Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez are two of the greatest MLB players of their generation.
By any objective measure, they left a lasting impact on the game.
Once upon a time, when they were younger, the pair was extremely close.
But then something happened.
In ESPN’s new “The Captain” documentary, Jeter opened up about the precise moment when he and Rodriguez ceased being friends.
It all came to a head when Rodriguez made some unflattering comments about him in Esquire magazine.
“He’s never had to lead,” Rodriguez said at the time. “He doesn’t have to, he can just go and play and have fun, and hit second.
“I mean, you know, hitting second is totally different than hitting third or fourth in a lineup because you go into New York trying to stop Bernie [Williams] and [Paul] O’Neill and everybody,” he continued. “You never say, ‘Don’t let Derek beat you.’ That’s never your concern.”
In the documentary, Jeter admitted that the comments “bothered” him.
“I’m very, very loyal,” Jeter added. “As a friend, I’m loyal. I just looked at it as, ‘I wouldn’t have done it.'”
Rodriguez apologized afterward, which Jeter was cool with – but then came a second interview. In that one, Rodriguez said that “there’s not one thing he does better than me,” which understandably didn’t sit right with Jeter.
“He’s not a true friend, is how I felt,” Jeter said. “Because I wouldn’t do it to a friend.”
For what it’s worth, Rodriguez was quick to accept blame for their friendship ending.
“To allow that opening, that gap, that space to come between Derek and I, that’s on me,” he acknowledged.
Interestingly enough, unlike Rodriguez, Jeter has had a very rough go of things in his post-playing career. Whereas he was the star of the show as a player and Rodriguez was always second-best, particularly in the eyes of New York Yankees fans, roles got reversed when they retired.
Jeter struggled badly as the CEO of the Miami Marlins, ultimately stepping down from the post in February. It didn’t take long for the real reason for his exit to come out.
Rodriguez, conversely, has been thriving. He is currently living his best life with his new young girlfriend and is a rising star as an MLB broadcaster. The future looks bright for him.
This Zach Wilson thing gets crazier by the day.https://t.co/4P1DN7k9PI
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 12, 2022
Hopefully one day Jeter and Rodriguez can truly put all the bad blood behind them and move forward.
That way everyone can get the peace and contentment that they truly deserve.