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Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Updated: February 16, 9:54 AM ET
Nixon: A-Rod is no Jeter, Williams or Posada

Associated Press

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Trot Nixon wasted no time in fueling the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, criticizing Alex Rodriguez on Tuesday.

Two days before the official opening of Boston's training camp, the Red Sox outfielder praised Rodriguez's playing ability but said the third baseman wasn't the "Yankee type."

Alex Rodriguez
Trot Nixon

"I don't look at him as that. He might be in a lot of people's eyes," Nixon said. "He's done some great things on the field. He's one of the best baseball players in the game and probably will be when it's all said and done. But when people ask me about the Yankees, I tell them about (Derek) Jeter and Bernie Williams and (Jorge) Posada. I don't tell them about Rodriguez. ... He can't stand up to Jeter in my book or Bernie Williams or Posada."

Rodriguez's spokesman, Steve Fortunato, said he could not reach A-Rod for comment.

Nixon also criticized Rodriguez for slapping the ball away from Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo along the first-base line during Game 6 of the AL championship series and then complaining when he was called out.

"You're the one that swung the bat and hit that little nubber down there," he said of Rodriguez.

Boston became the first major league team to overcome a 3-0 postseason deficit and beat the Yankees for the AL pennant, then went on to sweep St. Louis for its first World Series title since 1918.

Yankees position players report Sunday and start workouts Feb. 22. Red Sox pitchers and catchers are due in camp by Thursday with the first full squad workout scheduled for Tuesday. Nixon has been in Fort Myers since last week.

He didn't say that A-Rod had criticized his workout regimen. But Nixon did say that Rodriguez boasted about his own regimen.

"Like Rodriguez says," Nixon said, "he's running stairs at 6 in the morning while I'm sleeping and taking my kids to school. I'm like, well I'm not a deadbeat dad, Alex."

On Nov. 18, Rodriguez's wife gave birth to a daughter.

"He's got a kid now, too, so I guess he'll have his limo driver take her to school," Nixon said.

Nixon also said he respected Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi, who is the focus of a controversy surrounding steroid use in baseball.

Without admitting that he used steroids, Giambi apologized last week to his teammates, fans and the media for distractions he caused.

"I don't feel sorry for Giambi but I do have a great amount of respect for him, for what he's done in this game, the kind of person he is," Nixon said. "He's a superstar and he doesn't act like it.

"A lot of people have lost respect for people like Giambi. I can't judge him for what he did," Nixon added. "I don't even know him that well but I enjoy talking to him over at first base. He's a very good ballplayer. He plays hard. He plays with passion and what's happened to him right now is (that) he seems to be the bullseye" for steroid critics.