Report: Cousin must stay away

NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez was told by the New York Yankees to keep his cousin away from the team.

The message was given to the star third baseman on Thursday, said a person familiar with the situation, speaking on condition of anonymity because the team did not make an announcement. The message applied both to spring training and the regular season, the person said.

Rodriguez was also told the cousin should not be anywhere the team congregates, which presumably includes the team's hotel when it travels and the ballpark.

Speaking at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., general manager Brian Cashman said only that the matter of Rodriguez being picked up from his spring training opener Wednesday by his cousin "has been handled."

Rodriguez took a similar tone following New York's 5-1 victory on Thursday over the Tampa Bay Rays.

"It's been addressed," he said. "And, no further comment."

A day earlier in Dunedin, Rodriguez homered and walked twice before getting into a SUV driven by Yuri Sucart. He's been identified as the cousin who provided Rodriguez with performance-enhancing drugs obtained in the Dominican Republic. Rodriguez admitted using them while playing for the Texas Rangers from 2001-03.

Rodriguez acknowledged to the Yankees that having the cousin meet him at the ballpark in Dunedin was a mistake, the person who told The Associated Press about the situation said.

Dan Mullin, MLB's vice president of investigations, was at Steinbrenner Field on Thursday to meet with the Yankees clubhouse staff. Mullin hopes to meet with Rodriguez in the next few days, but the timing of the meeting was still not finalized.

Rodriguez received mostly cheers with a few boos mixed in Thursday, going 0-for-2 and leaving after five innings with the Yankees leading Tampa Bay 2-0. The crowd included Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.