A-Rod to be interviewed by MLB in poker probe

CHICAGO - (AP) - Yankees star Alex Rodriguez will be interviewedby Major League Baseball as part of its investigation of hisalleged involvement in illegal poker games. Rodriguez also faced questions about his gambling habits in2005, when the Daily News reported he attended games at anunderground poker club in New York. The slugging third basemanlater acknowledged "it wasn't the right thing to do," and checkedwith MLB before holding a charity poker tournament the followingyear. Now baseball wants to talk to him again. "We take this very seriously and have been investigating thismatter since the initial allegation," MLB said Wednesday in astatement. "As part of the investigation, the commissioner'soffice will interview Mr. Rodriguez." Rodriguez is on the disabled list and wasn't with the teamWednesday night in Chicago. "I don't really have any comment on that," manager Joe Girardisaid before the Yankees played the White Sox. "Let baseball handlethose things." Star Magazine reported last month that several people saw A-Rodplaying in games hosted at Hollywood hotels and residences. Hispublicist denied that Rodriguez participated. Rodriguez' name is not mentioned in any court filings inrelation to the games. MLB said at the time that the report was the first thecommissioner's office had heard about the accusation and baseballofficials would look into the matter. A spokesman for the Yankees declined comment when asked aboutRodriguez on Wednesday. A message was left seeking comment fromRichard Rubenstein, Rodriguez' publicist. The 36-year-old Rodriguez had right knee surgery on July 14 butis expected to resume baseball activities on Thursday at theYankees' facility in Florida. The three-time AL MVP is hitting .295with 13 home runs and 52 RBIs this season. Rodriguez ranks sixth on the career homer list with 626. Heneeds 137 to break Barry Bonds' all-time record.

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