In “The Captain,” Derek Jeter discusses Alex Rodriguez’s betrayal

“Shit, I’ve got trust issues…I’ve got trust issues,” says Derek Jeter, echoing words from another multiracial superstar. “I have had trouble trusting people from the start.”

in the The captainIn a new seven-part ESPN documentary premiering July 18, the Yankee legend reveals his famously reserved demeanor stemmed from an incident in high school where he was betrayed by someone close to him.

“I remember I had a good friend who was in high school, and after I graduated high school, I found out that he had mentioned that he didn’t like interracial marriages,” Jeter recalls. “And I’m like, ‘This is someone I’ve been hanging out with. I trusted this person.’ It’s been there for a while, but I think it’s scaled up a bit as my career has evolved over time.”

After making his MLB debut in 1995 at the age of 20, Jeter became Rookie of the Year and helped lead the Yankees to a World Series championship in 1996, breaking an 18-year title drought and cementing his status as the New York Chosen One City. and The captain features a chorus of voices — from his parents, Charles and Dorothy, to Yankee teammates like Tino Martinez and Roger Clemens, to Michael Jordan and Jadakiss — all recounting the Kalamazoo native’s rise from scrawny shortstop to baseball icon. It’s his The last Danceand the tight-lipped athlete spills the tea like never before.

Perhaps the most compelling thread in the first five episodes released to the press — the alleged gift bags notwithstanding — is the disintegration of Jeter and Alex Rodriguez’s friendship, which began long ago in high school when they met at a soccer game from Michigan-University of Miami. The two phenomena gradually grew closer, hanging out during spring training, hitting the pitches, conducting joint interviews with the press, and even spending a few New Year’s Eves together.

According to Alan Schwarz, a sportswriter for Baseball AmericaDuring one of their joint interviews in 1997, Rodriguez first revealed how jealous he was of his pal.

“I’m taking Alex for a walk and he said, ‘Alan, I think this is going to be the last interview I do with Derek … I love the guy, he’s my friend, he’s a great player,” Schwarz says in the film. “But do you remember the cover of sports illustrated? I was sitting and Derek was standing over me. It gives the impression that I was kind of below him… I’m sorry, but I’m the better player.” (Rodriguez denies that this exchange took place.)

Things started to go south when Rodriguez called The Dan Patrick Show in 2000, shortly after signing a record $252 million contract with the Texas Rangers — and after Jeter had led the Yankees to four World Series championships in five years — and boasted that his pal never paid such a seismic sum could land.

“Even for a guy like Derek, it’s going to be hard for him to break that because he just doesn’t do the power numbers and defensively, he doesn’t do all those things,” Rodriguez said. “So he couldn’t break the 252. He could get 180. I don’t know what he will get. 150? I’m not sure.”

This understandably angered Jeter, as Rodriguez not only shot at Jeter’s skill level, but also tampered with his pocket.

“In the interview with Dan Patrick he talked about a comparison between me and him on the field. I think he got his contract so you’re trying to belittle what I’m doing, maybe to justify why you got paid? Because I think look when you talk about it statisticsmy statistics never compared to Alex statistics. I am not blind. I understand. But we won‘ Jetter says.

“You can say what you want about me as a player. That’s fine,” Jeter continues. “But then it goes back to the trust and loyalty. “Is this how the guy feels? He’s not a true friend,” that’s how I felt. Because I wouldn’t do that to a friend.”

And then, in his infinite selfishness, A-Rod did it again.

In conversation with esquire in April 2001, audio of which is recorded The captaindestroyed Rodriguez Jeter’s lead and punching power.

“Jeter is blessed with great talent all around him so he never had to lead. He does not have to. He can just go and play and have fun and bat second,” said Rodriguez esquire. “I mean – you know, finishing second is a lot different than finishing third or fourth in a lineup because you go to New York and you’re trying to stop Bernie [Williams] and [Paul] O’Neill and everyone else. You never say, ‘Don’t let Derek hit you.’ That’s never any of your business.”

“You can say whatever you want about me as a player. It’s good. But then it goes back to trust and loyalty. “Is this how the guy feels? He’s not a true friend,” that’s how I felt. Because I wouldn’t do that to a friend.”

Jeter viewed it as an act of treason.

“These comments worried me because, as I said, I’m very, very loyal. As a friend I am faithful. And I just looked at it like I didn’t do it,” Jeter says in the film. “And then it was the media – the constant hammer on the nail. They just kept pounding in. It just turned into noise, which frustrated me. It was just constant noise.”

Rodriguez claims in the document that he “really thought about it” before venting the obvious insults that got his friend’s way.

“I said exactly what I said,” says Rodriguez. “Again, I think it was a comment I stand behind today. It was a total tsunami – it was one of the best teams ever – and I think it’s fair to say that you don’t have to focus on just one player.”

He says he tried to mend their relationship by meeting up with Jeter and apologizing, stressing that his comments “are not intended to hurt or punish you or to offend you in any way.” And Jeter accepted the mea culpa, but the damage was done.

“I felt his apology was very sincere,” says Jeter. “Well I guess if it was a standalone incident hey move on man people make mistakes. But it happened a second time.”

Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter during MTV’s 8th Annual Rock ‘n Jock Softball 1997 in Los Angeles, California.

Jeff Kravitz/Getty

“We were young. I was 26 years old. People make mistakes, I understand that,” he adds. “You make mistakes. Some mistakes bigger than others. What I expect of you, you should expect of me. I would “Don’t treat you like that. And again, that’s okay. I’ll remain cordial anyway. But you’ve crossed the line and I won’t let you back in.”

For his part, Rodriguez takes some responsibility for the film about the breaking of their bond, although he doesn’t fully apologize.

“I think I was in that circle of trust early on. I mean, it has to be you if I sleep in his apartment and he sleeps in mine,” he says. “I think that changed because I said some things that he didn’t like and that broke trust for him. And I think from that moment on, it was never the same again.”

The Slugger would join the Yankees in 2004 — with Jeter’s blessing and provided he moved to third base — and win a World Series championship together in 2009. But like A-Rod said, when it came to Jeter, he stayed outside in.

“If someone doubts me, OK, I understand you. But now I turn that off because I don’t want to think about it,” Jeter says at the beginning The captain. “I haven’t talked about it. Didn’t tell people about it. But I have a list in mind of people who have doubted it. I remember exactly what you said, when you said it, and what you were wearing when you said it.” In “The Captain,” Derek Jeter discusses Alex Rodriguez’s betrayal


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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