ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Alex Rodriguez's torrid start has
reaffirmed his intentions for after this season: He wants to stay
Rodriguez, whose 14 homers are tied for the most ever in April,
said Tuesday that he has no plans to leave the New York Yankees
after the season, when the third baseman can opt of his contract.
"I want to stay in New York, no matter what," Rodriguez said
in the Yankees' third-base dugout before Tuesday night's game at
"I love New York. It's the greatest place for me to play."
Rodriguez is entering the seventh season of his $252 million,
10-year contract, a deal he signed with the Texas Rangers. He can
terminate the agreement after the season, forfeit the $81 million
owed in the final three years and become a free agent.
"Abilitywise, we certainly want him here," Yankees manager Joe
Torre said. "Sitting in the middle of our lineup and making the
statement he is right now, we certainly don't want him to go
anywhere. That's without question. I'd like to believe he's going
to be here."
Rodriguez entered Tuesday night's game at Tampa Bay hitting .400
with a league-leading 34 RBIs in 18 games, and he's already matched
the record for April homers set by Albert Pujols last year.
Rodriguez had hit safely in 18 consecutive games to start the season, but the streak ended Tuesday with an 0-for-3 night in New York's 6-4 loss to the Devil Rays.
When asked if he could explain his start, Rodriguez said simply,
"I know you guys are looking for some profound answers, but I
don't have them," Rodriguez said. "I'm having as much fun as I
can. I'm trying to keep it simple. Just try to prolong it as long
as possible and enjoy it."