If there’s anyone who enjoys laughing at Alex Rodriguez more than the Red Sox, it has to be the New York press. Jon Heyman gets his licks in Sunday’s Newsday.
Star wars already are starting inside the Yankees’ clubhouse, even before regulars officially report to Tampa. Things are unsightly now, and they’re heading toward ugly.
All eyes will be on Jason Giambi, aka “The Most Obvious Juicer in the Game” (Chapter 15, “Juiced”).
And also on Alex Rodriguez, who’ll unhappily share the spotlight with Juiced-Up Giambi because A-Rod’s teammates didn’t exactly rush to his defense when Boston’s Trot Nixon called him “a clown,” promoting the notion that A-Rod’s teammates agree with Nixon.
If A-Rod could laugh at himself, he would show up today in a big red nose and floppy shoes. The guess here is he wears thousand-dollar Ferragamos instead.
What’s shocking is Yankees players instead supported Giambi, a .208-hitting, ‘roided-up partier who annoyed them by begging out of Game 5 of the 2003 World Series because, in the words of one Yankee, “he was afraid.”
Unlike Giambi, Rodriguez is prepared and a gamer. But he was dead wrong to tell the Bergen Record, “I know there are 650 or 700 other players who are sleeping this morning. Either that, or they’re taking their kids to school. But there’s no way they’re going to be up running the stairs or doing what I’m doing.”
What A-Rod’s doing is ruining a great thing through a series of missteps. Not only that, but his Father of the Year support is shot.
Things will simmer for now because Giambi and Rodriguez are non-confrontational types. But the steroid controversy still carries the potential to rip apart the clubhouse. “If there are issues or feelings, let’s get them out now,” GM Brian Cashman said. “It’s not a pretty situation.”
Gary Sheffield’s attempts to distance himself from Giambi are typically rude, self-centered and uncalled for. Although, as opposed to Sheff’s incredible new assertion that he never took steroids, there was truth to what he said about Giambi, whom he suggested is a “crybaby.” Said Cashman, “Whatever negatives are in Giambi’s life, he has himself to blame. We’re all responsible for our own actions.”
Of course, that goes for Sheffield, too. The thing about Sheffield is he thinks he’s being hit too hard when it’s the opposite; he’s getting off way too easy.
Yankees execs privately must like the heat lamp being shined on Giambi. However, they hold little hope he’ll be embarrassed into walking away from the $82 million he’s owed.
Cashman said the Red Sox’s rips of A-Rod are becoming like “noise” you just “tune out.” But there’s little doubt that rips of Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada or Bernie Williams would have been met with counterpunches from the Yankees’ clubhouse.