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|Tuesday, March 6|
|A-Rod: All's well between him and Jeter|
|PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. Case closed: Alex Rodriguez says he
and Derek Jeter spoke by phone and smoothed out any
"It's very much clear, it came and it left," Rodriguez said
Saturday of his talk the night before. "Between him and I is what
I'm worried about. The air is clear and we had a good
The two All-Star shortstops have been friends for years. But
twice in recent months Rodriguez made what appear to be unfavorable
remarks about Jeter.
Jeter said Saturday he was more confused than upset by the
latest flap. He said from Tampa the two of them sorted things out.
"I gave him the benefit of the doubt," he said. "Yesterday I
had the opportunity to talk with him and now it's over with. If he
wants to get into what we talked about it, then that's up to him.
I'll just leave it alone."
On Friday, he said he would stop discussing the subject and
called Jeter "the best player in the game."
Soon after he signed a $252 million, 10-year contract with Texas
that is the largest in sports history, Rodriguez said the salary
figure would be hard to top.
"Even a guy like Derek, it's going to be hard for him to break
that because he just doesn't do the power numbers and defensively
he doesn't do all those things," A-Rod said in December.
Then there are Rodriguez's comments in the April edition of
"He's never had to lead," Rodriguez was quoted as saying in
the magazine. "He can just go and play and have fun. He hits
second that's totally different than third or fourth in a lineup.
"You go into New York, you wanna stop Bernie (Williams) and
(Paul) O'Neill. You never say, 'Don't let Derek beat us.' He's
never your concern," he said.
"Yeah, the Mets probably weren't worried about him (in the World Series), either," Yankees reliever Mike Stanton said.
Rodriguez insists those comments in the
magazine were taken out of context from a 90-minute interview in
"How can I ever dog Derek Jeter? It's impossible," Rodriguez
said. "There is nothing to knock. He's a great defensive player.
He's a great offensive player. He's one of the top three players in
the game for the greatest team of my era.
"It's my mistake because I said it. It's not the journalist's
fault," he said. "It's been my fault for just talking the game
and being too general. I guess you have to be very specific."
Jeter, who already has won four World Series championship rings
at 26, recently received a $189 million, 10-year contract from the
Yankees, the second-largest deal in sports history.
Jeter was the MVP of last year's World Series win over the New
York Mets and last summer's All-Star Game. He's a career .342
hitter in the Series.
"He's one of our leaders in the clubhouse. There's no doubt
about it," Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams said. "He's
definitely one of those guys, in a clutch situation, that would do
While unable to say if the comments in the magazine were his
exact words, Rodriguez said he was trying to compare his situation
to Jeter's. He meant it as a compliment to the Yankees as a whole
and not a slam on their shortstop.
"When you come to Texas now, you don't say you have to stop
Ivan (Rodriguez), Alex or Raffy (Rafael Palmeiro). You say, let's
stop one through nine because everybody can hurt you."
Rodriguez left Seattle as a free agent after the Yankees beat
the Mariners in last year's AL Championship Series.
"It's great because our situations mirror each other. All we
have to do is go out and play," Rodriguez said. "I don't have to
worry about leading Ivan, (Andres) Galarraga or (Ken) Caminiti or
Raffy. Those guys all lead themselves. You lead by example, but
it's not like leading in Seattle last year."
Jeter, who has slowed by right shoulder stiffness, hasn't thrown
or taken batting practice since Tuesday.
"I'm doing groundballs and stuff like that," he said. "It's
hard sitting around. This is the time you want to be playing. I
don't like to sit around and watch."
Yankees manager Joe Torre said there was no rush to get Jeter in
"As long as we're getting progress here, we might as well not
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