There's nothing like a stern lecture from Mr. October to help a troubled friend focus on the priorities of life and career when enormous distractions are closing in and his reputation is crumbling.
"Hit the baseball and hit it when it counts," Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson told Alex Rodriguez at dinner on Tuesday night. "That's really about all that matters now."
I guess I'm not the only one who thinks Alex needs to pick it up in big spots...
Matter-of-factly, A-Rod mentioned he had dinner with Jackson on Tuesday night, but didn't elaborate other than to jest, "Reggie was probably one of those guys booing me."
Reggie said he spent time with Yankees general partner Hank Steinbrenner on Tuesday.
"'You deliver this message,' [Steinbrenner] said sternly to me. 'You tell him to hit the damn ball and hit it when it counts,'" Jackson said. "Yes, that's really the most important thing Alex can do at this stage. All the other conversations, they don't matter. The more you talk, the more you have an opportunity to make a mistake or say something stupid or something you can go trace.
"My dad used to say you can control the story as long as you still get a chance to hit. Take the bat away and you start running your mouth, you're going to get in trouble. Edit your own story with the bat, and as long as Alex does that, he's got a chance to change things."
Wise words from Mr. October: shut up and play. "Hit the ball when it counts" and don't say anything more. I agree completely. Anymore talking will only hurt A-Rod in the end.
A perfect example of a time where A-Rod said too much was regarding his cousin. There was no reason to bring him into this, no reason at all. I bought "boli" in the DR, and I used it for three years, that's it. That should have been A-Rod's story.
Like Reggie says, "The more you talk, the more you have an opportunity to make a mistake or say something stupid or something you can go trace."
Reggie also mentioned that he was disseminated to find out A-Rod used PEDs:
From what I've seen so far it seems Yankees fans feel the same was as Reggie. They're upset, this whole thing bothers them a lot, but at the same time they're still pulling for A-Rod. Today's standing ovation was as good an example of that as you can get. I'm sure most of those fans weren't happy to hear about his past PED use, but that didn't stop them from giving him that ovation.
"When I started playing, I was a fan; when I played, I was a fan; and when I left the game, I remained a fan. I'm still a fan, so I get affected as a fan [when stories such as A-Rod using steroids surface]. I am saddened by it."
As for Rodriguez, Jackson added, "I'm disappointed, but Alex is a player I have feelings for."