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Rodriguez ready for increased scrutiny

Feb. 20, 2008 at 8:32 PM

TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 20 (UPI) -- New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez says he knows he faces increased scrutiny as he gets close to breaking baseball's all-time home run total.

The reigning American League MVP addressed the issue Wednesday with reporters at spring training in Tampa, Fla.

"That did not happen," he said when asked about comments by former major league pitcher John Rocker about when Rocker and Rodriguez were with the Texas Rangers.

Rocker claimed that doctors from the players' union or management pulled the them aside with Rafael Palmeiro and Ivan Rodriguez and talked to them about how to use steroids without getting caught.

"Obviously I want to win a world championship -- that's the only thing that I really care about," Rodriguez said.

Last season, he batted .314 with 54 home runs and 156 RBI.

His 518 career homer total is 238 short of the 756 hit by all-time leader Barry Bonds.

Rodriguez returned to the Yankees after agreeing to a 10-year, $275 million contract.

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