Jeter 'saddened' by events surrounding A-Rod
Yanks captain, Posada weigh in on third baseman's suspension at charity event
TAMPA, Fla. -- Derek Jeter described Alex Rodriguez's season-long suspension and subsequent lawsuits to have it overturned as "sad" and "kind of messy," but the Yankees captain didn't offer much else about the third baseman's situation.
Jeter said at the kickoff event for his Turn 2 Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic on Wednesday night that there has been "communication" between him and A-Rod, and he added that the situation has been "rough" for Rodriguez.
"As a teammate, you're saddened by the whole thing. The whole thing's been kind of messy," Jeter said. "Other than that, it is what it is. I really have no more comments on it. You guys probably know more about it than I do.
"He's human, so I'm sure it's a rough situation, but you've got to ask him on that one."
Arbitrator Fredric Horowitz lowered Rodriguez's ban from a 211-game suspension issued by Major League Baseball to 162 games plus the postseason, ruling that there was "clear and convincing evidence" that Rodriguez, who's been with the Yanks since 2004, had used three banned substances and attempted to interfere with MLB's investigation of the Biogenesis scandal. In an attempt to overturn that ruling, Rodriguez filed suit against MLB and the MLB Players Assocation on Monday.
Jeter said his opinion of Rodriguez hasn't changed in light of recent events, noting that the two have been teammates for a decade now.
"I've played with him more than I haven't in my career," Jeter said. "You grow close with guys throughout the years, guys that you've played with for that long.
"I'm saddened by the whole situation. The whole situation is sad. Like I said, it's been messy. But other than that, I have nothing for you guys."
Hall of Fame pitcher Rich "Goose" Gossage offered a stronger opinion, saying, "A-Rod probably got what he deserved." But Gossage, who played in Seattle during Rodriguez's first year in the Majors in 1994, admitted the whole thing has been "unfortunate for the game, for Alex, for everyone involved.
"I hate to see it happen to him, but I think the punishment fits the crime."
Former Yankees catcher Jorge Posada, who called Rodriguez a friend, described the punishment as "tough to watch" and said he'd like Rodriguez to know he has his former teammate's support. The two haven't spoken recently, but Posada said he still "love[s] him like a brother."
"I would give him a big hug and tell him that I'm here for him and I hate to see what he's going through," Posada said. "Hopefully he can keep working hard and be ready for 2015."
Posada wasn't as enthusiastic about Rodriguez's assertion that he will show up in Tampa to take part in the Yanks' Spring Training, saying that scenario would be hard on Rodriguez, his teammates and the organization.
"I just hope that he thinks about everything and makes the decision later, not now, when he's mad," Posada said. "I hope he makes the decision a little bit later and he makes the right decision. I'll leave that to him."
Jeter, meanwhile, was excited about the Yankees club that will meet in Tampa next month, praising the front office's moves and leaving open the possibility of more taking place before pitchers and catchers report.
"We've made some great additions. You never know what else we're going to do, if we're going to do anything," Jeter said. "I've told you guys for years, until you get to Spring Training, you never know what the changes are going to be. But I like what I've seen so far."