Rodriguez ducks follow-up questions on drug use
TAMPA, Fla.—Alex Rodriguez ducked follow-up questions about his drug use, refusing to address a report identifying the cousin the Yankees star claims injected him with a banned substance.
"I'm not talking about it anymore," Rodriguez said Thursday.
The slugger also wouldn't discuss Major League Baseball's attempt to interview him about his tainted past.
"I'd rather not get into that," he said.
The three-time AL MVP met with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and worked out on the main field at New York's spring training camp. Fans applauded and shouted encouragement, and critical shouts were at a minimum.
"The relief was just putting the uniform back on and running out there with my teammates," Rodriguez said. "No matter what happens and what has occurred in my life, the baseball field is where I feel most comfortable."
During his news conference Tuesday, he said a cousin injected him with "boli," a drug obtained in the Dominican Republic that Rodriguez believes led to a positive steroids test in baseball's anonymous 2003 survey.
Rodriguez wouldn't identify the cousin, reported by ESPN.com to be Yuri Sucart of Miami.
Property records show Sucart lives in Miami. At the house listed as his residence, a man and woman drove onto the grounds just after noon and quickly closed the gate behind them.
The man rolled down his window and did not answer questions, saying only "we have dogs." A small cocker spaniel could be seen and heard barking on the property.
The man was at the house about 15 minutes before driving off alone in the vehicle to avoid reporters waiting outside. Earlier, a woman walking on the property refused to answer questions or identify herself behind the gate when asked by The Associated Press.
Neighbors said the couple who lives there, Yuri and Carmen Sucart, are relatives of Rodriguez.
"They are very nice people, keep to themselves and don't bother anybody," said Olga Aguila, who lives next door. "We love Alex, but we know why everybody is here."
MLB officials are interested in talking to Rodriguez about the cousin and the access issue. One baseball official, speaking on condition of anonymity because public comments were not authorized, said some within MLB would like to also learn the source of the "boli" that the cousin obtained.
The players' union was contacted by the commissioner's office Wednesday, and further discussions took place Thursday on the logistics of setting up the meeting. MLB hopes the meeting will take place before Rodriguez leaves at the start of next month for the World Baseball Classic.
Union general counsel Michael Weiner said Wednesday the interview will be non-disciplinary in nature.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the cousin had not been given access to the team clubhouse or charter flights.
Rodriguez said he used the banned substance from 2001-03 while with Texas. There are no Rangers clubhouse entry logs from those years that would show whether his cousin was in the locker room.
Rangers family members were occasionally permitted on team flights, but not a regular basis.
Notes:@ CC Sabathia will make his first exhibition start March 6. That lines him up to pitch the season opener at Baltimore on April 6. "I have not necessarily made an announcement, but it's a pretty good assumption," Girardi said. It also would line up Sabathia to start the new Yankee Stadium opener against Cleveland on April 16. Girardi thinks the 78-year-old Steinbrenner, whose mobility has decreased in recent years, will try to attend the stadium opener.
Associated Press Writer Antonio Gonzalez in Miami and AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins in Dallas contributed to this report.