Derek Jeter can pinpoint the exact day that his relationship with Alex Rodriguezmelted down … saying it all happened in 2001, when he realized the MLB superstar was “not a true friend.”
The New York Yankees legend opened up about it all in ESPN’s new “The Captain” documentary — which is set to run in its entirety in seven parts beginning later this month — revealing he grew apart from Rodriguez after the former shortstop had made some remarks about him in an ’01 interview with Esquire.
Rodriguez, who was very close with Jeter and had just signed a massive contract to play for the Texas Rangers, told a reporter for the outlet that Derek was “blessed” to play for an absolutely stacked NY team.
“He’s never had to lead,” Rodriguez said. “He doesn’t have to, he can just go and play and have fun, and hit second.”
He continued, “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. You never say, ‘Don’t let Derek beat you.’ That’s never your concern.”
Jeter, who at the time was considered the Yankees’ best player, took offense to the comments — saying in the documentary that they “bothered me.”
“I’m very, very loyal,” Jeter said. “As a friend, I’m loyal. I just looked at it as, ‘I wouldn’t have done it.'”
Rodriguez said in the documentary he apologized, and Jeter said he was down to accept it — but #2 revealed A-Rod then went on to say “there’s not one thing he does better than me” in another interview, which Jeter made clear officially fractured their bond.
“He’s not a true friend, is how I felt,” Jeter said. “Because I wouldn’t do it to a friend.”
The two — who were so close as youngsters in the MLB that they actually had sleepovers at each other’s homes — eventually became teammates with the Yankees in 2004, but famously had an up-and-down, icy time together.
For his part, A-Rod appeared to accept the blame for it all in the documentary, saying, “To allow that opening, that gap, that space to come between Derek and I, that’s on me.”