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Derek Jeter on A-Rod's retirement: ‘It will be difficult for him'

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The countdown is on for Alex Rodriguez’s final game with the New York Yankees, after which he says he’ll retire from baseball. A-Rod didn’t get the season-long send-off like we’ve seen for Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. He got a week and one final home game.

There will be an on-field ceremony to honor A-Rod before Friday’s game (which you can stream right here on Yahoo Sports starting at 7:35 p.m. ET) but the details are hush-hush. Will we see Derek Jeter again? Mariano Rivera? The entire Core Four? Cousin Yuri?

That remains to be seen, but the Yankees did send out statements from notable A-Rod teammates from his years in pinstripes, most notably his frenemy Jeter, who had been quiet about A-Rod’s departure until now. Here’s what Jeter said about A-Rod:

“I’ve spent 22 years playing against, playing with and watching Alex from afar, and there are two things that stand out to me the most: the conversations we had when we were young — hoping for the opportunity to play at the Major League level and then somehow finding a way to stick around — and the championship we won together in 2009. That was a season everyone on that team can cherish.

“What people don’t realize is how much time, effort and work that Alex put in on a daily basis. He lives and breathes baseball. I know it will be difficult for him to not be on the field, but I’m sure he will continue to give back to the game. Congrats, Alex.”

A-Rod and Derek Jeter, circa 2013. (AP)
A-Rod and Derek Jeter, circa 2013. (AP)

It’s perfectly Jeter-esque in that it’s complimentary but doesn’t say much. He doesn’t call A-Rod a friend or wish him the best or anything. Basically, they used to talk a bunch a long time ago and they won a World Series together.

Here are some of the other ex-teammates who “love” A-Rod and “wish him well” and all that.

STATEMENT FROM ANDY PETTITTE:
“I had a chance to see Alex as a young player in the league, and I knew immediately he was going to be special. It was always fun competing against Alex, but I really enjoyed having the opportunity to play side-by-side with him in New York. He was a big reason we were able to win the 2009 World Series. I wish Alex and his family nothing but the best moving forward.”

STATEMENT FROM JORGE POSADA:
“Alex was not only one of the best players in the world, he was also one of the smartest players on the field. It was such a great combination. Please go have fun and enjoy your family — you are an awesome dad. I’m very proud of you.”

STATEMENT FROM MARIANO RIVERA:
“It was a privilege to play with Alex. Through his preparation and work ethic, you saw how much he cared about this game and about helping this team win. I love him — as a friend and as a teammate. He was all you could ask for in both.”

STATEMENT FROM ROBINSON CANO:
“He’s one of the best players who ever played. He’s a guy who worked hard. I’ve never seen a guy who worked harder than him.

“There’s three things that I can say. He loves baseball, he’s a guy who works hard and a guy who loved to win. He was a great teammate. For me, he was one of the best teammates I’ve had and a guy who helped me when I first came up and I appreciate all of the things he’s done for me.”

And the award for best A-Rod send-off statement goes to … Robinson Cano, who promised us three things and total over-delivered.

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