Via Hal Bodley:
“Hit the baseball and hit it when it counts,” Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson told Alex Rodriguez at dinner on Tuesday night. “That’s really about all that matters now.”
Reggie said he spent time with Yankees general partner Hank Steinbrenner on Tuesday.
“‘You deliver this message,’ [Steinbrenner] said sternly to me. ‘You tell him to hit the damn ball and hit it when it counts,’” Jackson said. “Yes, that’s really the most important thing Alex can do at this stage. All the other conversations, they don’t matter. The more you talk, the more you have an opportunity to make a mistake or say something stupid or something you can go trace.
“My dad used to say you can control the story as long as you still get a chance to hit. Take the bat away and you start running your mouth, you’re going to get in trouble. Edit your own story with the bat, and as long as Alex does that, he’s got a chance to change things.”
Jackson says it remains to be seen if Rodriguez will be able to block out the distractions.
“It goes day to day,” he says. “If things don’t change and this is the only battle he has to fight, he’ll win that. What you worry about is that he’s got an uphill battle with things coming at him. It’s not going to be easy.
“If the story unravels cleanly, he’ll get through it. He’ll have the support of the team. He’s got to have an outstanding year. What we saw today is his ability to concentrate and the fan reaction wasn’t that bad — way more positive than negative.”
…You tell him to hit the damn ball and hit it when it counts…
“…and hit it when it counts”?
Are Hank and Reggie implying something here?