At some point yesterday, Alex Rodriguez made comments about the excitement that Jose Reyes brings to the playing field. Depending on which blog or newspaper you get your news from, you might have been treated to one of two fairly different stories.
Peter Abraham, Lohud Yankees Blog:
Alex Rodriguez told reporters in Jupiter today that he wished Jose Reyes played for the Yankees. Uh-oh.
He later then sent word through a team PR man that his comments shouldn’t be taken as a shot at Derek Jeter. But of course it’ll still be seen that way.
It’s truly amazing the fixes this guys gets himself into. It really is.
UPDATE, 5:31 p.m: Here is what A-Rod said: “I wish (Reyes) was leading off on our team or playing on our team. That’s fun to watch.”
Jose Reyes is a terrific player and it may have been an innocent comment. But given Alex’s history with Jeter, he should have found a different way to say something nice about Reyes. It just doesn’t make sense.
Whoa, seems like a controversy. Well, not so fast, says Jack Curry of the NY Times:
After Alex Rodriguez watched his Dominican Republic teammate José Reyes make two smart base-running plays in Tuesday’s exhibition game against the Marlins, he gushed: “I wish he was leading off on our team or playing on our team. That’s fun to watch.”
The remark seemed harmless, a throwaway line, the third baseman for the Yankees complimenting the shortstop for the Mets. But apparently fearing a headline like, “A-Rod Tells Yankees to Acquire Reyes,” Rodriguez later said, through a spokesman, that his remarks were not intended as criticism of Derek Jeter, the Yankees’ shortstop and captain.
Rodriguez and Jeter have played alongside each other in the Yankees’ infield for the last five seasons. The two players were close friends early in their careers, but that relationship has cooled.
Still, on Tuesday, Rodriguez seemed guilty of nothing more than trying to be gracious toward Reyes.
These are similar reports that have entirely different tones. One is reporting what happened and dismissing it as a non issue, while the other looks at it as another example of “that stupid A-Rod.” I guarantee that people who got the story from Pete first have an entirely different perception of Alex’s comments than those who read about it elsewhere. Reporters help shape our perceptions of players and the sport, and they should try to be a bit more responsible in conveying information to their readers. Otherwise, total throwaway lines that hold absolutely no meaning can be turned into hours and hours of debate and mindless talk radio drivel.
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