In a new ESPN docuseries, ‘The Captain’, Derek calls out his former best friend Alex who made shady comments about him in interviews which, to him, ‘crossed the line.’

AceShowbizDerek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez were close friends, having a friendship that dated back to their time in high school. They often crashed at each other’s apartments before they were playing in the New York Yankees together, but that changed following Alex’s infamous interview with Esquire in 2001.

Now, in new seven-part ESPN docuseries “The Captain“, the two former MLB stars open up about the fallout of their relationship. In the 2001 profile with Esquire, Alex said that Derek had been “blessed with true talent around him” and has “never had to lead.” He added, “You never say, ‘Don’t let Derek beat you.’ That’s never your concern.”

“Those comments bothered me because, like I said, I’m very, very loyal. As a friend, I’m loyal. And I just looked at it as, I wouldn’t have done it,” Derek says in the doc. “And then it was the media, the constant hammer to the nail, you know what I mean? They just kept hammering it in. It just became noise, which frustrated me. It was just constant noise.”

A-Rod admits he “felt really bad about it” when the interview came out and he “saw the way it was playing out” in public. “The way that it was written, I absolutely said exactly what I said. Again, I think it was a comment that I stand behind today,” he defends himself, before explaining what he meant at the time, “It was a complete tsunami — [the Yankees were] one of the greatest teams ever — and to say that you don’t have to focus about just one player I think is totally fair.”

“The same could be said about my team with the Seattle Mariners. If somebody said that about me, I would be like, ‘No s**t, absolutely, you better not worry about just me,’ ” he continues. “So immediately I called Derek and said, ‘I’d love to come up and see you, come talk to you.’ We sat on his couch, spoke for an hour or so, I apologized and said, ‘Look, I feel you guys have a tsunami, it’s a great team, that wasn’t said to hurt you or penalize you or slight you in any way.’ “

Derek says he “believed” A-Rod’s apology, saying he thought he was “very sincere.” The Esquire reporter also sent Derek a fax apologizing for highlighting A-Rod’s shady comments about him. However, Derek denied ever receiving the fax. “I never saw a fax. He sent it to my personal fax machine I have in my locker?” he jokes. “I don’t remember getting a fax. At that point, what is a fax gonna do?”

But that wasn’t the only time A-Rod hurt Derek’s feelings with his comments. On “The Dan Patrick Show” in the year prior, Alex said Derek wouldn’t be the one to break his record for the largest contract in sports history after signing a 10-year, $252 million deal, because “he just doesn’t do the power numbers and defensively he doesn’t do all those things.”

Derek points out, “The Dan Patrick interview, he was talking about a comparison between me and him on the field. In my mind, he got his contract, so you’re trying to diminish what I’m doing maybe to justify why you got paid?”

“Because I think, look, when you talk about statistics, my statistics never compared to Alex’s statistics. I’m not blind. I understand. But we won,” he further divulges. “You can say whatever you want about me as a player, that’s fine, but then it goes back to the trust and the loyalty. This is how the guy feels, he’s not a true friend, is how I felt. Because I wouldn’t do it to a friend.”

As to how their relationship changed over the years, Alex says he believed he was in Jeter’s “circle of trust” early on. “I think that changed in where I said some things that he didn’t like, and that, for him, broke the trust. And I think from that moment on it was never quite the same ever again,” he admits. “I think it’s [me] really not understanding the way things work. In many ways, my father leaving when I was 10, not getting that schooling at home, the tough love, it resulted in insecurity, some self esteem issues and as I got older I realized, all you gotta be is be yourself.”

“To allow that opening, that gap, that space to come between Derek and I, that’s on me,” the 46-year-old concludes. “That’s not on the writer, the writer’s got a job to do. You give him an opening and he can drive a wedge between two young stars, then he’s gonna do that.”

Derek, meanwhile, says the two were “young” and acknowledged that “people make mistakes.” He adds though, “I get it. They make mistakes. Some mistakes bigger than others. What I expect of you, you should expect the same of me. I wouldn’t treat you that way. And, once again, that’s fine. I’m still gonna be cordial.” But things will never be the same again between them as Derek says, “But you crossed the line, and I won’t let you in again.”

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