A-Rod: The sharks are out

This was Alex Rodriguez's reaction to the flurry of news connected to his name before Game 4 of the ALCS tonight, the game in which the Yankees' postseason run could end in a sweep by the Detroit Tigers: "There's blood in the water."

Aside from the continuing tumult of whether he did or did not proposition two women in the stands at Yankee Stadium while the Yankees were losing Game 1 -- Ian O'Connor has a story up that has a Yankees source confirming that he did -- there came a new story that team president Randy Levine had a "joking" conversation with Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria in which the subject of A-Rod being traded to Miami, his hometown, was discussed.

"You can have him," Levine was quoted as saying, according to a source.

Finally came the news that for the second time in this series and the third time in the past five Yankees playoff games, their $32 million third baseman with 647 career home runs would not be in the starting lineup.

"I been here a long time in New York, I think nine years, and I've never addressed anything from Page Six, and I’ve never addressed anything from blogs or gossip columns," A-Rod said. "Look, there’s blood in the water. And when you don’t play well, and I haven’t played well, some of the criticism I’ve received and I’ve been here nine years, I can take that. Well deserved. That other stuff, gossip or Page Six, I don’t give a (bleep) about that. We’re here to cover baseball.

"I do think some of the criticism out there is very fair, and I can live with that, but some of the other stuff is not fair, so you just move on, you don’t worry about it too much."