Everyone who has ever touched a baseball field has an opinion about A-Rod, and the latest former star to weigh in is former Yankees captain Don Mattingly. Don has one of the most refreshing perspectives on this that I have heard from a former player:
Don Mattingly reached a boiling point. The Dodgers’ hitting coach watches the TV, listens to the commentary and hears a steady stream of negativity toward Alex Rodriguez, and the Yankees icon can’t tolerate it any more.
“Honestly, I am getting tired of guys beating up on him,” Mattingly said when reached by phone in Arizona yesterday. “I see [White Sox manager] Ozzie Guillen acting like a buddy of his and trashing him. Here is how I feel: He did something wrong. He admitted [he used steroids from 2001-03], now let’s move on. The guy works hard. He is a good teammate. … He wants to be great. I have no problem with that…..”
“I see all this talk about how that he was putting on an act when he teared up when mentioning his teammates,” Mattingly said of the Tuesday press conference. “I’m sure it was huge for him to have [Derek] Jeter and [Jorge] Posada there. It was probably hard to express. Now we are going to say his pause was too long. Come on. I am sure everything is not perfect, but this guy has been in the [drug-testing] system for four years and he has not come up positive and he was won two MVPs.
“Time to say the past is the past. He is just too easy of a target. Let everyone jump on the bandwagon, I want to be on the other side of the bash Alex thing.”
Don seems like a good guy, which is probably why he was such an incredibly popular player. He was very gracious upon losing the Yankees’ managerial spot to Joe Girardi, and I wonder if he might become a candidate again should the Yankees miss the playoffs in 2009.
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