Red Sox Slugger Offers Skeptical Praise Of Former Friend's Awesome Comeback Season

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — They were once tight. Now? Who knows what they are?

It’s natural to wonder about whether or not Alex Rodriguez is on the level. Following a year-long suspension for performance-enhancing drugs, the Yankees’ designated hitter, who just turned 40 mind you, is enjoying a tremendous renaissance season.

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David Ortiz, once one of his BFFs, is happy for him, sort of.

“It is what it is. The guy is playing the game the right way now — as far as we know,” Ortiz told the Daily News on Tuesday, before his Red Sox were pummeled by the Yankees, 13-3, in the Bronx. “If you’re having a good season and doing the right thing, I guess that deserves credit.”

Big Papi said he was disappointed in A-Rod after the slugger penned a handwritten letter back in February to fans taking responsibility for his role in the Biogenesis scandal. Now, Oritz seems generally surprised by what he’s seeing his former buddy do on the field.

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Rodriguez went into Wednesday’s game hitting .281 with 24 home runs and 62 RBIs, incredible production considering his layoff and advanced age.

“He’s having a good season,” Ortiz said. “Me personally, I thought that having a year off and getting older was something that would affect you, but he looks good to me.”

No stranger to whispers about PED use himself, Ortiz had a falling out of sorts with Rodriguez last year after A-Rod’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, went on ESPN Radio and defended his client at the expense of others.

“I’m not going to start naming all the other players, but some of them are God-like in Boston right now, and people seem to forget that,” Tacopina said, according to the Daily News.

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Rodriguez’s Yankees (60-45) entered play Wednesday with a 5 1/2-game lead atop the AL East, while Ortiz’s Red Sox (47-60) were in last place, 14 games back.