DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) Leading off my “Jock Itch” for Today: ESPNNewYork.com columnist Ian O’Connor has written a new unauthorized Derek Jeter biography and it’s pretty salacious!
The new book, “The Captain,” documents the rather tumultuous relationship between Jeter and A-Rod and seriously, if you didn’t know any better, you’d think you were reading the pages of a saucy romance novel!
Check out this excerpt, courtesy of The New York Post:
Don Mattingly, then the hitting coach and former captain, tried to intervene, citing his own unfriendly history with teammate Wade Boggs. “I faked it with Boggs,” he told Jeter.
“And you have to fake it with Alex.”
Jeter, now 36, was a Yankee farm hand and A-Rod, 35, a Seattle Mariners first-round pick when they first met at a Michigan-Miami baseball game in 1993 — introduced by agent Steve Caruso, who found A-Rod was already fascinated by Jeter.
The pair had plenty in common — both were young, ambitious shortstops on the cusp of superstardom — and split their time between A-Rod’s place in Seattle and Jeter’s Upper West Side apartment. They appeared together on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1997.
They were so close, they became targets of teasing. “Are you going over to your boyfriend’s house?” major-league first baseman and former high-school teammate Doug Mientkiewicz needled A-Rod.
Yankee slugger Jim Leyritz once had to remind the rookie Jeter, “Hey, dude, he’s on the other team.”
By 1998, A-Rod had become privately jealous of Jeter’s rising star — his ranking among People magazine’s Most Beautiful People, his endorsements, his fan following, the book says. A-Rod was considered the better overall player, but Jeter was getting more ink.
The breakup came in 2000. A-Rod, playing for the Texas Rangers after signing a historic, 10-year, $252 million contract, made a series of public comments that rankled a thin-skinned Jeter, who was in the midst of negotiating his own massive deal (he signed a 10-year, $189.5 million contract a year later).
It was like a line drive to Jeter’s heart. And A-Rod knew almost instantly he made a major mistake.
He drove 90 minutes from the Rangers training camp in Port Charlotte, Fla., to Jeter’s home in Tampa to apologize. An emotional A-Rod waited outside Jeter’s home, while Jeter, fully aware that A-Rod was there, lingered at a meal in a local nightclub.
When Jeter finally arrived home, A-Rod begged for forgiveness.
But Jeter was the kind of guy who needed only one strike to remove you from his life, and A-Rod already had just committed two.
“If you do something to hurt [Jeter], that’s it, you’re done,” Mike Borzello, a bullpen catcher close with Jeter, told the author. “You had your chance.”
Jeter got a measure of revenge at the 2001 All-Star Game, when a smitten Rodriguez introduced him to Latin songstress Joy Enriquez. Jeter wasted no time — the singer and the shortstop began dating.
So it was understandable that Jeter was less than thrilled when the Bombers traded for his foe before the 2004 season.
Clubhouse sniping came quickly. An unnamed player described the new arrival as “very phony,” the book says. A-Rod would ignore stadium employees and seemed oblivious to fans, even sick young kids, who clamored for his autograph. Jeter, who prized poise and selflessness, dismissed A-Rod and his diva-like behavior.
And when fans and rival players criticized A-Rod, Jeter deferred instead of defending his teammate.
General Manager Brian Cashman noticed this and asked Jeter to “fake it” with A-Rod.
“You’ve got to lead them all, the ones you like and the ones you don’t,” he told him. He asked him to appeal to Yankee fans on A-Rod’s behalf.
“I can’t tell the fans what to do,” Jeter countered.
A-Rod’s obsession with Jeter continued, the book says. He constantly asked players and team officials about Jeter — down to which charity he was currently supporting.
It all came to a head during a Yankee loss in August 2006 to Baltimore.
An easy pop-up hung in the air between A-Rod and Jeter. Both players closed in and Jeter bumped into A-Rod, knocking the ball out of his glove. Jeter shot A-Rod a withering look.
The gesture did not go unnoticed. Cashman pulled Jeter aside and ordered him to knock it off.
“Listen, this has to stop,” Cashman said. “Everybody in the press box, every team official, everyone watching, they saw you look at the ball on the ground and look at him with disgust like you were saying, ‘That’s your mess, you clean it up.’ ”
A-Rod also felt betrayed by manager Joe Torre, who players said added fuel to the fiery feud.
“He would never call Jeter on anything, but he’d have no problem doing it to Alex,” one player told the author.
Things didn’t gel until A-Rod hit rock bottom in 2009. He had been “emasculated,” outed as a steroid user and an unfaithful husband the year before.
Jeter began engaging in small talk with the third baseman in the clubhouse and he and girlfriend Minka Kelly even dined with A-Rod and his then-flame Kate Hudson, where they all seemed to enjoy each other’s company, the author says.
In the 2008 off-season, Cashman set his sights on signing prized free agent CC Sabathia, the Milwaukee Brewers’ Cy Young Award winner.
“CC’s main concern was our clubhouse, and how people got along,” Cashman told the author. “I told him the truth. ‘Yeah, we are broken. One reason we’re committing [$161 million] to you is you’re a team builder. We need somebody to bring us together.’ ”
The Yankees ponied up extra cash — the most expensive contract for a pitcher to date — to bring the clubhouse Band-Aid to the roster.
Meanwhile, time — and most importantly wins — softened the rift between the two players.
“Derek understands Alex’s positives and negatives,” said Buck Showalter, who managed both Jeter and Rodriguez early in their careers. “He’s come to understand the way Alex is.”
HOLY LORD!! I can’t wait to start devouring this book and getting to the part about the rabbit boiling in the kitchen or the “I will not be ignored” text messages! www.nypost.com
And in OTHER “itch” worthy news…
Is Brian Wilson’s beard worth millions?
Why, yes. That god awful, kooky looking thing actually is.
The NBC Bay Area is reporting that the Giants closer’s beard has “generated many, many millions” because his role in the Giants road to the World Series trophy boosted him into the national spotlight.
I’m sure it has NOTHING to do with the fact that he’s an odd head case.
Anyway, the quote continues and says, “His peculiar personality, however, elevated his likeability and his beard became the distinguishing attribute that really personified his character, from a marketing perspective.”
Get this—his beard actually doubled the opportunities he was presented and doubled the cost compared to a typical, beardless, athlete in his position.
Embrace it, Bryan. Like Lady Gaga says “You were born this way.” www.bayarea.com
Pat’s receiver Wes Welker says, “Let’s do a lockout EVERY year!”
What the hell?
He says “It’s awesome because I’m on my own schedule. I don’t have to talk to anybody; I don’t have to see anybody. You see some of the same faces all the time. It’s kind of nice not to have to look at them anymore and see them. I’m kind of enjoying it.”
Yikes. Take note, Brady and company. He’s sick of the sight of your faces.
And SURE Wes would love having a lockout! Despite not having to show up to work and have to be tortured by seeing Tom Brady’s face, he’s still collecting a pay check every month for at least two to three times what the average guy makes in a YEAR!! www.apnews.com
I guess Wes Welker really did have a point in saying that the NFL lock out is just a big ol’ grand time for everybody, because his teammate, tight end, Rob Gronkowski was seen getting his pool party on at his Alma Mater, the University of Arizona, with a bunch of co-eds.
Wes, somehow I don’t think a bunch of giggly co-eds were minding seeing the sight of his face. Anyway, check out the video of Rob ball-bagging it with these chicks here: http://www.terezowens.com/patriots-tight-end-at-arizona-pool-party/
Oops! The Madden 12 video game has accidentally spilled the beans on what the Buffalo Bills new uniforms will look like for the 2011 season!
I know, I know. It’s the cute little Bills, but still!
The discovery was made by Chris Trapasso (I’m sure while he had on a gamer headset, sitting behind the glow of a TV screen in his mother’s basement) while he was watching the promo trailer!
In case you’re still waiting on bated breath to know whatBuffalo’s unis will look like, they’ll look a lot like the old ones they wore in the early 80’s.
And if THAT’S not enough, here are all of the critical details, courtesy of ESPN: “The helmets will be white with the blue charging buffalo and gray facemasks. Jerseys will have broad stripes on the shoulders instead of the sleeve bottom. Pants will be blue or white, the opposite of the jersey. Blue pants will have red-between-white piping. White pants will have red-between-blue piping. Socks will have blue-and-white striped tops, and players will have the option to wear blue or white shoes as opposed to black. Belts are believed to be gray.” www.wgrz.com
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler popped the question to his girlfriend, reality show actress from MTV’s “The Hills,” Kristin Cavallari earlier this week while they were in Cabo.
No word on whether he actually dropped to a knee to propose or not…
And THAT’S my “Jock Itch!”