By Joe Christensen
Joe DiMaggio once said, “I’d like to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee.”
Well, I’d like to thank the good Lord for not making me a Yankees beat writer. These are the days, these are the stories, when it really hits home.
“I don’t have a rift with Alex [Rodriguez],” Derek Jeter said Tuesday. “We go out there. We work together. This is our fourth year to be playing together. It’s annoying to hear about it all the time. Everyone assumes they know what our relationship is. Everyone assumes — they see us on the field, if one person gives another one a look, it’s a story. If we’re at opposite ends of the bench, people say it’s a story.”
Meanwhile, at Twins camp, Carlos Silva gave Johan Santana a piggyback ride into the clubhouse. Newcomer Sidney Ponson felt comfortable enough to invite the rest of the team’s oversized pitchers – Boof Bonser, Silva, etc. — to a party at salad-bar restaurant. Torii Hunter regaled newcomer Mike Venafro with stories about how much his old teammate, Jacque Jones, used to hate facing the sidewinding lefthander.
“Jacque would be like 3-for-3, feeling good,” Hunter said. “And I’d be like, ‘There’s your boy Venafro warming up in the bullpen.’ He’d say, ‘No, not Venafro! Not Venafro!’”
And then, in Tampa, Jeter continued: “I don’t see the relevance of it. It has no bearing on us playing baseball…”