It wouldn’t be baseball season if we didn’t have an “Alex Rodriguez as square peg in round Yankee hole” story. This year’s edition comes in the form of a new book written by Ian O’Connor and set to be released next month.
“The Captain” is an unauthorized biography of Derek Jeter and lays out how the Yankee shortstop and A-Rod went from BFFs to frenemies in just a few short years. In one anecdote, Jeter facepalms his teammate after Rodriguez made a pair of derogatory comments about his play on the field and his leadership in the clubhouse.
From the New York Post:
He drove 90 minutes from the Rangers training camp in Port Charlotte, Fla., to Jeter’s home in Tampa to apologize. An emotional A-Rod waited outside Jeter’s home, while Jeter, fully aware that A-Rod was there, lingered at a meal in a local nightclub.
When Jeter finally arrived home, A-Rod begged for forgiveness.
Other incidents included Jeter dating singer Jocelyn Enriquez – whom Rodriguez had a crush on at the time – and Jeter repeatedly glaring at A-Rod after committing errors in the field.
According to the book, the Yankees front office was so concerned that the rift between the two would destroy the team that both general manager Brian Cashman and then-hitting coach Don Mattingly told Jeter to at least pretend that he and A-Rod got along. Later, Cashman reportedly told C.C. Sabathia that New York wanted to sign him because he was “a team builder” who could help repair the “broken” clubhouse.
The story once again paints the picture of Rodriguez as an insecure talent who followed Jeter around like a puppy dog. It also gives the impression that Jeter at times can be self-centered and unforgiving. But New York is and will always be Jeter’s town, something that A-Rod hopefully has learned an accepted by now. Regardless, this will add a little more intrigue to 2011 in the Bronx.