Alex Rodriguez has played baseball in New York for eight years. His capacity for deluding himself is great. But he has to know what message he's sending by issuing this quote:
“I can’t remember a more exciting series against the Mets coming up just because they’ve been playing so extremely well,” Rodriguez said before the game. “I mean they’ve been playing at a really high level. They have the world’s greatest player right now playing shortstop over there, and most exciting. I turn the TV on every time I get a chance to watch him.”
Now that's how you shank Derek Jeter. Yankees GM Brian Cashman has loudly denied that the club will bring Jose Reyes to the Bronx. It's also a dismissive message to send to backup SS Eduardo Nunez, who went 4-for-4 yesterday and has been a welcome relief for the Yanks after Jeter went on the DL. (And who's already turning into a solid defensive shortstop after some rookie errors.) Cashman quickly contradicted A-Rod on Reyes. Joe Girardi has given Nunez a vote of confidence even after Derek Jeter is healthy enough to play everyday shortstop.
Jeter's decline is a conundrum for the Yankees. But you don't flirt with replacing him like that -- not while he's trying to get back on the team, certainly not while he's on the cusp of his 3000th hit, and definitely not while he'll be your teammate for two more seasons.