Derek Jeter's Miami Marlins are back in the MLB playoffs after a 17-year drought. And his former teammate Alex Rodriguez says he couldn't be happier.
On Wednesday's edition of First Take on ESPN, A-Rod declared that betting against a Derek Jeter team is "crazy." He said that the team has "a shot" and complimented Jeter for his team-building since taking over.
"They have a shot. Anybody who bets against Derek Jeter is crazy," A-Rod said. "Don Mattingly, one of the great Yankees. What I like about Derek Jeter is that he's thinking long term, not short term."
A-Rod went on to praise Jeter for turning the team's focus to analytics, building their farm system, getting great pitching, and for unloading the massive Giancarlo Stanton contract in 2018.
"He's building data analytics. He's building a farm system... they're young and athletic. They have two pitchers that are throwing bullet," A-Rod said. "I don't think Mr. Jeter gets enough credit for trading Stanton and unloading more than $300 million on Brian Cashman and the Yankees."
You don't get much higher praise from Alex Rodriguez than that. But Jeter, Mattingly and the Marlins have certainly earned it.
The team reached the playoffs with a 31-29 record - their first winning "season" since 2009. Things got dicey for them after a four-game losing streak in late-September dropped them to 28-28. But a 3-1 finish with two wins over the Yankees cemented Miami's spot in the playoffs.
The Miami Marlins are currently playing the Chicago Cubs in Game 1 of the Wildcard Round. The game is tied 0-0 after three innings.