Derek Jeter Admits 2001 Interview Led to Fall Out with Alex Rodriguez: 'Not a True Friend'

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BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 28: Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees talks with Derek Jeter #2 during the game between the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles on June 28, 2005 at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo By Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 28: Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees talks with Derek Jeter #2 during the game between the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles on June 28, 2005 at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo By Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Jamie Squire/Getty

Former MLB stars Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez are shedding light on how their longtime friendship came to an end.

In The Captain, a new ESPN docuseries about Jeter's Hall of Fame career, the former shortstop says his friendship with Rodriguez soured after the latter was interviewed for an Esquire story in 2001.

At the time, the two shortstops had formed a bond despite Rodriguez being a member of the Texas Rangers and Jeter the New York Yankees.

During the interview with Esquire writer Scott Rabb, Rodriguez was asked whether he thinks there was a rivalry between him and Jeter outside of their friendship.

"No, there's not a rivalry at all. Not even, I mean rivalry? Like, ours is such a brotherhood that there's definitely no rivalry there. And it's weird, because even with my brother [we] have a little rivalry," Rodriguez replied, as seen in a clip from the third episode of the series. "But with Derek, I'm his biggest fan and I think it's vice versa."

While Rodriguez continued to compliment Jeter during the interview, Rabb continued to press him on the subject.

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Alex Rodriguez "A-Rod" visits "Mornings With Maria" at Fox Business Network Studios on August 08, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images); Derek Jeter attends Haute Living Celebrates Derek Jeter With Perrier-Jouët At Mr. C Coconut Grove on April 11, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Romain Maurice/Getty Images for Haute Living)
Alex Rodriguez "A-Rod" visits "Mornings With Maria" at Fox Business Network Studios on August 08, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images); Derek Jeter attends Haute Living Celebrates Derek Jeter With Perrier-Jouët At Mr. C Coconut Grove on April 11, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Romain Maurice/Getty Images for Haute Living)

John Lamparski/Getty; Romain Maurice/Getty

"He's reserved, quiet," Rodriguez said in response to Rabb asking about Jeter's character.

"Jeter's been blessed with great talent around him," he added of Jeter's Yankees teammates. "So he's never had to lead. He doesn't have to, he can just go and play and have fun, and hit second. I mean, you know, hitting second is totally different than hitting third or fourth in a lineup because you go into New York trying to stop Bernie [Williams] and [Paul] O'Neill and everybody. You never say, 'Don't let Derek beat you.' That's never your concern."

During an interview for The Captain, Jeter said the comments fractured his friendship with Rodriguez.

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"As a friend, I'm loyal," he said. "I just looked at it as, 'I wouldn't have done it.' And then it was the media. The constant hammer to the nail. They just kept hammering it in. It just became noise, which frustrated me. Just constant noise."

"You can say whatever you want about me as a player. That's fine," Jeter later added. "But then it goes back to the trust, 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."

Rodriguez, who appears in the docuseries, said he "immediately called" Jeter to apologize after the story was published. Yet, he still stands by his comments even today.

"When that came out, I felt really bad about it," he explained. "I saw the way it was playing out. The way it was written, I absolutely said exactly what I said. It was a comment that I stand behind today. It was a complete tsunami. It was one of the greatest teams ever. To say that you don't have to focus on just one player is totally fair."

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Rodriguez joined Jeter on the Yankees in 2004 and they together won a World Series championship with the team in 2009.

The Captain, a seven-part series, debuts on ESPN on July 18 at 10 p.m. ET.