RIVALRY GONE BAD

 

Hanai is obsessed with competing with Tajima. They're friends for now but how long will it be for something like this to happen:

WHOSE PARTY WOULD YOU RATHER ATTEND?

BY JASON FINK jason.fink@am-ny.com


The Yankees’ season is about to get a lot more interesting. With injured star Alex Rodriguez set to return within a week, experts say the Bombers will have their hands full, as the controversial slugger and his teammates cope with the onslaught of negative publicity over the explosive tell-all bio published yesterday. Besides alleging more extensive steroid use than A-Rod has admitted to, the book portrays him as an insecure superstar whose jealousy of teammate Derek Jeter borders on obsession. “It’s a gossip cauldron, and it could turn into a fire pit if not properly managed,” said John Murray, a sports psychologist. “Everybody will say it doesn’t matter and talk is cheap, but this is the biggest stage in the world and these players know what’s being said about them.”

In one telling scene from “A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez,” author Selena Roberts describes how on the night of the 2008 All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium both players hosted parties with celebrity guest lists. “Not even Madonna stopped by [A-Rod’s party], and most of Alex’s teammates skipped the bash in favor of the All-Star celebration hosted by Derek Jeter,” Roberts writes. A-Rod, 33, constantly compares himself to Jeter, Roberts writes, revealing something of an inferiority complex.

When out at nightclubs, according to the book, A-Rod would ask women: “‘Who’s hotter, me or Derek Jeter?’ ” In what could prove a continuing distraction, Roberts writes that the rift between the two stars split the team. “The tension between Jeter and Rodriguez escalated to the point where the clubhouse — and management — began to take sides,” the book says. All of this has left fans wondering whether the team, which has battled tabloid stories about ARod before, can ignore the sideshow. “It’s never good to have rivalry within the team,” said Mike Cioli, 36, of Manhattan.

■ February 1997: Sports Illustrated runs an article about Rodriguez and Jeter’s close friendship. ■ April 2001: Playing for the Texas Rangers, Rodriguez tells Esquire magazine: “Jeter’s been blessed with great talent around him. He’s never had to lead.” The comments reportedly anger Jeter. ■ February 2004: The Rangers trade Rodriguez to the Yankees. ■ February 2007: A-Rod admits to reporters there is a rift in his relationship with Jeter. “We aren’t blood brothers anymore,” Rodriguez said. ■ January 2009: Former Yankees manager Joe Torre and Sports Illustrated writer Tom Verducci write in their book, “The Yankee Years,” that Rodriguez has a “Single White Female”-type obsession with Jeter. A FRIENDSHIP UNRAVELS Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter’s complicated relationship over the years:

-Taken from article in AM New York-