- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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If George Steinbrenner were still alive, Donald Trump thinks "The Boss" would've delivered the following message to struggling slugger Alex Rodriguez:
Speaking as both a Yankees fan and an A-Rod detractor, Trump told Michael Kay on ESPN NewYork 98.7 FM Tuesday afternoon, "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, and without the drugs, he's a less than average player."
Trump said he's never been a fan of Rodriguez's -- both as a player and a person. When A-Rod lived in one of Trump's buildings, Trump said he had a "bad experience" with A-Rod, though he declined to specify what it was.
"I don't think he's an asset, I think he's a liability to the Yankees," Trump said. "They're paying him $30 million a year, and he strikes out every time he comes up in a playoff game."
Rodriguez is hitting just .130 (3 for 23) this postseason, and was benched for a second time prior to Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers. New York is down 0-3 in the best-of-seven series.
A-Rod, who admitted in 2009 that he used PEDs during a three-year period with the Texas Rangers from 2001-2003, never has been suspended by Major League Baseball. He was traded to the Yankees on Feb. 15, 2004, and still has five years, $114 million remaining on his contract.
Trump began grilling Rodriguez on Monday on Twitter.
"A-Rod should donate his contract to charity. He doesn't make the @Yankees any money and he doesn't perform. He is a $30M/yr rip off," Trump tweeted.
Told it would be difficult to terminate A-Rod's contract given how strong the MLB Players' Association is, Trump responded, "I disagree. It's called misrepresentation. He never told the Yankees he was all juiced up. That all came out after he signed his contract.
"I don't care about the Players' Association. If somebody misrepresents and they're paying him $30 million a year ... I don't think he has a clue when he's standing up at the plate. I've never seen anything like it."
While fans were in Trump's corner when it came to A-Rod on Monday, they strongly disagreed with his Tweets about captain Derek Jeter, who was lost for the remainder of the postseason on Saturday night after fracturing his ankle.
"Derek Jeter had a great career until 3 days ago when he sold his apartment at Trump World Tower -- I told him not to sell- karma?" Trump tweeted.
"Lots of response on Derek -- but I told him his apartment was lucky! -- We love Derek."
Speaking with Kay, Trump said, "You have to understand fellas, I love this guy. I think he's great. The people in the building love him. ... But I did say to Derek, he'll tell you, 'Don't sell your apartment. It's been lucky.' The day before he sold his apartment, he broke his leg, so what can I tell you?"
Mike Mazzeo is a frequent contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.