Below are some excerpts from Kim Jones' sitdown with Alex Rodriguez, debuting during this evening's "Yankees Hot Stove" show on YES.
Brian Cashman will be a guest as well.
His Mets counterpart, Omar Minaya, will appear on SNY's "Mets Hot Stove" tonight.
It's that time of year, people.
Rodriguez on no longer being able to be called "unclutch:"
"It was good because I was so tired of hearing that. I mean, it was, it was exhausting to be honest with you and, you know, it was so frustrating to go in every postseason with all the expectations and ambitions to do well, and three, four games (later) and we were right back in Miami and to our prospective homes and it was frustrating, painful. And, for me, I was just so tired of the whole ‘unclutch’ thing. It was just, you know, very annoying, but to come over and be part of a championship team and get some of the biggest hits of my career and to deliver for my teammates when they needed me, that certainly feels really good and I'm very relieved."
On whether last season changed him:
"No question. I mean, last year changed me a lot. I think I grew up a lot both on and off the field and, again, staring at retirement right in the face, kind of like Bo Jackson, that's the first thing I thought of and then having Marc Philippon just do an amazing intermediate surgery, like we called it, knowing that, at the end of the year I would have the major surgery. It was a commitment that I wanted to do for the team and it was very scary and I knew I was putting my, you know, the rest of my career at risk, but I felt that with the team at hand it was, it was a risk worth taking and thankfully I just got back from Colorado several months ago and he said that there was no second surgery needed. So, overall it was an adventurous year but, uh, I'm glad that's behind me now and we get a chance to continue to build on the positives."
On whether it all has been worth it:
"Oh yes, I mean, no question, like I said, I mean I've made plenty of mistakes in the past and, you know, stood up to them. I think I've learned from them and I think I've grown a lot and it just makes me appreciate being a part of a great team, a great organization. You know, having my teammates and coaches and the organization always standing by me is something that I'm very grateful for and I look forward to…and continue to…lead this team to more championships because I think we have a team that can do that."
On getting choked up upon receiving an award at the baseball writers' dinner:
"Yeah, I did. I mean, it was a long time coming and we've worked very hard. It was a long six years and for the Yankees, almost 10 years since the last championship and, you know, I really figured out how difficult it is to work and how much teamwork you needed. How, you know it was so important for everyone to check their egos at the door and just basically set out for the ball club. And we had a great bunch of guys that loved each other and we trusted each other and we followed a great manager, we followed his lead all year and it resulted in a world championship. And that was fun, and now we get a chance to collect our rings and defend our title."
Photo: Newsday/Alejandra Villa