Monday, February 19, 2007

A-Rod Arrives, Confesses

We all saw this coming. After witnessing the frenzy around "dangerous" topics such as Mariano's extension or Bernie's future, a firestorm would certainly surround Alex's first day at camp. Today, Alex Rodriguez finally tried to put the Jeter-ARod fiasco behind him.
"People start assuming that things are a lot worse than what they are, which they're not. But they're obviously not as great as they used to be. We were like blood brothers," Rodriguez said Monday. "You don't have to go to dinner with a guy four, five times a week to do what you're doing. It's actually much better than all you guys expect, but I just want to let the truth be known."

"We were best of friends about 10, 13, 14, years ago, and we still get along well. We have a good working relationship. I cheer very hard for him. He cheers hard for me. And most importantly, we're both trying to win a world championship," Rodriguez said.

"The reality is there's been a change in the relationship over 14 years and, hopefully, we can just put it behind us," Rodriguez said. "You go from sleeping over at somebody's house five days a week, and now you don't sleep over. It's just not that big of a deal."

While Rodriguez won the AL MVP award for the second time in 2005, he is 4-for-41 (.098) without an RBI in his last 12 postseason games dating to 2004. He got just one hit in last year's playoff loss to Detroit.

"I stunk. And when you stink, sometimes, you have to call it," he said. "I went 1-for-14 last year with an error and that's pretty lousy."

He was dropped to eighth in the batting order for the first time in a decade as the Yankees were eliminated in Game 4.

"It was very disappointing," he said. "Yes, I was embarrassed."

"Let's make a contract: You don't ask me about Derek anymore, and I promise I'll stop lying to all you guys," A-Rod told reporters.
If you'd like to hear the entire interview, check out Peter Abraham's blog. Hearing the entire interview, unedited, offers a more honest portrayal of what was said. He also has audio of Steve Swindal's apology for his recent DWI arrest.

After listening to the A-Rod audio, and hearing countless fans and talk radio hosts throw their opinions around, I feel that Rodriguez did little wrong today. With exception to him asserting that he "loves being the highest paid player in the game," Alex may be taking the right tact in terms of dropping "the act" and beginning to focus exclusively on baseball.

Every Yankee fan understands that Alex and Derek are not the same buddies they were when they broke into the bigs. They do not hold weekend bashes or sleepovers anymore, and the Esquire article obviously destroyed the friendship. However, for the first time Alex has admitted in public that they are no longer the best of friends, displaying a more determined demeanor than past seasons.

Who knows if this will mean anything. All the melodrama, all the over-analyzing will cease if A-Rod can do one thing: hit in October and shut up his critiques. Maybe this is the first step in desensitizing himself, reaching for rings instead of stats.

2 comments:

Wrigleyville said...

Sheesh. Early Yankees camp is making the Cubs look peaceful...

yankeesZrider said...

haha, "See what happens when 1000 sports columnists are put in a house and have their lives taped."

thanks for the response.

You'd think the $300 million spent in Cubbie-land would induce more interest than a Yankee team attempting to pare payroll. But NY media is proficient in asking the same question worded 100 different ways.

Is Soriano really going to play center?