A-Rod to skip home run derby

July 2, 2008 at 4:03 PM
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NEW YORK, July 2 (UPI) -- New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez will not take part in the home run hitting contest on July 14 before the major league All-Star game.

The game will be played the following day at Yankee Stadium.

Rodriguez, whose 534 career home runs ties Jimmie Foxx for 14th place on baseball's all-time list, is the leading vote-getter at his position on the American League All-Star team.

"I've worked hard for my swing and I definitely don't want to let anything get in the way of it," he said Tuesday on the Yankees' Web site. "It's always been (a concern) for me (and) my only responsibility this year is to the New York Yankees."

"A swing during the Derby is like golfing," said Yankee teammate Bobby Abreu, the 2005 derby winner with an all-time high 41 homers.

Abreu added that "it took a long time" to get his normal swing back.

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