Yankees laugh off SI's 'overrated' poll

Yankees laugh off SI's 'overrated' poll

Yankees laugh off SI's 'overrated' poll
OAKLAND -- Alex Rodriguez is baseball's active home run leader, cashes the sport's biggest paychecks and -- according to a Sports Illustrated poll of Major League players -- the game's most overrated player.

Rodriguez laughed off the magazine's findings, as 18 percent of the 185 players polled listed A-Rod on their ballots to earn the dubious honors.

"I've been on this list before," Rodriguez said. "I'll see you guys next summer again."

Yankees players appeared in the top three spots, according to SI, which will release the issue on Wednesday. Rodriguez won't run out to buy a copy, but said that appearing on the list wasn't a bad thing.

"I think it will be like that for the rest of my career. It's been like that for a long time. I think it's pretty amusing," Rodriguez said.

"My focus is really just on this team, on the game and on working on my craft each and every day. I'm just glad this is what we're talking about, because that means things are going pretty good."

Joba Chamberlain came out as the second-most overrated player, named on 12 percent of ballots cast, while Derek Jeter ranked third with 7 percent.

"I guess I'm disappointed that I'm not No. 1," said Chamberlain, who actually did hold those honors in 2010. "I don't care. My bills are still paid and I still have a job. You can call me whatever you want, just don't call me late for dinner."

Chamberlain howled through an interview with reporters discussing the poll and used the opportunity to rib Rodriguez about overtaking the throne.

"I guess I passed the torch on to Al," Chamberlain said. "Everybody is entitled to their opinion; that's why this country is so great. ... I could care less, as long as I'm still getting outs and doing the things I need to do. I'm doing my job and that's all that matters."

Jeter -- who coincidentally was SI's Sportsman of the Year two years ago -- was clearly not amused by the magazine's suggestion.

"We're doing this again? I'm focused on more positive things," said Jeter, who added that he did not participate. "I've never understood those anonymous polls."

Jayson Werth of the Nationals was fourth and the Red Sox's Jonathan Papelbon was fifth, according to SI. Interestingly, all five players have World Series rings.

"People are going to vote the way they're going to vote, but I like my guys," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Those guys have had success, we won a World Series with these guys, so I like them."

Rodriguez said that he did not remember being asked to participate by the magazine, but added he probably wouldn't have responded to that particular question.

"I think playing in the Major Leagues is so hard, everyone playing in the Majors is a great player," Rodriguez said. "I have so much respect for anyone that wears a Major League uniform, I would never answer that."