Dear Alex Rodriguez...Don't Blame Derek Jeter

Dave MetrickSenior Writer IMarch 16, 2007

Dear A-Rod,

Don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out. 

As a sports fan, and, more importantly, as a Yankee fan, that's my message to you.  It's time for you to go.  Bringing you to New York seemed like a good idea at the time, but I think it's pretty clear you've worn out your welcome.  Everyone knows it.  I think you even know it. 

You just can't bring yourself to admit it.

Look, Alex, you're a great player and a great ambassador for the game of baseball.  You don't get yourself into trouble off the field (unless you qualify sunbathing in Central Park as trouble), and you're one of the few power hitters in the modern era who hasn't been linked to performance enhancing drugs. 

Your only problem is that you can't keep your mouth shut. 

Now, don't get me wrong.  You're not Terrell Owens or anything.  But the more you talk, the more trouble you get yourself into. 

Let's look back at the last couple months.  In February, you felt the need to comment on your deteriorating relationship with Derek Jeter.  You told reporters that you and Derek weren't as close as you used to be.  Gee, that's really surprising.  I mean, in a 2001 Esquire interview you only threw your then-good-friend Jeter under the bus by denigrating his leadership and talent level. 

I believe the quotes were something like "Jeter's been blessed with great talent around him" and "he's never had to lead." 

Is it any wonder you guys aren't boys anymore?

Then there's the issue of your future as a Yankee.  You've said over and over again that you want to finish your career in pinstripes.  If that's the case, why haven't you exercised the clause in your contract that would keep you in New York until 2010?  I believe your excuse had something to do with wanting to keep your options open. 

But why would you want options if you don't want to leave the Bronx?

And as if all of this wasn't enough verbal diarrhea for one Spring Training, you went on a New York radio show this week and basically said the fans were going to decide your fate. 

On WFAN's Mike and the Mad Dog Show, you explained, "Either New York is going to kick me out of New York this year, say 'I've had enough of this guy, get him the hell out of here,' and we have an option. Or New York is going to say, 'Hey, we won a world championship, you had a big year, you were a part of it, and we want you back.'"

Let's be honest here Alex: If the fans had the power to kick you off the team, you probably would've been gone last summer.  Actually, I think New Yorkers like Isiah Thomas more than they like you.  I'm not saying it's fair, but it is what it is.

Look, I know this is going to be tough news to take, but the truth is, A-Rod, that like it or not your Yankee future is up to you.  You have the power to exercise your option.  And you have the power to veto any possible trades.  So, as a Yankee fan I'm begging you:

Be a man, make a decision, and then never speak of it again. 

If you want to stay, pick up your option and continue to collect $27 million a year.  If you want to leave, tell Brian Cashman to trade you to the Cubs so you can be reunited with your father figure, Lou Piniella. 

(The same father figure you didn't mind leaving behind when you accepted that giant contract with the Rangers, incidentally.) 

Whichever course you choose, stand up and take responsibility for it.  Don't blame it on the fans, don't blame it on the media, and don't blame it on Derek Jeter. 

Blame it on yourself. 

Last time I checked, after all, it was still your life.

Like most Yankee fans, I'm eagerly awaiting your decision.



Dave Metrick