Every morning, the fine folks at Sports Radio Interviews sift through the a.m. drive-time chatter to bring you the best interviews with coaches, players, and personalities across the sports landscape. Today: Yankee meltdowns are the best meltdowns.
Donald Trump joined ESPN New York with The Michael Kay Show to discuss his negativity toward Alex Rodriguez, why he would terminate the player's contract, Derek Jeter's bad luck, what George Steinbrenner would be doing with this team's lack of hitting and if he would sell the Yankees if he owned them given the price just paid for the Dodgers.
Why such negativity toward Alex Rodriguez?
"I've never been a fan, and I guess I've read too many things negatively. I had a little bit of a bad experience with him. He lived in one of my buildings and I wasn't exactly in love with Alex and my people weren't. He did something that I didn't like and when somebody does something to me that I don't like, I sort of let them know it. If he were a great champion like, as an example, Derek Jeter is a great, great champion - one of the best - it's different. But he's a guy that I thought was never a good pressure player. He batted when it wasn't so important. … I always felt they should just say, ‘Hey, you misrepresented to us as to the taking of drugs, the taking of whatever you want to call it, the steroids, and frankly we don't want to pay you $30 million anymore.' How about like $1 million instead of $30 million because that's what he's worth?"
Can you tell us what he did to you?
"It wasn't a big deal, just something that I thought was not honorable. It worked out fine, but I did not think it was honorable. But I'm a plus-5 at real estate … I'm good at real estate, and I don't like it when somebody does something that is, I don't think, appropriate. … He actually lived in one of my buildings for a few years, so I wasn't a big fan. And then I see certain other things happen."
On A-Rod being an asset to the Yankees that's worth $130 million over the next five years:
"I don't think he's an asset, I think he's a liability to the Yankees. They pay him $30 million a year and he strikes out every time he comes up in a playoff game. … I would terminate his contract, personally. I think George would've done that. I would terminate his contract on the basis that, when he signed, he didn't say that he took drugs. Since he signed his contract, they found out that he took drugs. … He actually admitted that he took drugs. Now he's not taking drugs anymore, he's less than an average player."
You said that Derek Jeter suffered from some bad karma because he sold his place in Trump World Tower?
"I think he's downsizing so I understand, but he always loved his apartment. So when he was going to sell and put it on the market, I said, ‘Derek, it's been lucky for you,' because he's lived there for years. … ‘Derek, don't sell. It's been a lucky apartment. You don't need the money. Don't sell.' And he sold four days, five days ago, and the day after he sold, he broke his leg. You tell me. … But you have to understand, I love this guy."
Nobody is hitting for the Yankees. What would you do and what do you think George would do if he was still around?
"George right now would be going crazy. … When you sat at a game with George, you were exhausted by the end of the evening. This was not like a normal situation, and I say that with love, but he was something else, he was great. … I said, ‘George will only be appreciated after he's gone.' And people do appreciate George, but I have to tell you, the Steinbrenner family, they're wonderful people and they're really doing a good job. … But George right now would be going absolutely crazy."
Given what the Dodgers were sold for, if you owned the Yankees and could get $4 or $5 billion, would you take the money or hold onto the team?
"It's a prize. It's like owning a great, great painting. … I think the Dodger deal was, personally, ridiculous. I guess it was fund money and some other money and maybe someday the price will have to be paid or maybe not. … The Yankees are the Dodgers and then some, so maybe something like that would happen. But the good news is I think they're not going anywhere."
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