Yankees News: David Ortiz and Mark Teixeira paint different pictures of Alex Rodriguez


Spring Training is finally underway, and with New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez making his return after a year-long suspension, everyone is being asked questions regarding Rodriguez, especially those close to him.

For years, Rodriguez had a close friendship with first baseman turned designated hitter David Ortiz of the rival Boston Red Sox.  Ortiz even went as far as defending Rodriguez in 2013 when his then-teammate Ryan Dempster drilled Rodriguez stating that he “didn’t like it” and he “didn’t think it was the right thing to do”.

Rodriguez’s then-lawyer Joe Tacopina implicated Ortiz’s past PED usage in an interview with ESPN’s Colin Cowherd as he stated, “I’m not going to start naming all the other players, but some of them are godlike in Boston right now, and people seem to forget that.”  While he denied that these comments were directed at Ortiz, it is quite obvious that they were.

Whether these comments are true or not, Ortiz felt that Rodriguez’s defense team threw him under the bus stating that “things are not good anymore.  It’s been a while”.

Obviously, these comments were not made directly by Rodriguez, so it will be interesting to see how the two react to one another when the two teams face off on March 13th.  While Ortiz being supported by the same people who hate Rodriguez is contradictory, Rodriguez’s PED usage has been far more documented.  Ortiz is one of few players connected to PED usage that has never really had to speak on it, yet still is respected around the game.

Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira doesn’t agree with the dislike for Rodriguez, as he stated:

"There are a lot of people who make bad decisions.  Alex is not a bad person.  I’ll be the first one to tell you that.  Alex has made bad decisions.  He has owned up to them.  Hopefully, now we can kind of get past it.  That is something that if he was still denying it and coming in here and trying to put on a different face — he told everyone he was sorry."

Teixeira was then told about how A-Rod played the sorry card previously, and repeated his mistakes to which he had to say:

"That’s a whole different conversation, I guess.  As we sit here today, Alex said he is sorry.  He is a good teammate.  I think everyone in here will tell you, Alex is a good teammate.  We love having him on the field.  He works with young guys.  He is always willing to stay late and talk about the game.  I love talking baseball with Alex.  That is what I missed last year more than anything was sitting around talking about the game, talking about hitting with him."

Those are high regards from a person as highly respected around the game as Teixeira.  If not for Rodriguez’s troubles, it seems that he would be a guy who could have ventured into coaching after retirement.

The differences in positions on Rodriguez is one we are surely to see throughout the course of the year.  While his Yankees teammates will have his back all season long, opponents may target him, as Dempster did.  However, the fact that A-Rod is losing friends around baseball should not be important to the man who has longed for acceptance.

Rodriguez’s sole focus entering 2015 should be ending his career on a high note, and that involves staying away from negative headlines, and producing on the field.  When asked about his relationship with Ortiz, A-Rod simply described it as “good” and ended the interview.

If he continues to avoid the controversial questions he will surely be asked, then that is a good start for Rodriguez.  Now, he just has to show he is able to produce on the field, and the first test will be soon.

Next: He's back! Alex Rodriguez returns to the Yankees

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