Over a decade ago, Dan Patrick taped an interview with Alex Rodriguez in which the controversial New York Yankees third baseman opened up about infield partner and longtime foe Derek Jeter. In a recent interview on Pardon My Take, Patrick recalled how years later, Rodriguez nearly punched Patrick over that interview.
Rodriguez apparently did not know the conversation would be played on air. Patrick insists he made it clear it was on the record. Regardless, the next time Patrick spoke with Rodriguez in the New York locker room a couple years later, Rodriguez nearly went to blows with the longtime radio host.
“That got close to go-time, I think, for Alex,” Patrick said.
— Pardon My Take (@PardonMyTake) September 8, 2023
Apparently Rodriguez’s main issue was that his digs at Jeter were made public. Rodriguez criticized Jeter’s contract, the pair’s jostling over who would play shortstop, and more behind-the-scenes dirt.
Credit to the PMT guys for digging the story back up, but Patrick once told an extended version on his own show. In that version, Patrick called Rodriguez “delusional” and confronted MLB super agent Scott Boras after their locker-room blowout.
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” Patrick insisted in the segment, while admitting Rodriguez’s size was understandably intimidating in the moment.
Still, the soonish-to-be-retired Patrick having the professionalism to speak with Rodriguez directly is admirable. It also highlights a bygone era of sports media. Today, many hosts did not come from traditional journalism, and those who did rarely cover games live.
Instead, disagreements often end as one big game of tabloid hide-and-seek. An athlete doesn’t like a host’s opinion and might post on social media about it. A host might respond with a confrontational segment the next day on their show. It can feel much more impersonal and goofy.
However, Rodriguez in this case seems to be clearly in the wrong. He probably got too comfortable with Patrick and regretted it. Nothing like nearly punching someone to paint yourself in a better light after an interview gone wrong.