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E-mails between A-Rod and Yankees boss Randy Levine included pep talks, PED jokes

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

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There's always been more than what meets the eye with Alex Rodriguez. His public image seems so sculptured, so robotic even, that when we do get a glimpse of the real(ish) A-Rod, it's fascinating.

Cue New York magazine, and the handful of e-mails it published between A-Rod and Yankees president Randy Levine. Reporter Steve Fishman wrote the mag's "Chasing A-Rod" cover story earlier in December, and is now offering the public a chaser of A-Rod's once-private correspondence with his Yankees boss. (Sidenote: Your well-honed Internet skepticism might make think these e-mails are parody. New York mag assures The Stew they are real).

The e-mails — snapshots of the last two and a half years in A-Rod's life — give interesting insight into the relationship between the Yankees and their $275 million star. Most of what's included is pointless rah-rah stuff, with Levine trying to motivate A-Rod to play better or be a better leader. Levine sounds, at times, like one of those quasi-motivational speakers you accidentally follow on Twitter.

For example, this from May 2012:

My friend, I have always believed that in difficult times there r two ways to go. The easy way, which is to make excuses, be defensive, or blame others and shut it down. The better way is to take the challenge, get mad, get determined, and shut everyone up and perform to greater levels. I believe in u. I believe u will hit those levels. It has been a tough year in injuries, tough losses, underperformance, but we need a leader, that is you. Take the lead, get these guys going, put a chip on your shoulder. When u succeed it will be Yankees lore. There is nothing more powerful than that. I am here to support u. Tell us what u need.

The most salacious moments in these e-mails are when Levine makes a couple of PED references. Interestingly, they're not related to A-Rod, but then-teammate Robinson Cano needing "steroids fast" and not "using the liquid." Levine told New York Magazine these were "bad jokes."

This is Levine from July 2012:

How r u feeing since u left Robby [Cano] under 200, he needs some steroids fast!

And again from August 2012:

Hey, what’s up with Robby. This guy must not be using the liquid. U didn’t tell me what did Chris and Steve say your ETA is. Don’t rush it unless u r right. We need you. Nova looks like he may need a breather. What do u see.

The fact that the PRESIDENT OF THE NEW YORK YANKEES makes PED "jokes" in e-mails to a player suspected of PED use has to be a bit troublesome, no? Isn't it kind of like Bill Belichick sending e-mails to Tom Brady joking about spying on opposing teams? Or Bill Clinton watching "Scandal."

At one point Levine began calling A-Rod by the nickname "Chip" — as in the chip on his shoulder. At that point, it strikes us that Levine talks to A-Rod as if he's a 12-year-old boy and Levine is his stepfather. (Isn't also a little disheartening to learn that the president of Yankees uses text-ease in his e-mails?)

A-Rod, at least, can type out "you" instead of "U." The embattled star also showed concern about his status within the organization in one e-mail last spring. He sent the following e-mail when he was rehabbing separately from his teammates after his hip surgery. It was also after the initial Biogenesis story had broke. It sounds a little "Real Housewives"-ish, with the paranoia that A-Rod's Cousin Yuri is meddling in his relationship with the Yankees:

Randy, […] As you can imagine, I’m feeling left out, I can’t be with the team at spring training and this leaves an empty hole in my life. And on top of that I’m dealing with the backlash of all these ugly rumors and false stories. […] Of course I am very concerned about these rumors and about what the team is doing and saying about me. … People have been telling me that you have an 8% bounty on my contract.[…] Maybe all of this is coming from my cousin […], who knows. He claims he met with the Yankees and that you are after me and it has me concerned. I hope this [e-mail] is the start of us clearing the air between us. I don’t want us to be enemies. I am loyal to the team. I only want the best for the Yankees organization. But I do need reassurance from you and I need to know what is going on. It is bad business for everyone.

If you like this stuff — and honestly, how could you not? — we recommend reading the entire New York magazine vault of A-Rod/Levine e-mails.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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