Alex Rodriguez, MLB to meet Friday

NEW YORK -- Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez told reporters before Tuesday night's game against the Oakland A's that he will meet with baseball on Friday in Baltimore to discuss his alleged participation in some underground illegal poker games.

"I'll be talking to you guys on Friday afternoon," Rodriguez said. "I can't wait."

According to a report in the New York Daily News, sources said that Major League Baseball officials "seemed more interested in telling Rodriguez to avoid awkward situations than disciplining him."

The allegations, first reported by Star Magazine, are that Rodriguez played in at least two of the games, one of which took place at a record executive's Beverly Hills mansion, where "cocaine was openly used" and a fight nearly broke out when one of the players refused to pay after losing "more than a half-million dollars."

According to the story, details of which were reportedly provided by another player at the games, Rodriguez "tried to distance himself from the game," once the violence broke out.

"He just shook his head, not knowing what the hell happened," the whistle-blower said. "He didn't want to deal with it at all. He was like, 'OK, whatever. It's your game.' I would estimate A-Rod lost, like, a few thousand dollars that night. After everything that happened, he paid up and left."

In 2005, Rodriguez had been warned about gambling in underground poker clubs by the Yankees and by baseball commissioner Bud Selig, both of whom were concerned that possible involvement with gamblers who might be betting on baseball games could result in a Pete Rose-type lifetime ban from baseball.

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Wallace Matthews was used in this report.