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Alex Rodriguez

Page 2 staff

When you hear the name Alex Rodriguez in 2001, you know the words "$252 million" are sure to follow.

Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez says he endured a couple seasons when Seattle was "terrible," so he's optimistic the Rangers will rebound.
So, a little more than two months into his first season in Texas, how is A-Rod coping with the pressure of living up to the richest contract in sports history? And how does he feel as he watches his Rangers flounder while his former team in Seattle continues one of the best starts in major-league history?

Page 2 tried to get some answers when we sat down with Rodriguez and subjected him to our 10 Burning Questions.

1. Page 2: What did you buy yourself to celebrate your contract last winter?
A-Rod: I didn't buy anything. I already had everything I wanted. I did that when I was 21, and I signed a big contract. I bought my house and a truck. That was a big deal.

2. Is it uncomfortable when you're around family and close friends, because you make so much money?
A-Rod: Ever since I've been in the major leagues, it's been weird. Everyone who wears a major-league uniform is abnormal from the rest of the world, as far as our salary structure goes. You just try to help as many people as you can and donate to charities.

3. One of your charitable causes is literacy. What's your favorite book?
A-Rod: Right now I'm reading the DiMaggio book ("The Hero's Life" by Richard Ben Cramer), but I just started, and I'm only on the third chapter. My favorite book is "The Winner Within" (by Pat Riley).

4. Which do you think will happen first, a Bigfoot will be captured or fans will forget you're the highest-paid player?
A-Rod: They've forgotten about Kevin Brown and Greg Maddux. Brown's contract is like ancient history. You play well and fans don't think about what you make.

5. You've said you look at your contract as a long-term thing, but still, how do you keep from getting frustrated right now when you're in last place and the Mariners are in first?
A-Rod: The philosophy I take is this. I was in Seattle in 1998 and 1999, and we were terrible. And I didn't ask to be traded or hide under a table. You just try to fight through it and keep a positive attitude and make it a challenge. Remember, the Mariners were terrible a couple years ago and turned it around quickly. And the Rangers have won the division three of the past six years.

6. You cracked People magazine's top 25 most beautiful people. What are you going to do to overtake Catherine Zeta-Jones for the No. 1 spot?
Catherine Zeta-Jones
A-Rod: Nothing.

7. How much do you tip your waiter?
A-Rod: I think the standard is 15 percent, but I like to be a good tipper. So I tip 20 percent, then another five percent for a professional athlete tax, so 25 percent.

8. Do your friends and family call you A-Rod or Alex?
A-Rod: Alex.

9. Which four people would you invite to a dinner and what would you serve them?
Leonardo DaVinci
A-Rod: Leonardo DaVinci, first off. And I'd serve him steak. Then, who was that great leader from long ago?

9a. Alexander the Great?
A-Rod: No. The guy whose name starts with an M.

9b. We don't know ... Machiavelli?
A-Rod: Yeah, Machiavelli. And I'd serve him pasta. Let's see. Pat Riley, and I know he's on a diet so fish maybe, something with protein. And then either Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan, and I'd serve them sushi.

10. What superpower would you want most, the strength of 100 men, the ability to fly or to be able to turn invisible?
A-Rod: None of those. I would want to be the wisest man in the world.

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