Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Jeter's Response

After Alex Rodriguez finally fessed up to the evaporating friendship between he and Derek Jeter on Monday, it was the Captain's turn. This morning Jeter gave his take on things:

"I don't have a rift with Alex," the New York Yankees captain said Tuesday. "We go out there. We work together. This is our fourth year to be playing together. It's annoying to hear about it all the time. Everyone assumes they know what our relationship is. Everyone assumes -- they see us on the field, if one person gives another one a look, it's a story. If we're at opposite ends of the bench, people say it's a story."

"I don't see the relevance of it," Jeter said. "It has no bearing on us playing baseball."

Jeter refused to say how close he and Rodriguez are away from the ballpark.

"How would I characterize it? I would characterize it as it doesn't make a difference," he said. "What we do away from the field, how much time we spend together, really makes no difference when we're playing."

"From Day One I've said I support Alex," he said. "The only thing I'm not going to do is tell the fans what to do. ... I don't think it's my job to tell fans to boo or not to do."
It's not clear what people wanted to hear from Derek. Some thought he would simply brush A-Rod's comments aside and tell the media he will talk about baseball because his private life is just that. Other's thought he may lean toward a more artificial response. Personally, I would have liked to have heard Jeter agree more and display less combativeness.

Regardless, the fact that Jeter officially spoke up about the actual situation may be in a way, therapeutic. The only way that A-Rod can truly succeed revolves around his desensitizing himself from trivialities, protecting his confidence instead of his image. I think he's taken his first step in doing so.

Again, Peter Abraham has audio of the Jeter interview, as well as the Captain's well-founded hate for the new hats.

Maybe the fans can take their cue from this dysfunctional relationship and start supporting Alex a bit more than they mercilessly boo him. The booing eventually became the "in thing" to do and instead of cheering on the team, fans decided to string up the individual. It was like an audience power-trip. We knew that the player was hurting from fans' reaction, so we were intrigued, even compelled to continue prodding the roadkill.

The point is not that Alex Rodriguez does not deserve his share of Bronx cheers, hell I've even booed him when he's struck out with the bases loaded. The point is that booing every little idiosyncrasy is not chique, it's moronic and by extension detrimental to the team you're following. As Jeter would say, "I'm not telling the fans not to boo," but I do think they need to pick their spots.

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