowadays, for better or for worse.

    12. Raf
      February 20th, 2007 | 12:18 pm

      Back page of the Daily News… Woo-hoo!!!11!1

    13. baileywalk
      February 20th, 2007 | 12:52 pm

      I could not be more bored of this story.

      Two grown men who work with each other and have a professional relationship but aren’t close friends? Whoa — stop the presses! That has to be a first.

      This is edging into the MTV-reality-TV realm.

    14. ieddyi
      February 20th, 2007 | 1:59 pm

      “having $20 million “superstars” at every position.”

      But, but, I thought Torres’ forte was managing the clubhouse and keeping the egos in line.

      Large talent is usually associated with large egos.
      But, you’re right we should only field a team of gritty dirt dogs- talent level be damned

      A team full of players with Sheffield or Arod level production ( along with their baggage ) would be a horrible thing, right

      Sheeesh

    15. Mikos
      February 20th, 2007 | 3:30 pm

      OK, I too am bored with this whole story. However, I’ve given a lot of thought to what Jeter should do in this situation. The more I think about it the more I think he’s right in just letting Alex deal with this himself. Here’s why:

      1) As the captain, his job isn’t to stick up for players to the fans. Yankee fans (right or wrong) have booed Rivera, Bernie, Posada, Jeter, etc. Did Jeter tell fans not to boo Rivera? Bernie? Nope. Look how Jeter handled being booed in 2004.

      http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2004/04/26/fans_are_out_of_line/

      “I’d boo myself” he said. Did anyone stick up for him? Did anyone tell the fans, “hey this guy has won more games than most of you have attended”? He took it like a man and bascially indicated when you stink, you get booed.

      2) What other Yankees has Jeter stood up for to the fans? Last year fans booed Johnson, Mussina, Farnsworth, Wright, Melky, etc. Did Jeter defend them to the media? No, and why should he? Each player is a responsible for his own performance. He leads by example. Alex should take note.

      3) Everyone points back to Giambi when talking about Jeter sticking up for teammates. Remember, all Jeter said was he accepted Giambi’s apology and his team was there for him. Let’s face it, he was apologizing for cheating the game. He was hated by ALL baseball fans, not just Yankee fans. Jeter was simply saying “He made a mistake, admitted it and is going to try to make it right. I’m there for the guy.” What is Alex’s sin against baseball? That’s right, he didn’t. He simply doesn’t perform in the clutch. Giambi was apologizing to baseball, Jeter was the first to accept. Alex is ultrasensitive to the pressure of New York. Two VERY different situations.

      http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2005-02-15-giambi-support-baseball-canseco_x.htm

      Finally, Alex brought this story on Day 1 of camp. Someone tell me the Alex story at the end of last year. Anyone? HIM NOT PERFORMING IN THE CLUTCH. Not his icy relationship with Jeter. Yet another example of Alex deflecting the attention off the main issue of his performance.

      I was against them trading him in the offseason but it’s starting to look like it was a good idea.

      BTW, anyone else worried that Doug M is saying “Alex puts too much pressure on himself”. What this means to me… The guy has been a head case since high school. Nothing’s gonna change folks.

      Great site Steve.

    16. February 20th, 2007 | 10:13 pm

      I cheer for Giambi because he hit 2 homeruns in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, the game where Mo Rivera pitched 3 consecutive scoreless innings for the W, taking the team to the World Series (which I can easily forget).
      Somewhere in that ALCS Giambi was moved to 7th in the batting order, I believe. He’d been screwing up, showed up one day directly from having partied all night, etc. Tyler Kepner doesn’t understand–a player’s (appearance of)honesty is nice, but it’s at least some performance in the post season that makes Giambi’s team mates and fans cheer.

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