Strawberry: Jeter must 'embrace' A-Rod




 
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December 20th, 2006  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: Strawberry: Jeter must 'embrace' A-Rod




RONALD BLUM

Associated Press

NEW YORK - Darryl Strawberry thinks the Yankees' clubhouse is beset by bad chemistry that can be cured only one way: Derek Jeter needs to "embrace" Alex Rodriguez.
"They've got to come together," Strawberry said Tuesday. "It's time for them to mend their relationship and get back to, like, OK, let's have some fun. We're here in New York together. We're on the greatest team that we possibly could play on. Let's try to win instead of going separate ways. Because I remember them when they were young and they went to dinner together and they did everything together."
Strawberry, a former Yankees and Mets star, spoke after a news conference to announce that Yankees special adviser Ray Negron's book "The Boy of Steel" will be made into a movie. The book tells the story of a cancer patient who became a Yankees bat boy for a day.
Strawberry was a player development instructor for the Yankees before resigning in February 2004. He shifted to the Mets as a spring training instructor in 2005 and plans on being with them next year.
His remarks about the Yankees' chemistry were sparked by questions regarding the return of Andy Pettitte, who played with Strawberry on three of the Yankees' World Series championship teams. Pettitte was in New York for a physical Tuesday, and his contract could be finalized Wednesday.
"Hopefully, it will rub off on the team, guys will get more supportive of each other," Strawberry said. "I think the Yankees' problem is that they just don't support each other enough. I mean, back when I played in those years we were winning, we all supported each other, we all cared for each other. I think they need to get back to that, because the talent is there, but everybody seems like they're going their separate ways."
Rodriguez was booed by fans at times last season, and Strawberry said A-Rod has been treated like "an outsider."
"He's a sensitive guy," Strawberry said. "He's only played in Seattle and Texas. It's not New York. It's a big difference. You don't get booed in Texas. You don't get booed in Seattle when you play there."
Jeter, the Yankees' captain, has been cool toward A-Rod since a 2001 Esquire article.
"Jeter's been blessed with great talent around him," Rodriguez was quoted as saying in the magazine. "He's never had to lead. He can just go and play and have fun. And he hits second - that's totally different than third and fourth in a lineup. You go into New York, you wanna stop Bernie (Williams) and (Paul) O'Neill. You never say, Don't let Derek beat you. He's never your concern."
Rodriguez has struggled in the postseason with the Yankees. He is 4-for-41 (.098) without an RBI in his last 12 postseason games dating to 2004 and was dropped to eighth in the batting order for the first time in a decade as the Yankees were eliminated in Game 4 of the first round against Detroit this year.
At the World Series to accept an award, Jeter was asked whether there was anything he could do to make things easier for Rodriguez.
"What would you like me to do? I'm trying to think," Jeter said. "Well, you're there. You support him. Everyone supports all your teammates at all times. I don't really know if there's anything else I can do. Maybe I'm not that smart."
Strawberry said for Rodriguez to gain acceptance in the Yankees' clubhouse, Jeter must take the lead.
"I hope Jeter would embrace him this year, in spring training, and bring him into the full circle as a part of the Yankee family," Strawberry said. "If Jeter does it, I think everybody else will respond. I hope that works out for him, because once upon a time, they were best of friends and some things happened, which is life. And hopefully they will put those things behind them and hopefully they can come together."
Strawberry said the pair must take it upon themselves to right the Yankees, who despite nine straight AL East titles have not won the World Series since 2000.
"Both of them are leaders and they need to come together as leaders and bring that Yankee team back up to par, because the last few years they've been nowhere in sight," Strawberry said. "It's not about just getting in the first round. When you have talent like that, it's about winning."
While Jeter has won four World Series titles and six AL pennants, Rodriguez has never been to the World Series. Jeter has a .314 average in the postseason, leading in career hits (150) and tying for third in RBIs (48) and fifth in homers (17).
Still, Strawberry said Rodriguez is a two-time AL MVP who has put up impressive regular-season statistics in three seasons with the Yankees.
"OK, so what, he hasn't hit well in the playoffs yet," Strawberry said. "How many years did it take Barry Bonds before he clicked in the playoffs? Think about it. I know he hasn't performed like Jeter has in the playoffs. Jeter's a different breed. There's ice water in his veins. There ain't no pressure on him. He knows he's been there and done that. I just hope they work it out."
December 20th, 2006  
bulldogg
 
 
Jeter IS the friggin franchise, Strawberry is a coke-head and should stick to his perpetual rehab. A-Rod is an A-hole and the sooner the Yankees shag that deadbeat the sooner they will be cured of this "bad blood".
December 20th, 2006  
mmarsh
 
 
Gotta agree.

A-ROD was a bad choice in a very long series of bad choices Steinbrenner had made over the years. True Bronx Bombers fans can just recite the long list of bad mix/overhyped/or past their prime geezers than have been in and out of pin stripes.

A-Rod is a great player in general, but he's just the wrong type of player for the team. First of all he's a shortstop not a third baseman. What was the logic of putting two all-star stortstops (Jeter, A-Rod) on the same team? By putting A-Rod on 3rd you have already gimped him. Besides the Yanks weakness has never been offense. They have always got plenty of powerhitters. Their weakness as always been the rotation (aside from relievers). They are still without a decent starting pitchers.

They have just resigned Petitte (over the hill), Randy Johnson (real geezer) Ming (just arrived, we shall see) and Mussina (who also is a geezer, and yet still has the best ERA on the team). 3 pitchers in the twlight of their careers and 1 who has just barely started (in MBA, Taiwanese league is not the same).
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