• New Jeter Bio Highlights Riff With A-Rod

    Posted by on April 24th, 2011 · Comments (43)

    Via the Post -

    It was a true bromance — until it went foul.

    Frenemies Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez have spent the past decade taking swings at each other, according to a new unauthorized Jeter biography that shows the splintered relationship was nastier than ever reported and that Bombers brass thought it threatened to fracture the team — and even cost the Yankees money.

    “The Captain,” by sportswriter Ian O’Connor, out next month, chronicles the bond between the Yankee stars — a soap-opera saga filled with power and betrayal — from their days as rookies playing for different teams but as close as brothers, to their icy co-existence in The Bronx.

    Jeter’s unyielding insistence on loyalty and his dislike for A-Rod during the third baseman’s early years in pinstripes was so legendary that one Yankee official admitted he was too scared to talk to Jeter about making amends with his teammate.

    “It would’ve been the last conversation I ever had with Derek,” the official said. “I would’ve been dead to him. It would’ve been like approaching Joe DiMaggio to talk to him about Marilyn Monroe.”

    Don Mattingly, then the hitting coach and former captain, tried to intervene, citing his own unfriendly history with teammate Wade Boggs. “I faked it with Boggs,” he told Jeter. “And you have to fake it with Alex.”

    So it was understandable that Jeter was less than thrilled when the Bombers traded for his foe before the 2004 season.

    Clubhouse sniping came quickly. An unnamed player described the new arrival as “very phony,” the book says. A-Rod would ignore stadium employees and seemed oblivious to fans, even sick young kids, who clamored for his autograph. Jeter, who prized poise and selflessness, dismissed A-Rod and his diva-like behavior.

    And when fans and rival players criticized A-Rod, Jeter deferred instead of defending his teammate.

    General Manager Brian Cashman noticed this and asked Jeter to “fake it” with A-Rod.

    “You’ve got to lead them all, the ones you like and the ones you don’t,” he told him. He asked him to appeal to Yankee fans on A-Rod’s behalf.

    “I can’t tell the fans what to do,” Jeter countered.

    A-Rod’s obsession with Jeter continued, the book says. He constantly asked players and team officials about Jeter — down to which charity he was currently supporting.

    It all came to a head during a Yankee loss in August 2006 to Baltimore.

    An easy pop-up hung in the air between A-Rod and Jeter. Both players closed in and Jeter bumped into A-Rod, knocking the ball out of his glove. Jeter shot A-Rod a withering look.

    The gesture did not go unnoticed. Cashman pulled Jeter aside and ordered him to knock it off.

    “Listen, this has to stop,” Cashman said. “Everybody in the press box, every team official, everyone watching, they saw you look at the ball on the ground and look at him with disgust like you were saying, ‘That’s your mess, you clean it up.’ ”

    A-Rod also felt betrayed by manager Joe Torre, who players said added fuel to the fiery feud.

    “He would never call Jeter on anything, but he’d have no problem doing it to Alex,” one player told the author.

    Things didn’t gel until A-Rod hit rock bottom in 2009. He had been “emasculated,” outed as a steroid user and an unfaithful husband the year before.

    Jeter began engaging in small talk with the third baseman in the clubhouse and he and girlfriend Minka Kelly even dined with A-Rod and his then-flame Kate Hudson, where they all seemed to enjoy each other’s company, the author says.

    I swear that I once saw this same exact love-hate-love story arc played out in an episode of Love American Style starring Jack Cassidy and Stefanie Powers…

    Comments on New Jeter Bio Highlights Riff With A-Rod

    1. Raf
      April 24th, 2011 | 7:54 pm

      girls will be girls, I suppose…

    2. 77yankees
      April 24th, 2011 | 8:05 pm

      Great, but one question…..

      Does Ian write anything in his 250 some odd page tree killer that we don’t know?

    3. Evan3457
      April 25th, 2011 | 1:28 am

      When and if the Yankee fans start booing Jeter…will A-Rod say something supportive in the press?

      I bet he will; only it’ll come off as maladroit and shady, because…that’s our A-Rod!

    4. Raf
      April 25th, 2011 | 7:57 am

      At any rate, of the problems the Yanks had over the years, Jeter-Rodriguez ranks pretty far down on the scale.

      Actually, I’m more surprised that this book is coming out; if anything, I thought a book on Jeter would come out years into his retirement.

    5. YankCrank
      April 25th, 2011 | 8:18 am

      Raf wrote:

      At any rate, of the problems the Yanks had over the years, Jeter-Rodriguez ranks pretty far down on the scale.

      Good point. It certainly wasn’t Jeter and A-Rod’s relationship that bounced us out of the first round for three straight years.

    6. April 25th, 2011 | 8:49 am

      There were periods of time where Munson and Reggie were not speaking to each other. Ditto Ruth and Gehrig. Yet, their teams won, nonetheless. To say that Jeter freezing out A-Rod was a “problem” is sort of silly. Unless, of course, that A-Rod is/was so insecure that this totally missed with him. But, if that were true, then explain his 2005 and 2007 seasons. Therefore, I don’t see how Jeter not liking A-Rod means anything, in the end.

    7. April 25th, 2011 | 8:53 am

      Given that Joe Torre’s own book said that the feud split the clubhouse, and Ian O’Connor’s revelation that Jeter wouldn’t listen to Donnie Baseball telling him to suck it up, of course it was an issue.

      It’s another chink in Jeter’s armor. Half his mystique is about him being the captain, the leader, the classy one, the non-diva. When people go on the record to confirm that he held a grudge for eight years over a magazine article, as this book has, it makes him look like a petty diva.

      Funny thing is, though, given all the slobbering columns O’Connor has written about Jeter over the years, my guess is that this, along with the ESPN New York article about the piece, will be the most shocking things in the book, with the rest of it pretty positive.

    8. April 25th, 2011 | 9:16 am

      @ lisaswan:

      I disagree. Was Munson a bad captain because he didn’t speak to Reggie for a while? No. He was a great captain – ask Lyle, Nettles, Doyle, Dent, Randolph, Gossage, et al. Munson didn’t talk to Reggie because Reggie “started it” with that stupid interview where he took shots at Munson.

      Same thing with A-Rod and Jeter. They were fine. Very close, in fact. Then, A-Rod “started it” with that stupid interview where he took shots at Jeter.

      The whole thing has nothing to do with Jeter’s ability to lead the team. He’s fine as captain of the team. Many on the team do look up to him to set the example, etc. And, he’s fine in that role.

    9. April 25th, 2011 | 9:24 am

      @ Steve Lombardi: But Munson actually patched things up with Reggie, and even took him on his plane. And Don Mattingly, another Yankee captain, had a big problem with what Jeter was doing, telling him to suck it up and “fake it,” the way Mattingly did with Wade Boggs.

      Why is it that those two captains could figure out a way to get along with others, while Jeter held a grudge against A-Rod for eight flipping years over a magazine article? What kind of leadership by example is that for the captain to ostracize his team’s best player? And people say *A-Rod* is the diva? C’mon now.

    10. April 25th, 2011 | 9:38 am

      @ lisaswan:

      Given what we know about A-Rod’s prima donna personality, it would not shock me if that made it very difficult for Jeter to patch things up before he did in 2009. We all know the reports about A-Rod being MIA in the clubhouse, or being there with his I-Pod in his ears, ignoring everyone around him.

      In fact, when I went to the game on 4/3 this year, I saw Jeter, Cano, Swisher, Granderson and some others all doing pregame running behind first base as a unit. They were taking turns running in twos. Where was A-Rod? He came up AFTER they started and went into the OF, about 40 yards from them, and did his pre-game running ALONE and IGNORED his teammates.

      Again, yes, Jeter froze out Alex. But, for all we know, a lot of that freeze may have stayed in the years that followed because A-Rod didn’t allow things to heat up.

      Yes, an assumption. But, based on what we know, not a wild one.

    11. April 25th, 2011 | 9:48 am

      @ Steve Lombardi: I don’t buy that for a minute. It was the captain’s job to make the peace, and I highly doubt that anybody as eager to please as Rodriguez would have rebuffed him. Jeter made it abundantly clear from his actions over the years that he couldn’t stand A-Rod. Now it’s all Rodriguez’s fault? Come on now.

    12. April 25th, 2011 | 10:09 am

      @ lisaswan:

      Did you see this Daily News report from May 2009?

      Alex Rodriguez was an insecure prima donna who made a clubhouse attendant load his toothbrush with toothpaste after every game in his three seasons with the Texas Rangers, a new book charges.

      The Rangers were also required to send a basket of food to the controversial All-Star’s hotel suite during road trips, Sports Illustrated columnist Selena Roberts reports in “A-Rod.”

      Many Texas teammates kept their distance from A-Rod, who they saw as a spoiled superstar. His relationship with other players didn’t improve when Rodriguez joined the Yankees in 2004.

      His Bomber teammates regarded A-Rod as a phony and a hypocrite because he tried to project an All-American public image while pursuing a swinger’s lifestyle.

      http://articles.nydailynews.com/2009-05-01/local/17923137_1_yankees-selena-roberts-survey-testing

      Again, I’m not saying that Jeter didn’t freeze out A-Rod after Alex trashed Jeter in that interview. That’s a fact, that it happened. I’m just saying that A-Rod doesn’t have a history* of being buddy-buddy, one-of the guys, with his teammates too. And, that has to be considered when asking why the freeze lasted so long.

      *one exception: A-Rod does have a history, in Texas and New York, of taking young players from the D.R. under his wing.

    13. April 25th, 2011 | 10:18 am

      Wow, you’re quoting from Selena Roberts’ hack job to make your point? Good grief.

    14. April 25th, 2011 | 10:18 am

      Also, look back to when A-Rod was with the Rangers:

      The Rangers do not view Rodriguez fondly. Third baseman Hank Blalock imitated Rodriguez’s glove slap in mocking fashion in an early spring training baserunning drill. First baseman Mark Teixeira, without naming Rodriguez directly, joined the chorus condemning him for his comments about his 6 a.m. workouts, telling a Dallas-Fort Worth reporter, “Everybody works hard in this game.”

      http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1208/is_15_229/ai_n13651324/pg_2/?tag=mantle_skin;content

      A-Rod has a history of rubbing his teammates the wrong way by putting himself above them.

    15. MJ Recanati
      April 25th, 2011 | 10:18 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      His Bomber teammates regarded A-Rod as a phony and a hypocrite because he tried to project an All-American public image while pursuing a swinger’s lifestyle.

      Sounds like the same could’ve been said about the abusive alcoholic philanderer from Commerce, OK too.

      My point being that anyone judging Rodriguez for what has been done by countless (thousands? tens of thousands?) ballplayers before him is absurd and reeks of the same hypocrisy Rodriguez was being accused of.

    16. Raf
      April 25th, 2011 | 10:20 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Therefore, I don’t see how Jeter not liking A-Rod means anything, in the end.

      It doesn’t mean anything, but it makes for a good narrative that sells papers. Not every set of teammates get along. It happens. At the end of the day, no one cares if you hold hands and sing kumbaya. There have been many cases in MLB where players didn’t get along, this isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last. Shut up and play, that’s all we ask.

    17. Raf
      April 25th, 2011 | 10:22 am

      lisaswan wrote:

      Given that Joe Torre’s own book said that the feud split the clubhouse, and Ian O’Connor’s revelation that Jeter wouldn’t listen to Donnie Baseball telling him to suck it up, of course it was an issue.

      That they say it was a problem doesn’t necessarily make it true that it was a problem. At best, it was a minor one; if it were that big a deal, someone would’ve been moved.

    18. April 25th, 2011 | 10:25 am

      @ MJ Recanati:
      @ lisaswan:

      On second thought, you two are correct. Alex Rodriguez is the greatest teammate in the history of major league baseball. And, he’s never done one single thing, ever, that suggests that he’s not 100% approachable or considers himself to be on a different rights level than anyone else on his roster.

      /eyeroll

    19. April 25th, 2011 | 10:27 am

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      And Michael Young was best man at A-Rod’s wedding, and remains great friends with him today. Funny how you didn’t mention that old Texas teammate. (Or that A-Rod and Tex are good friends now).

      At any rate, I think you’re missing the point. Jeter was the Yankee captain. It was his job to keep the peace in the clubhouse. It was his job to coalesce the team. Instead, he held a grudge against Rodriguez that split the clubhouse apart. That’s not being a leader. As Cashman told him, his job as captain was to support the whole team, not just the people he liked.

      We’ve been hearing for years about how A-Rod is a prima donna, and I’m sure he is. But it turns out that Jeter was just as much of a prima donna in his own way, refusing to listen to Donnie Baseball or Brian Cashman or anybody who told him to put team peace above himself. For you to find some laughable quotes from Selena Roberts’ book about ballplayers being shocked that A-Rod screwed around on his wife while pretending to be a good family man (when that’s only the M.O. of most of the players out there) is irrelevant, and has nothing to do with Jeter.

    20. Raf
      April 25th, 2011 | 10:30 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Same thing with A-Rod and Jeter. They were fine. Very close, in fact. Then, A-Rod “started it” with that stupid interview where he took shots at Jeter.

      It was an innocuous comment, one that was based in reality. At any rate, if it were that big a deal, it should, or could’ve been squashed with a phone call (“that thing I said? my bad”). It’s petty and silly to hold a grudge for that many years over that.

    21. April 25th, 2011 | 10:30 am

      Raf wrote:

      That they say it was a problem doesn’t necessarily make it true that it was a problem. At best, it was a minor one; if it were that big a deal, someone would’ve been moved.

      They were never going to trade Jeter, and A-Rod’s contract was only the biggest of all time, so they weren’t going to be likely to move that, either.

      Look, when Don Mattingly and Brian Cashman stepped in and asked Jeter to knock it off, it was an issue. Torre’s own book says the feud split the clubhouse apart. Brian Cashman was so concerned with clubhouse chemistry he admitted to CC Sabathia that the clubhouse was a mess, and asked him to fix it. Doesn’t sound like a minor issue to me.

    22. Raf
      April 25th, 2011 | 10:33 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Again, yes, Jeter froze out Alex. But, for all we know, a lot of that freeze may have stayed in the years that followed because A-Rod didn’t allow things to heat up.

      That doesn’t jibe with the narrative that Rodriguez is eager to please, or is desperate for acceptance…

    23. April 25th, 2011 | 10:35 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      @ MJ Recanati:
      @ lisaswan:On second thought, you two are correct. Alex Rodriguez is the greatest teammate in the history of major league baseball. And, he’s never done one single thing, ever, that suggests that he’s not 100% approachable or considers himself to be on a different rights level than anyone else on his roster./eyeroll

      You’re missing the point. Jeter, not A-Rod, was the captain. He was asked by his GM and his batting coach to knock off the hate. He wouldn’t do it. Not only is that insubordinate, but it’s contrary to his image as a great leader.

    24. Raf
      April 25th, 2011 | 10:37 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      His Bomber teammates regarded A-Rod as a phony and a hypocrite because he tried to project an All-American public image while pursuing a swinger’s lifestyle.

      Rodriguez isn’t the first to chip around, nor will he be the last. Anything he has done probably pales in comparison to Mantle’s exploits.

      Not everyone can be a Steve Garvey, I guess.

    25. MJ Recanati
      April 25th, 2011 | 10:38 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      On second thought, you two are correct. Alex Rodriguez is the greatest teammate in the history of major league baseball. And, he’s never done one single thing, ever, that suggests that he’s not 100% approachable or considers himself to be on a different rights level than anyone else on his roster.

      Did I say any of that?

      All I said is that if Rodriguez is guilty of certain things — and he certainly may be — he’s not the first or last to be guilty of these things. Thus, all the gnashing of teeth, rending of garments and colossal hyper-analysis of all of Rodriguez’s actions or inactions is absurd since no one else is held to the same degree of scrutiny and analysis.

      Did I say something wrong? Is it not true that Mickey Mantle drank to excess, was verbally abusive to his wife, and cheated on his wife? Is it not true that Mickey Mantle was the “All-American Boy” but led a private life that didn’t exactly match the moniker?

      I’m not judging Mantle harshly for it. That’s why they call it a private life. Just pointing out the hypocrisy of calling Rodriguez out for a lifestyle that was certainly good enough for one of America’s most beloved sports personalities.

      If anyone should be rolling eyes, it should be me. Then again, your moving of goalposts was more predictable than anything else.

      Have a nice day, Steve. I’m not going to write another thing about this stupid subject so feel free to exaggerate and be ridiculous in response.

    26. April 25th, 2011 | 10:39 am

      @ lisaswan:

      Per Jeter, he tried to end the freeze in 2006 and A-Rod wouldn’t let him:

      “Now you’re sounding like everyone else,” Jeter told the friend, according to the book. “Don’t you think I’ve tried? I try, and sometimes I’ve just got to walk away and come back and try again, but you know I’ve tried. And every time I try, he’ll do something that pushes me away.”

      http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/news/story?id=6422592

    27. Jim TreshFan
      April 25th, 2011 | 10:41 am

      I wonder how much the Ruth-Gehrig feud affected the Yankee clubhouse.

    28. Raf
      April 25th, 2011 | 10:44 am

      lisaswan wrote:

      They were never going to trade Jeter, and A-Rod’s contract was only the biggest of all time, so they weren’t going to be likely to move that, either.
      Look, when Don Mattingly and Brian Cashman stepped in and asked Jeter to knock it off, it was an issue. Torre’s own book says the feud split the clubhouse apart. Brian Cashman was so concerned with clubhouse chemistry he admitted to CC Sabathia that the clubhouse was a mess, and asked him to fix it. Doesn’t sound like a minor issue to me.

      Texas was carrying the freight on that contract, something could’ve been worked out if interested parties wanted to work something out.

      Looking at the Yankees’ run since Rodriguez has shown up, I still contend that it wasn’t a problem. It didn’t show up in the stats, it didn’t show up on the field. So the clubhouse was tense, BFD.

      Cashman has a history of saying stuff. It was only recently that he started to “speak his mind.” And even so, who knows if he’s playing it straight. Cashman plays politics just as well as anyone in the organization.

    29. Raf
      April 25th, 2011 | 10:54 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      A-Rod has a history of rubbing his teammates the wrong way by putting himself above them.

      Well, there ya go. That’s the difference between a superstar and an all-star. The same charge has been levied against Bonds, Ripken & Jackson among others.

      Anyone else remember when Tony Gwynn was having problems with Jack Clark and Pags in 89 or was it 90?

    30. April 25th, 2011 | 11:02 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      “Now you’re sounding like everyone else,” Jeter told the friend, according to the book. “Don’t you think I’ve tried? I try, and sometimes I’ve just got to walk away and come back and try again, but you know I’ve tried. And every time I try, he’ll do something that pushes me away.”

      Yeah, he tried. Like when he stood up for A-Rod and told the fans not to boo. Or when he told Trot Nixon to put a sock in it. Oh, wait, none of that ever happened.

      The most interesting part of the quote was “Now you’re sounding like everyone else.” Given that everyone else told him to do something, and he didn’t, I’m gonna believe their account over his justification that he tried.

    31. #15
      April 25th, 2011 | 11:24 am

      From some conversations with a (now former) NYY guy in the middle of some of this (someone that had been the victim of A-Rod throwing his weight/ego around the organization)…

      The distant relationship between Jeter and A-Rod was real, but basically functional to the extent it didn’t interfere with their ability to play together. I don’t know anything about the Mattingly stuff. But, A-Rod was disliked by a broad cross-section of his teammates and the staff. During the offseason, before camp in 2009, the Yankees sent one of their coaches to A-Rod’s house to pass along this message… “You need to make some changes in how you treat both your teammates and other people in the organization. You are not well liked by teammates and the coaching staff, and you are going to have to change your attitude toward others.” A-Rod was taken aback, but soon took it to heart and made a multi-front effort to get his ego in check, and to improve his behavior and relationships across the organization. He ate some humble pie. It took about 2-3 months for people to believe it was for real, but they eventually started taking A-Rod at his word and the chill left the clubhouse. A lot of eyes were on Jeter, to see if he would accept that A-Rod was a changed man. Jeter quietly started to let the chill thaw. The more recent word is that A-Rod largely continues to walk the talk as it relates to his relationships with his teammates and coaches, but occasionally the prima donna behavior still comes out around the rest of the organization.

    32. April 25th, 2011 | 11:25 am

      @ #15: Thanks!

    33. redbug
      April 25th, 2011 | 11:25 am

      I doubt Jeter held a grudge for eight years over just over a magazine article. He probably couldn’t stand Arod for a lot of the same reasons many of do.

      It’s still me, me, me w/ Arod. Now he talks about how much he matured. The old me would have done such and such…blah, blah, blah. Despite his being a Yankee, I don’t root for him.

    34. Corey Italiano
      April 25th, 2011 | 11:40 am

      I don’t understand why you guys can’t just tune this crap out. There’s enough time in the day to completely ignore this crap AND still get your daily dosage of baseball and baseball talk in.

      You’d enjoy the game much more, I promise.

    35. Evan3457
      April 25th, 2011 | 11:42 am

      May I just pipe in here to say that since they won the title in 2009, I don’t care anymore about any of this?

      Thanks.

    36. April 25th, 2011 | 11:49 am

      There’s an old movie called “With Six You Get Eggroll.”

      Well, in baseball, “With A-Rod, you get THIS STUFF.”

      That’s why he’s hard to like, for many.

    37. G.I. Joey
      April 25th, 2011 | 12:06 pm

      This thread is like deja-vu all over again.

    38. Raf
      April 25th, 2011 | 12:22 pm

      #15 wrote:

      The distant relationship between Jeter and A-Rod was real, but basically functional to the extent it didn’t interfere with their ability to play together.

      And that’s perfecty fine. Had Jeter took a dump in Rodriguez’s glove, or Rodriguez switched Jeter’s bats to ones made from balsa wood, then it would be a problem.

      Because Rodriguez is who he is, he’s always is going to have the spotlight on him. Wrong, right, or indifferent, that’s just the way it is. Rodriguez sells papers, and with the way things have developed, he is one of the few players that transcends the game in that his name pops up in discussions completely unrelated to baseball.

    39. Raf
      April 25th, 2011 | 12:27 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Well, in baseball, “With A-Rod, you get THIS STUFF.”

      Par for the course with a team owned by George Steinbrenner and has employed people like Billy Martin, Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Luis Polonia, Steve Howe, Jose Canseco, etc, etc, etc, etc…

    40. YankCrank
      April 25th, 2011 | 12:46 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      May I just pipe in here to say that since they won the title in 2009, I don’t care anymore about any of this?
      Thanks.

      Thank you. 2009 was a very cleansing year on many levels for the Yankees, and I care as much about the A-Rod and Jeter feud about as much as I care about debating whether it was Sheffield or Bubba Crosby’s fault for colliding in Game 5 of the ’05 ALDS.

      This is over. Let’s move on.

    41. 77yankees
      April 25th, 2011 | 11:08 pm

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      I don’t understand why you guys can’t just tune this crap out. There’s enough time in the day to completely ignore this crap AND still get your daily dosage of baseball and baseball talk in.
      You’d enjoy the game much more, I promise.

      Touche’

      Two co-workers who don’t get along? Oh, I don’t know – that only happens…..EVERYWHERE!!!

      I’ve worked with people who I didn’t get along with and vice versa. And so has everyone reading this.

      This isn’t, as Bob Seger once put it, Front Page Drive-In News, folks.

    42. Raf
      April 26th, 2011 | 7:31 am

      77yankees wrote:

      This isn’t, as Bob Seger once put it, Front Page Drive-In News, folks.

      Apparently it is for the NY Post…

    43. 77yankees
      April 26th, 2011 | 8:06 pm

      Raf wrote:

      77yankees wrote:
      This isn’t, as Bob Seger once put it, Front Page Drive-In News, folks.
      Apparently it is for the NY Post…

      The Post thinks a rat crawling up a homeless person’s leg on the subway is front page news.

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