Why Cashman chose to avoid Derek Jeter-A-Rod spat though Bernie joined it

Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and teammates are training at Busch Stadium in 2004.
Michael Bennington
Monday January 30, 2023

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Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter are both big names in MLB, and their relationship has been full of ups and downs. Rodriguez and Jeter have been everything from best friends to enemies to teammates before, during, and after playing for the Yankees. Though top Yankees players backed Derek Jeter, Brian Cashman refused to intervene.

During an interview, Cashman once told that he didn’t like to be involved in their spat. The Yankees general manager went on to describe it as a tussle between two millionaires. He Rodriguez and Derek Jeter’s epic fight from a distance and, in 2001, said:

“I don’t get involved, but there is nothing juicier than a spat among millionaires.”

A-Rod began it by taunting Derek Jeter

It began as soon as Texas gave a record-setting 10-year, $252 million contract to Rodriguez. He chided Derek Jeter while on ESPN Radio by saying that the Yankees heartthrob was not as good as him since he had a much smaller deal.

Then Alex Rodriguez’s interview with Esquire in 2001 added more fire to the rivalry. According to an article in Esquire A-Rod took a shot at Derek Jeter and said:

“Jeter’s been blessed with great talent around him. He’s never had to lead. He can just go and play and have fun.”

In 1993, when Rodriguez was a senior in high school, both legends met at a college baseball game. Derek Jeter was picked up by the New York Yankees in 1992, and he played for them for 22 seasons. Rodriguez, on the other hand, was picked up by the Seattle Mariners in 1994 and joined the Yankees in 2004.

A-Rod clearly diminished Derek Jeter when he claimed that the opponents feared Bernie Williams and Paul O’Neill more while Derek Jeter was not a big issue for them.

“He hits second – that’s different than third or fourth in a lineup. You go into New York, you wanna stop Bernie and O’Neill. You never say, ‘Don’t let Derek beat you.’ He’s never your concern.”

After his words found their way to the April edition of Esquire, – which hits newsstands Monday – is the second time in recent months that A-Rod trash-talked Jeter, who’s supposedly his best friend.

But Derek Jeter, as usual to his own persona, avoided joining the spat and said:

“I’ll ask him tonight. I’ll talk to him and let you know. The only thing you can ask is what his intentions were. Do I think his intentions were bad? No.”

Soon Alex Rodriguez changed his stance and told the press:

“To say it’s a knock, that’s ridiculous. I’ve always said Derek Jeter is one of the three to five best players in the game to me. It’s a compliment to the whole New York Yankees team to say all he has to do is go out and play.”

But Derek Jeter found immense support from his Yankees teammates.

“There is no doubt in my mind that Derek is one of the [leaders] here,” said Bernie Williams. “If you have guys in the minor leagues emulating him, that tells you something about the guy. “He is one of those guys in a clutch situation where he might not beat you with a homer, although he could, but he will do something.”

Tino Martinez told that A-Rod “is jealous for his inability to win four World Series rings and a Series MVP.” Mike Stanton to joined, “I don’t see a World Series MVP next to A-Rod’s name.”

Rodriguez quit baseball in 2016, which was two years after Jeter did the same. While he had to face PED scandals and remained controversial, Derek Jeter remains the most loved star in the Bronx.

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