Feb
21

The Alex and Derek show marches on unnecessarily

By

It’s funny how some things work out. As I was searching for a suitable picture of Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, I found that the first Google hit for jeter arod is a story from 2004 about the how the friendship between the two stars remained in place but had cooled in the then three years since this infamous Esquire article.

Funny, I could swear that is nearly the exact same story as the one developing this week about A-Rod’s comments and Jeter’s response. Are the reporters in Tampa really that hard up for news?

Let’s be honest: It is unreasonable to expect that 25 guys on a baseball team will be best friends. I know this from experience. For ten years, I played on numerous teams. I played on after-school teams, summer teams and high school baseball teams. There were plenty of guys with whom I was friends and with whom I’m still friends nearly six years after my last game, but there were also plenty of guys about which I could care less. That’s all part of being thrown together into a situation with people who start out as complete strangers.

But when we stepped into the dugout, it didn’t matter who we ate lunch with in the cafeteria, how well we did or didn’t do in classes and what our weekend plans were. It didn’t matter if we were best friends, passing acquaintances or bitter enemies. We played baseball as a team. We were on the field to win, and we worked hard together to achieve that goal. We put aside our differences, sucked up our past problems and played to win.

That’s exactly what Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter have to do now.

It’s clear that these two stars aren’t exactly best buddies. While the staid Chad Curtis once called out Jeter because of his friendship with Rodriguez, those days are long gone. That fateful Esquire interview in April of 2001 drove that nail deep into the coffin.

But that was six years ago, three of which the two superstars have spent on the same team. It’s time for these men to put aside their differences and support each other on the field.

I’m going to lay the blame for this soap opera squarely on the shoulders of the usually untouchable Yankee Captain. Last season, Jeter, who has publicly supported the oft-beleaguered Jason Giambi over the years, refused to come to Alex Rodriguez’s support. It’s not his business, Derek said, who the fans cheer on and who they boo.

Well, as captain of the Yankees, it’s certainly his business to lead the team and stand up for his teammates. If that means sticking his neck out for the psychologically fragile Alex Rodriguez, so be it. If his words would help the team, then Derek must deliver.

(Image of Derek and Alex getting along from Scout.com)

Categories : NYC Sports Media
  • Ron

    Jeter does support Alex on the field, which is all that matters. He doesn’t have to support him in the press, or to your or anybody else’s satisfaction. As long as they are both committed to winning a World Championship, who cares what their personal relationship is?

    As far as the booing, Jeter is right – who is he to tell the fans who to and who not to boo? If you recall, a couple of years ago when Jeter was below the Mendoza line in mid-May, the fans at the Stadium were booing him.

    I think it is time for all media, especially bloggers, to stop giving this stupid story the attention it doesn’t deserve. I believe I speak for many readers when I say that I will visit those sites that give me interesting content, not this fluff BS.

  • Ben

    If you feel that this is fluff BS, who am I to tell you what to care or not to care about? But the truth is that for Alex Rodriguez, this crap is important and if Derek cared about the best interests of the team, he would stick up for him.

    Who is he to tell the fans who to and not to boo? Well, he’s the captain. He’s the team leader. So lead.

    I promise this is the last I write about Derek and Alex. Instead, I will simply reinforce your opinions and tell you how everything is 100 percent a-ok in Yankee-land.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

    Re: fluff BS.

    Yeah, that’s true to an extent. But it’s also too big a story to ignore. Ben has said his bit, and I believe that this is the last you’ll hear on this topic, barring any further and more weighty development.

    Jeter said it’s the last he’ll talk about it. Ben, with a hint of sarcasm, said it was the last time he’d talk about it. I agree. Let’s drop it until we can prove it’s an issue that affects the way they play the game.