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MLB looks into Alex Rodriguez's alleged participation in illegal poker

Major League Baseball is investigating allegations that Alex Rodriguez participated in illegal poker games and plans to interview the New York Yankees third baseman.

August 03, 2011|Wire reports
  • Major League Baseball plans to interview New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez as it investigates allegations he took part in illegal celebrity poker games.
Major League Baseball plans to interview New York Yankees third baseman… (Brian Blanco / Associated…)

Major League Baseball is investigating allegations that Alex Rodriguez participated in illegal poker games and plans to interview the New York Yankees third baseman.

Rodriguez also faced questions about his gambling habits in 2005, when the New York Daily News reported that he attended games at an underground poker club in New York. Rodriguez later acknowledged "it wasn't the right thing to do" and checked with Major League Baseball before holding a charity poker tournament the following year.

Now the league wants to talk to him again.

"We take this very seriously and have been investigating this matter since the initial allegation," Major League Baseball said Wednesday in a statement. "As part of the investigation, the commissioner's office will interview Mr. Rodriguez."

Star Magazine reported last month that several people saw Rodriguez playing in games at Hollywood hotels and residences; his publicist then denied that he participated.

Rodriguez's name is not mentioned in any court filings in relation to the games.

A spokesman for the Yankees declined to comment when asked about Rodriguez on Wednesday. A message was left seeking comment from Richard Rubenstein, Rodriguez's publicist.

"I don't really have any comment on that," Manager Joe Girardi said before the Yankees faced the Chicago White Sox. "Let baseball handle those things."

ETC.

Farmar signs with Maccabi Tel Aviv

Jordan Farmar became the latest New Jersey Nets player to head for the European leagues when he signed with Israeli champions Maccabi Tel Aviv. The 6-foot-2 guard will play for Tel Aviv as long as the NBA lockout continues, the team said in a statement.

Farmar, who is Jewish, won two NBA titles with the Lakers before moving to the Nets in 2010. Fellow Nets stars Deron Williams and Sasha Vujacic signed to play for Turkish teams, Williams for Besiktas and Vujacic for Anadolu Efes.

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The Detroit Pistons introduced new Coach Lawrence Frank at a news conference constrained by his inability to mention current players because of the lockout.

Frank and Pistons President Joe Dumars agreed that the new coach's first job is to get the franchise back on track after three poor seasons under first-time coaches Michael Curry and John Kuester. Frank coached the Nets from 2003 to 2009, taking them to the playoffs four times.

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The Chicago Blackhawks signed forward Patrick Sharp, who led the team with 34 goals last season, to a five-year contract extension. Financial terms were not announced.

Sharp, 29, tied for eighth in the league in goals last season and was third on the club with a career-high 71 points. His numbers probably would have been better had he not suffered a left knee injury March 20. He sat out seven games, then returned with three games left in the regular season to help the Blackhawks squeak into the playoffs.

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An arbitrator awarded Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber $7.5 million for the upcoming season the highest arbitration award in NHL history. Weber also becomes the fifth-highest-paid defenseman in the league.

Weber will be a restricted free agent after the 2011-12 season. He had 48 points in 82 games last season in helping Nashville reach the Western Conference semifinals for the first time. He is a two-time All-Star and helped Canada win the Olympic gold medal in the 2010 Olympics.

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NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski was airlifted to a Georgia hospital after a head-on crash into a wall at Road Atlanta in Braselton. Penske Racing said in a statement that Keselowski walked from the car and was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons.

Keselowski later posted several updates on his Twitter page, including two photos that appeared to show a swollen ankle and a bruise on his foot.

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Wayne Odesnik played his first ATP main-draw match since returning from a suspension for possession of performance-enhancing drugs, losing, 6-1, 6-1, to Radek Stepanek at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington. Odesnik held serve in the opening game, then — after a rain delay of nearly two hours — lost 11 games in a row.

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Missy Franklin won the 100-meter backstroke at the U.S. national championships in Palo Alto with the fifth-fastest time in the world this year. The 16-year-old phenom touched in 59.18 seconds, earning her first national title two days after returning from the world championships at Shanghai. Ryan Lochte, who won five golds in China, finished third in the men's 100.

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The U.S. women's soccer team will play Canada on Sept. 17 at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., in its first match since a shootout loss to Japan in the Women's World Cup final last month. The teams will play again Sept. 22 at Portland, Ore. … Marco Fabian scored twice in a two-minute span midway through the second half, leading Chivas of Guadalajara to a 4-1 victory over Barcelona in a World Football Challenge matchup at Miami.

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Former Occidental College quarterback Andy Collins, a three-time Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference offensive player of the year, has died at 27, apparently of a heart attack.

Collins died Tuesday at Imperial Point Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., according to the Broward County medical examiner's office. The cause of death is pending an investigation, although Collins reportedly was working out on a treadmill just before his death.

Ten days earlier, he had married Brooke Olzendam, a college football reporter for CBS Sports Network.

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Ray Patterson, who presided over teams that won one NBA title and four conference titles as president of the Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets, died at 89 on Wednesday in Sugar Land, Texas, after a long battle with heart and lung diseases.

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