Yankees tell A-Rod to avoid illegal poker clubs

NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez was cautioned by the New York Yankees that playing poker in illegal clubs could be dangerous and harmful to his image, according to a newspaper report.

Early last month, the Daily News reported the star slugger had
attended games at an underground club with professional card player
Phil Hellmuth.

When contacted by ESPN.com on Wednesday, a Yankees official said the club has never brought up the topic of attending poker games with Rodriguez. Scott Boras, the third baseman's agent, also denied that the Yankees had warned his client.

"The Yankees have never addressed or spoken with me in regard
to any off-field activities regarding Alex Rodriguez. And the
Yankees have never spoken to Alex regarding any of his off-field
activities," Boras was quoted as saying in a story published

Playing at such clubs is not illegal, though it can be against the law to operate them, the Daily News reported.

Rodriguez was not punished or ordered to stay out of the clubs, but commissioner Bud Selig was monitoring the situation and could intervene if necessary, the newspaper said, citing sources it did not identify.

MLB spokesman Rich Levin declined comment to the Daily News yesterday.