Alex Rodriguez said that he and Derek Jeter are friends after a long and bumpy relationship

By Emily Zauzmer
September 12, 2018 02:55 PM

Alex Rodriguez is getting candid about his past as a New York Yankee.

The retired MLB icon, 43, opened up to Cigar Aficionado about two speed bumps in his baseball career — his relationship with Derek Jeter and the time he got booed in his own stadium.

Rodriguez and Jeter started out as friends in the 1990s, but their relationship turned cold when the former seemingly dissed his one-time teammate in a 2001 interview, according to Newsweek. They were reportedly not on good terms when they played for the Yankees together.

Alex Rodriguez
| Credit: Cigar Aficionado

Rodriguez says that those days are behind them, though. “Derek and I are friends. I’ve known Derek since we were 15 years old,” he told Cigar Aficionado. “Like all relationships, there’s ups, there’s downs, there’s ups, but where it sits today is where it’s always sat—with respect.”

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Rodriguez continued, “I have a lot of love and admiration for Derek, and he’s a five-time world champion, and what I remember most about our relationship is he’s one of the greatest competitors, consummate professionals I’ve ever been around.”

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Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter in 2004
| Credit: Sporting News/Sporting News/Getty

Rodriguez had less positive things to say about getting booed at Yankee Stadium in August 2013.

At the time, Rodriguez was appealing his game suspension for using forbidden substances, USA Today and The New York Times reported. He was eventually banned for 162 games.

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Rodriguez recalled to the outlet of returning to the stadium, “There’s nothing worse than getting booed by 56,000 people at home. And those who say they don’t hear it, they’re bulls—ing you. They hear it, and it doesn’t feel good.”

Rodriguez, who is dating Jennifer Lopez, told Cigar Aficionado that he has a simple wish for how he will be remembered: “I think, someone that has been through a lot. Has accomplished a lot. Has made great mistakes, but he refused to be defined by those mistakes.”