Responding to Rice
|08.21.09 at 6:36 pm ET|
Joe Girardi chose not to publicly comment on Jim Rice’s opinion that today’s stars like Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez aren’t taking care of the game that has taken care of them.
“You see a Manny Ramirez, you see an A-Rod, you see [Derek] Jeter … guys that I played against and with, these guys you’re talking about cannot compare,” Rice told the Associated Press at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA.
“You have these baggy uniforms, you have the dreadlocks, that’s not part of the game,” Rice added. “It was a clean game, and now they’re setting a bad example for the young guys. What you see right now is more individuals, it’s not a team. Now you have guys coming in, they pick the days they want to play, they make big money. The first thing they see are dollar bills.”
But in a classic case of reading between the lines, Girardi’s non-comment actually spoke volumes.
“I don’t really want to get into it just because I don’t think it’s our position to judge others and what other people’s comments are so I’m just going to leave it at that,” Girardi said.
Asked specifically by a member of the New York media traveling with the team on Friday to speak to today’s salaries versus those in Rice’s era and before, Girardi shed a little bit more light.
“I don’t know what the equivalent of a player from the 70s or 80s contract is equivalent to with a player of his same stats,” Girardi said. “The money he made compared to what everyone else was making, I can’t tell you exactly what that is. Do players in today’s game make a nice salary, of course they do. And have players from the past made sacrifices for that, yes. And I still think players try to grow the game today just like players in the past.
“I’ve always been one who feels you shouldn’t judge others. Our job is really take care of who you are as a individual and make yourself a better individual. My feeling is you shouldn’t judge others and I’m not going to really comment on his comments.”
As for his team’s 6 1/2 game lead over the Red Sox in the American League East, Girardi was not about to issue any bold proclamations.
“I don’t think the division is ever yours until they put an ‘x’ by your name,” Girardi said. “So, no matter what happens in this series, until they put an ‘x’ by someone in your division, it’s not anyone’s division.”
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