May 30, 2007
Yankee slugger in scandalA-Rod has sexy romp in Toronto
By SLAM! Sports
New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez found himself in the middle of a scandal on Wednesday, after the New York Post ran a cover story on the all-star third baseman’s night out in Toronto with a sexy blond, who was not his wife.
According to the Post, Rodriguez and the mystery woman spent Sunday night dining at a high-class steak restaurant, before hitting a local strip club and ending their night at the posh Four Seasons hotel, which incidentally was not the one his Yankee teammates had checked into for a three-game series against the Blue Jays.
The rest of the Yankees were at the Park Hyatt, right across the street.
The Post ran a photo of Rodriguez and his blond companion checking into the Four Seasons, which was reportedly around midnight.
Rodriguez had little to say on the matter before Wednesday’s game against Toronto.
“Absolutely no comment about anything personal and I certainly don’t think this will be a distraction to our team,” he told the Associated Press.
Asked whether it would be a distraction to him personally, Rodriguez said, “No, I don’t think so.”
Manager Joe Torre agreed: “When you get into that area, I think it’s over the line. It’s what people seem to think is important or seem to think they have to do.
“In New York, there are so many more things that you talk about on a regular basis in addition to baseball,” Torre added. “When I took this job I certainly knew it wasn’t going to be about hitting and running and changing pitchers.”
Torre said Rodriguez discussed the tabloid story with him.
“Alex is a big boy,” Torre said. “I know how serious he takes his baseball. It really wasn’t an issue for me in the fact that he wouldn’t be ready to play tonight.
“My job is to keep the distractions from carrying over onto the playing field,” Torre said.
The slugger, who has a two-year-old daughter with wife Cynthia, has been a lightning rod for criticism since being dealt to the Yankees just prior to the start of the 2004 baseball season.
In 2001 his comments in Esquire magazine on teammate Derek Jeter sparked a controversy, when Rodriguez said: "He's never had to lead. He can just go and play and have fun. He hits second -- that's totally different than third or fourth in a lineup. You go into New York, you wanna stop Bernie (Williams) and (Paul) O'Neill. You never say, 'Don't let Derek beat us.' He's never your concern."
Last July, prior to the start of a series against Toronto, The Post ran photos of Rodriguez sun tanning topless in Central Park, hours before a game.
Towards the end of last season it had become apparent that the relationship between Rodriguez and Jeter had deteriorated. That was confirmed this spring, when A-Rod showed up to camp and promptly told reporters: "You don't ask me about Derek anymore, and I promise I'll stop lying to all you guys."
Rodriguez’s late-night romp preceeded the Yankees' series-opening 7-2 drubbing against the Blue Jays and last night’s 3-2 loss, that was the struggling club’s fifth-straight defeat and 13th in their last 18 matches. To rub salt in the wounds the Jays Aaron Hill successfully stole home in the seventh inning, the first time in six years a Blue Jay has accomplished the feat.
“It seems like we’re losing every way possible and tonight was no different,” outfielder Johnny Damon said following the game.
At 21-29, the Yankees are tied for last in the American League East and are eight games under .500 for the first time since they were 11-19 on May 6, 2005, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Rodriguez is a combined 1-for-7 in the first two games of the series.
Despite all the controversy, Rodriguez is leading the majors with 19 home runs and is on pace for career highs in both homers and RBIs. Rodriguez is currently fifth among active major leaguers with 483 career homers.
- with files from the Associated Press