Derek Jeter discusses Alex Rodriguez rift in recent documentary: ‘Not a True Friend’

News - darek Jeter
John Allen
Tuesday July 12, 2022

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Derek Jeter noticed Alex Rodriguez was not really a “true friend” following the latter’s infamous Esquire interview in 2001.

That’s according to Jeter, who discussed the incident in “The Captain,” a seven-part docu-series premiering on ESPN on July 18 following the Home Run Derby.

Jeter and A-Rod might become teammates one day, but their story began years before.

Star shortstops Jeter and A-Rod forged a friendly relationship that was widely publicized in the media and during games whenever the Yankees faced the Mariners in the mid-to-late 1990s.

They had such a strong bond that they even had sleepovers at each other’s houses when their teams played each other. There was even the infamous bench-clearing brawl in 2000, during which Jeter and A-chumminess Rod’s was enough to irritate Jeter’s fiery teammate, Chad Curtis.

Eventually, a contrast emerged in which Jeter became a huge star while the Yankees won a World Series 4 times in 5 years. And there was A-Rod, whose gaudy statistics propelled him to a 10-year, $252 million contract with the Texas Rangers, a then-record contract.

There was constant comparison and contrast of their corresponding accomplishments, and it became more of a faith versus reason debate, with staunch believers in intangibles preferring Jeter and devout statisticians certain A-Rod was far superior.

Then there was the Esquire story.

During a Heat game in Miami, the interview lasted a couple of hours. Raab’s competitive juices were flowing when he noticed a writer from rival GQ Magazine in town to cover A-Rod. Raab said he went into the interview hoping to learn more about A-Rod and did not expect the star to say “something that would piss Derek Jeter off.”

The tape of the interview has survived to this day, and it revealed the context of Raab asking A-Rod about the friendship/rivalry between the two shortstops.

Then Raab asked A-Rod what he thought about Jeter’s character.

Raab knew right away he had his ammo to demolish the relevance of GQ’s profile.

More than two decades later, Jeter still does not seem to have completely shaken the remarks.

Rodriguez did, however, apologize to Jeter at the time.

Jeter was willing to accept it if A-Rod hadn’t given a similar interview to Dan Patrick, saying the radio host about Jeter, “There’s not one thing he does better than me.”

Jeter believed A-Rod was “diminishing” him in order to justify his own blockbuster contract.

Jeter explained that his father advised him as a child to have many acquaintances while keeping his inner circle of friends very close. As a result, Jeter concluded that if he felt he had been wronged, he would have no problem cutting people out of his life.

Raab claimed to have sent a fax to Jeter during Yankees spring training to clear things up and explain that Rodriguez had also said flattering things about him during their meeting, but Jeter has no recollection of receiving it. In any case, he didn’t believe that a fax would have done anything to repair the damage.

A-Rod, for his part, identified that this was the end of their close friendship and psychoanalyzed himself to determine why he may have made errors at the time.

What do you think, leave a comment below.

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