Alex Rodriguez was nowhere to be seen at U.S. Cellular Field last night as the New York Yankees bludgeoned their way to an 18-7 win over the Chicago White Sox, yet he remained the inescapable story of the night.
Although the Yankees' injured 36-year-old third baseman can't get on the field these days due to recent knee surgery, he also can't seem to stay out of the headlines. Major League Baseball is currently investigating A-Rod for involvement in illegal high-stakes gambling.
Richard Rubenstein, Rodriguez's publicist, said on Thursday that the accusation "contains numerous factual inaccuracies." Rubenstein went on to add that "Alex looks forward to cooperating with Major League Baseball's investigation."
This latest scandal was ignited by an exclusive report in Star Magazine that claims A-Rod played in at least two illegal poker games at a Hollywood mansion. According to Star, the Texas Hold 'Em games allegedly featured an A-list cast of celebrities and even cocaine use. Star reported that Tobey Maguire, Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon are among the Tinseltown all stars that have splashed the pot in such games. The details of the story surfaced after violence erupted after a player refused to settle up on hefty losses.
The league issued a statement on Wednesday.
"We take this very seriously and have been investigating this matter since the initial allegation. As part of the investigation, the commissioner's office will interview Mr. Rodriguez."
Having previously warned Rodriguez about illegal poker in 2005, MLB quickly stated its intentions to investigate.
With so much disposable income and spare time, gambling has long been a hobby among for professional athletes. Although all-time hits king Pete Rose went from legend to pariah for betting on baseball, high-stakes card games between players have largely been ignored until recently. Earlier this year, the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies banned gambling on team flights after a fight allegedly broke out between players.