Jeter says Torre intended no harm

Updated: February 5, 2009, 8:13 AM ET
Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees captain Derek Jeter wants to reiterate it yet again: Alex Rodriguez has the support of his teammates.

Rodriguez became an offseason focal point again this winter with the release of former manager Joe Torre's book, "The Yankee Years."

Torre mentioned that some people in the Yankees clubhouse referred to Rodriguez as "A-Fraud."

"Like I've said before, we all support Alex. He's our teammate," Jeter said Wednesday after working out at the Yankees' minor league complex.

"It seems like that we keep talking about the same things over and over again. It's not like this is a new thing that's come up. The only thing that you'd like to see, going into spring training is, you'd like to see everyone talking about the excitement of the season and getting ready for the season. That's the unfortunate thing."

Jeter said former Yankees bullpen catcher Mike Borzello, in a kidding manner with Rodriguez, sometimes called the slugger "A-Fraud."

"He joked with him," Jeter said. "It wasn't like people on the team. I've never heard someone on the team say that. That never happened."

Jeter has not read Torre's book, but has followed recent media accounts.

"Knowing Mr. Torre, he's never going to intentionally try to hurt somebody," Jeter said. "He's like a second father to me. Everyone knows how close we are. He's not going to intentionally go out and do harm to somebody. That's not the kind of person he is."

A busy offseason by the Yankees, including the signing of free agents CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira, has Jeter upbeat.

"I'll tell you what, I'm probably as excited about this season as any season in a long time," Jeter said. "We made some great additions. They said they wanted to improve our pitching staff and we got arguably two of the best in the game. We added Tex. They always talk about how great of a hitter he is. He's an all-around player."

The Yankees' run of 13 consecutive postseason trips ended during an injury-marred season last year.

"It boils down to everybody staying healthy, especially in our division with so many good teams," Jeter said. "I'm pretty excited about this year."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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