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As the (Yankee) World Turns

Spring Training is here, and that means that as the Yankees take Legends Field in Florida, Soap Opera takes Center Stage!

The media has been all over the changing relationship between Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez and shortstop Derek Jeter. A couple of days ago, A-Rod told reporters:

"Let's make a contract. . . . You don’t ask about Derek anymore, and I promise I’ll stop lying to you. Rodriguez went on to admit that he and Jeter were not the buddies they once were, while stressing that they function well as teammates. "We were best of friends about 10, 13 or 14 years ago, and we still get along well," Rodriguez said. "We have a good working relationship. I cheer very hard for him, and he cheers hard for me, and, more importantly, we’re both trying to win a world championship. We’ll leave it right there. . . . People are just assuming that things are a lot worse than what they are," Rodriguez said. "They’re not. But obviously, it's not as good as it used to be, when we were blood brothers. . . . You go from sleeping over at somebody's house five days a week and now you don't sleep over," Rodriguez said. "It's not that big of a deal."

Well, uh, A-Rod also got, uh, married. That could have helped to change his, uh, sleeping habits, no?

Oy vey. I could run with this one. (Biting tongue... trying hard not to say anything outrageous...)

So, Captain Jeter responded the day after:

"On the field and in the clubhouse, our relationship is fine," Jeter said before the workout. "Away from the field, people want to keep tabs on how many times we go out to eat. That has no bearing on what we're trying to do on the field. . . . I don't have a rift with Alex," Jeter said. "We go out there, we work together. This is our fourth year together. It's annoying to hear about it all the time. Everyone assumes they know what our relationship is. They see us on the field. If one person gives another one a look, it's a story. If we're at opposite ends of the bench, people say it's a story." Jeter, whose romantic life has turned up in the pages of gossip magazines, values his privacy. He said he considers his friendship with Rodriguez a private matter. "I understand my job is public," Jeter said. "But your private life is your private life. Once you open that door, it never stops. I don't feel it's necessary to talk about things that don't have to do with baseball. It doesn't have an impact on anything."

Asked to characterize his relationship with A-Rod, Jeter said further:

"How would I characterize it? I would characterize it as it doesn't make a difference," Jeter said. "I have a lot of relationships that have changed over 10 years. What we do away from the field, how much time we spend together, it makes no difference."

So, there you have it! Spring is in the air! Pretty soon we'll all be talking about the game, I hope!