NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Alex Rodriguez’s publicist says the Yankees third baseman is looking forward to cooperating with Major League Baseball in its investigation of his alleged involvement in illegal poker games.
Richard Rubenstein, Rodriguez’s publicist, said in a statement Thursday morning that a Star Magazine report, which claims several people saw A-Rod playing in games hosted at Hollywood hotels and residences, contains “numerous factual inaccuracies.”
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Rodriguez also faced questions about his gambling habits in 2005, when the Daily News reported he attended games at an underground poker club in New York. The slugging third baseman later acknowledged “it wasn’t the right thing to do,” and checked with MLB before holding a charity poker tournament the following year.
Now baseball wants to talk to him again.
“We take this very seriously and have been investigating this matter since the initial allegation,” MLB said Wednesday in a statement. “As part of the investigation, the commissioner’s office will interview Mr. Rodriguez.”
“It could be (a suspension) if it turns out he did something,” a source told the New York Post. “I know they are not too happy about it.”
According to the Star story published in early July, A-Rod was involved in a high-stakes illegal poker game that featured the open use of cocaine.
Well, one poker poker pro who says he was at the table insists A-Rod was far, far away.
“A-Rod was not at that game,” Dan Bilzerian told the New York Daily News. “I would remember because I got stiffed.”
“He wasn’t there, I’m telling you,” he reiterated to the paper. “He was playing in the World Series at the time.”
Rodriguez is on the disabled list and wasn’t with the team Wednesday night in Chicago.
“I don’t really have any comment on that,” manager Joe Girardi said before the Yankees’ 18-7 victory over the White Sox. “Let baseball handle those things.”
Bilzerian was one of the main sources of the Star report. Rodriguez’s name is not mentioned in any court filings in relation to the games.
MLB said at the time that the report was the first the commissioner’s office had heard about the accusation and baseball officials would look into the matter.
The 36-year-old Rodriguez had right knee surgery on July 14 but is expected to resume baseball activities on Thursday at the Yankees’ facility in Florida. The three-time AL MVP is hitting .295 with 13 home runs and 52 RBIs this season.
Rodriguez ranks sixth on the career homer list with 626. He needs 137 to break Barry Bonds’ record.
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