TAMPA, Fla. -- Let me ask you something.
When Barry Bonds wrapped his hands around Jeff Kent's throat in the middle of that game in 2002 and was pulled away before he made like a crumpled Pepsi can with Kent, do you recall which team went on to win the National League and play in the World Series that fall?
Yep, the San Francisco Fightin' Giants.
When Steve Garvey and Don Sutton went at it in 1978, leaving Garvey with a black eye and Sutton with a bruised cheek, remember who represented the NL in the World Series that October?
Yep, the Los Angeles Dukin' Dodgers.
|New York manager Joe Torre enters his 12th season. (AP)|
So Derek's no longer McDreamy in New York because he didn't take the bait after A-Rod got all clumsy (again) and dragged Jeter under the spotlight. Instead of sending flowers, Jeter professed that he was "annoyed." I don't blame him.
This whole thing is stuff for Liz Smith, not Red Smith. Who cares?
Time was when Reggie Jackson was more distasteful than liver and onions to Thurman Munson. They still managed to win two World Series' together in the Bronx in 1977 and 1978. And Rodriguez and Jeter both are professional and well-schooled enough that they're not going to come to blows, like Garvey-Sutton or Bonds-Kent.
A-Rod has been all left turns since arriving in New York, and no question his situation long since has passed Loonyville. When he's getting ripped for sunning himself in Central Park, something thousands of other New Yorkers eagerly do each summer, it's reached the theatre of the absurd.
But, what, a public ordination from Jeter is going to keep A-Rod from spitting the bit in the clutch? Pope Jeter blesses A-Rod with the sign of the cross, and now A-Rod rakes in October?
If that's what a grown man making $25 million a year needs, then the problems extend far beyond a relationship issue with one teammate.