Jeter to address A-Rod confession once
TAMPA, Fla. -- Derek Jeter watched Alex Rodriguez's confession on television but plans to put off discussing it publicly until the entire media mob that covers the New York Yankees arrives for spring training.
"I'm not addressing Alex's situation until everybody is here," Jeter said Tuesday after working out at the Yankees' minor league complex. "If you've got baseball questions, I'll do that. If I talk to you guys today, then tomorrow three more people. It's better just to get everybody together."
In an interview Monday with ESPN, Rodriguez admitted that he used banned substances while playing for the Texas Rangers from 2001 to 2003. The three-time MVP was responding to a weekend report by Sports Illustrated that he had failed a drug test.
When interviewed a day earlier, Jeter said he was "shocked" by the SI report and catcher Jorge Posada said he was surprised to hear it, too.
"I understand you guys have a job to do," Jeter said Tuesday. "You have to understand we have a job to do, and it's much better for me, it's much better for the team to address it one time and get it over with."
Rodriguez and the rest of New York's position players must report to spring training by next Tuesday. Pitchers and catchers are due in Friday.
There were about a dozen media members present at Tuesday's workout.
"I'm not going to do it every single day," Jeter said. "People talk about, 'Are things a distraction?' It's a distraction when you talk about it every single day."
In a statement issued Monday night, the team said: "We urged Alex to be completely open, honest and forthcoming in addressing his use of performance-enhancing drugs. We take him at his word that he was. Although we are disappointed in the mistake he spoke to today, we realize that Alex -- like all of us -- is a human being not immune to fault.
"We speak often about the members of this organization being part of a family, and that is never more true than in times of adversity," the statement read. "Alex took a big step by admitting his mistake, and while there is no condoning the use of performance-enhancing drugs, we respect his decision to take accountability for his actions. We support Alex, and we will do everything we can to help him deal with this challenge and prepare for the upcoming season."
Jeter noted that distractions are nothing new for the Yankees.
"Every year it's something," Jeter said. "It's the Yankees. There's always a story at some point. I think a lot of the guys that have been here are pretty much used to it. Not something at this level, but they're used to answering questions about some other things. Once baseball activities begin, hopefully we'll put it all behind us."
"I think a lot of times with situations where there's controversy, a lot of guys pull for each other and come together. That's what you hope for in this situation," Jeter said.
Gardner said A-Rod's admission surprised him.
"Hopefully, the fans will forgive him," Gardner said. "We're going to support him. We love having him as a teammate."
Now, many of the Yankees will be asked what they thought of Rodriguez's confession on ESPN, and whether it changes their feelings about him.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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