FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Trot Nixon got exercise by walking
around Disney World. Johnny Damon did push-ups with his wife on his
back. David Ortiz spent time as a couch potato, watching over and
over the tape of the Red Sox championship season.
Boston's bashing of Alex Rodriguez took on a conciliatory, even
comical, tone Monday when clubhouse clowns Damon and Ortiz
lightened the mood.
Nixon, who weighed that mood down by criticizing the Yankees
third baseman for boasting about his workouts, stood by those
comments but said he was "being stupid and flying off at the
mouth" when he made them Feb. 15.
Damon had dubbed his own teammates a bunch of "idiots" last
season and, on Monday, rattled off one-liners like one about
Rodriguez' early-morning training regimen.
"Waking up 6 in the morning?" Damon said after his
late-afternoon arrival. "There's been many a nights where I
haven't been to bed at 6 in the morning."
Ortiz made it to camp before 9 a.m. on the reporting date for
position players, who will have their first official workout
His new workload could limit his viewing habits that he said
kept him in the dark about the verbal shots taken at Rodriguez by
six Red Sox players in six days, starting with Nixon's comments.
"I only have one tape at home, the Red Sox one," Ortiz said.
"I watch it over and over and over and over and I don't even know
what's going on here."
Nixon did some traditional workouts but spent four days last
week at Disney World with his sons, aged 3 years and four months.
"We got ready for spring training. You do a lot of walking. You
do a lot of standing around there," he said with a smile. "That's
Nixon had called Rodriguez "a clown" for saying he began
working out in the morning while other players were sleeping or
taking their children to school. Nixon said he and many other
players have long workouts.
Then Red Sox teammates Curt Schilling, David Wells, Jason Varitek, Bronson Arroyo, Keith Foulke and Kevin Millar took swipes
Rodriguez said Sunday that "as far as earning your stripes, I
really couldn't agree [more] with Trot Nixon and the guys that have
said that because hopefully in due time, when I pay the price like
Paul O'Neill and Roger Clemens did, then the fans of New York would
realize that, hopefully, I'm a Yankee."
Red Sox minority owner Tom Werner said on Monday that statement
"was very professional. I think that the story's probably played
itself out by now."
Nixon started it when he said Rodriguez was not the "Yankee
He appeared at the spring training complex on Monday for the
first time since then.
"The biggest thing I was trying to say also was that that's my
opinion and my opinion doesn't mean much to anybody," Nixon said.
"It's not a direct attack on him and when they asked me, 'Do I
think he's a Yankee?' Well, I mean he's only been there one year so
when I think of Yankees I think of the [Jorge] Posadas, the [Derek]
Jeters, Bernie Williams, (Mariano) Riveras, those guys," Nixon
said, echoing his earlier statements. "Paul O'Neill, even though
he's retired. Reggie Jackson."
What about Nixon's statement directed at Rodriguez that "I'm
not a deadbeat dad, you clown."
"I've been called a clown before, an idiot. Johnny (Damon)
called us all idiots last year," Nixon said. "I'm sure I'll be
called a few more things at Yankee Stadium, but that's what makes
it fun, though. It was probably built up. I probably shouldn't have
said some things but you live and learn. That's what life's all
For Damon, life is about having fun.
He showed up Monday with sunglasses atop his long black hair
which had blond streaks, and a big, diamond studded wedding band.
He and his wife Michelle were married Dec. 30 and vacationed in
"I've been running the hills in Jamaica over the past week.
I've been doing a lot of push-ups, with and without Michelle on my
back," Damon said as his wife sat nearby. "Some strenuous things,
but ... what I like to do is have fun."
He said he spent time on his boat looking for alligators because
it was "just something else to do."
When he arrived at spring training last year, he said he had
worked out by chasing cars near his home after dark, scaring
motorists into thinking he was a caveman with his long hair.
"I didn't get a chance to chase after cars this year because,
number one, there weren't as many drunken nights as there were last
year," he said.
It's very unlikely that A-Rod's exercises include as many
cocktail-glass lifts as Damon's.
"We all know that Rodriguez is a phenomenal athlete," Nixon
said. The Yankees "play the game right, but I may have made some
bulletin board material for them."