Now that Derek Jeter‘s career is over, everyone has chimed in on the Captain’s illustrious career over the last few weeks. That includes Alex Rodriguez, who spoke with ESPN the Magazine’s J.R. Moehringer about Jeter as a player, and how he felt about watching the magical final home game from his Miami headquarters.
Prior to A-Rod becoming a Yankee 2004, both he Jeter were considered very good friends. But that relationship became somewhat strained over years, mainly due to the fact that the two of them went about their respective careers in totally different ways. Jeter played the game with class, while A-Rod has been mired in controversy since joining the team. But putting that aside for the moment, Rodriguez had nothing but praise for the Captain.
Derek’s been a leader from day one. He’s been the head of his class in every way, both on the field and in terms of character. … That’s hard to do. Being undefeated for 20 years? In New York City? That’s remarkable. When you realize, an hour before the game, 50,000 people are in their seats, ready to go, excited, energetic. When you see Michael Jordan and Cal Ripken, two of the biggest icons of my lifetime — I thought it was a great day. I’m sorry I wasn’t there.
According to the article A-Rod thought about texting Jeter prior to the game last week, but instead felt it would be a distraction “I’ve made it a point to stay in the penalty box.” said Rodriguez. Probably a good move by A-Rod, who has done an excellent job staying away from the media and out of the headlines this year.
With the Yankees expecting Alex to be ready for spring training and compete for the third base job, it won’t be long before he is back in the news and once again stirring things up. Coming out of the proverbial penalty box hopefully he will be a positive for the team next year, regardless of how the fans might feel about him. I expect big things from Rodriguez next year, and I think most fans should too.