A-Rod: I luvvvv Miami, but . . .

At least twice today, Alex Rodriguez was asked if he were tempted to want to play in his hometown, once by me before the game and again by Dan Martin of the Post. But while he spent much of the day expressing his affection for the city, he wisely refused to take the bait either time.

After his news conference this morning, I grabbed him on the way to his locker and asked if he would like to finish up his career here in the beautiful new ballpark. He got a look of horror upon his face and said, "Nooooooo! No, no, no,'' as if to say, "Dont even ask me that question!''

Later on, Martin phrased it more delicately, along the lines of, "If this balpark had existed when you were a free agent, would you have considered playing here?''

"I really, really love living here,'' He said. "But I love playing in New York.''

Ladies and gentlemen, Alex Rodriguez. Ballplayer and diplomat.