01/27/09 11:58 AM EST
Torre's comments don't bother A-Rod
Former Yankees manager critical of three-time MVP in book
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
In the collaboration between Torre and Tom Verducci, "The Yankee Years," it is reported that some Yankees referred to Rodriguez as "A-Fraud" early in his New York career, and the book paints the three-time MVP as holding a "Single White Female" obsession with teammate Derek Jeter.
"He laughed at the stuff because he is so beyond all of that," one person close to A-Rod said Monday, according to the Daily News. "Personally, he feels like he's in a great space in his life and felt very comfortable last year in the clubhouse and with his relationship with his teammates."
The newspaper reported that A-Rod did not feel that anything Torre had to say would hurt him because they did not have a strong relationship. Rodriguez had difficulty adjusting to New York in part because of his spoiled friendship with Jeter, with whom Torre was especially close.
According to people close to Rodriguez, the All-Star said nothing in Torre's book could be more revealing than the act of batting him eighth in Game 4 of the 2006 American League Division Series against the Tigers.
"Alex was really hurt by that," one friend of A-Rod's said Monday, according to the Daily News. "He believed that Torre did that to embarrass him and he knew then what Torre thought of him.
"So anything that comes out now wouldn't compare to that. He's just surprised that Torre would talk about these kinds of things, because he always told the players the clubhouse and the bond with teammates was sacred, and not to be broken this way."
The newspaper reported that Rodriguez has told friends he does not worry about what people are saying and thinking about him, the way he did when he joined the Yankees in 2004.
Rodriguez made a Spring Training proclamation in 2007 that he and Jeter were no longer as close as they used to be, and then turned in one of his finest all-around seasons, batting .314 with 54 home runs and 156 RBIs -- his third American League MVP campaign and second as a Yankee.
"He says he got the Jeter stuff out of his system when he had that press conference [at the start of Spring Training] a couple of years ago," one person told the Daily News. "He came to grips with the idea that Jeter didn't want to be his friend again the way they were years ago, and he stopped worrying about it.
"He's heard the 'A-Fraud' stuff, and he has admitted he tried too hard to make everyone like him when he came over to the Yankees. But since then, he has become more at ease in the clubhouse, and he believes he is more accepted as one of the guys. He has taken the young Latin guys like Melky [Cabrera] and [Robinson] Cano under his wing and they really look up to him. He believes things are a lot different now."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.