A-Rod launches official site with chat
Yankees star kicks off AROD.com by answering fans' questions
Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez kicked off the launch of his official Web site, AROD.com, by participating in a live Web chat with fans. Rodriguez talked about the Yankees season, career highlights and life after baseball.
Alex Rodriguez: Hey everyone, thanks so much for joining the chat. I can see there are already tons of questions. I'll answer as many as I can before I have to leave for the stadium. If I can't answer your question today, feel free to e-mail it to me. Just click on "Ask Alex" on AROD.com.
Base_Ball_2: Hey A-Rod, what's your favorite food?
Alan_Olsen_3: Alex, during your Major League career, who is the toughest pitcher you've ever had to face?
Rodriguez: Pedro Martinez.
msiege2: Alex, how would you feel if you won the MVP, but the Yankees failed to make the playoffs? Would the honor be less worthwhile?
Rodriguez: Yes, of course. The only goal as a player is to help your team make the postseason and win the World Series.
msiege2: Alex, what has been your favorite moment since joining the Yankees?
Rodriguez: Beating Minnesota in the postseason last year.
bw22: Fans are now voting at MLB.com for the greatest Latino Team of all-time, of which you are a nominee. How do you feel about MLB and Chevy, the program sponsor, creating this program to recognize Latino greats, past and present?
Rodriguez: I love it. I think it's great for the Latino heritage and I'm very proud to be a part of the Latino community.
doctorrpains: What time do you wake up in the morning?
Rodriguez: 9 a.m. (when we have a night game). A lot earlier if it's a day game.
prqueen2: What is your favorite road city and why?
Rodriguez: I would say Dallas. I've got a lot of friends there, so there are a lot of familiar faces.
Ryan_Kelleher: What's it like going out in front of the huge crowds day in and day out?
Rodriguez: It is a dream come true. Not only to play in front of large crowds, but to play in front of the greatest fans in the world.
Justin_Hammond: Are you worried you may lose the division this year, especially four games behind and having games coming up against the Red Sox?
Rodriguez: We're just taking it one game at time. Sorry for the cliche but that's how you approach it.
prqueen2: What's the craziest thing a fan has ever done to meet you?
Rodriguez: Probably someone who flew across the country and waited in an elevator at a hotel.
Base_Ball: What is the biggest difficulty about playing on a team with so many All-Star players?
Rodriguez: How is that difficult? It's a dream come true to play with those guys every day.
Ronnee_Alexander: While growing up, did you ever think that you'd be where you are today?
Rodriguez: I always dreamt about it, but never knew I would be this fortunate.
Joe_donato: What's your favorite movie?
Rodriguez: "Wall Street."
flagbert: How do you maintain your mental sharpness over such a long season?
Rodriguez: A lot rest and a lot of family time.
bella_bella: What is your diet? How many calories do you eat? How much protein? Was at the game last night, great at-bat to set up Jason Giambi. That was a great piece of hitting. Very tough pitch to hit.
Rodriguez: I eat six times a day. That includes two protein shakes. I think this year, I'm just thinking smaller, not trying to hit a home run every time up. I knew if I got on base in the ninth last night, we had the guys behind me to get me home and Giambi did it.
ROB_CAMPANO: Who do you look up to, player-wise, in baseball today?
Rodriguez: Roger Clemens. Dedication, accomplishments, longevity and world champion.
Adam_Seybolt: What are your favorite NFL and NBA teams?
Rodriguez: NFL -- Miami Dolphins. NBA -- Whatever team Pat Riley is involved in, so it's the Heat.
dawn13: Why did you pick the song "Numb/Encore" by Linkin Park as the song you go up to bat with?
Rodriguez: Because Jay-Z (who performed on the song) is a good friend and it gets me loose at the plate.
mlb_com_member_3: Do you feel that Giambi has redeemed himself?
Rodriguez: No question. Comeback Player of the Year. No one will ever know how hard he has worked. I see it every day.
Base_Delfino: I am curious, in your whole Major League career, does Joe Torre's managerial duties and attitude differ from your past managers?
Rodriguez: I think he's experienced -- his ability to deal with all types of personalities. And he let's the players play.
Faye_Weiss: Alex, your daughter is adorable, is it hard not being with her on a regular basis at this time in her life?
Rodriguez: I actually spend every possible moment I can with my family. It's baseball and my family. They are my hobby and my life.
msiege2: Alex, what other active players in baseball do you admire? Why?
Rodriguez: Barry Bonds. I hope he comes back. Just awed by his abilities.
kmpataky: What is your favorite place to eat in New York City?
Rodriguez: Rosa Mexicana and Campanello -- a great Italian place.
alexrodriguez: After you, or any other player strikes out on a called strike, I often see the player saying something to the umpire on your way to the dugout. What are you saying to him?
Rodriguez: I just perhaps tell him that I had a different vantage point than him on the third strike or even an earlier pitch. I have tremendous respect for umpires but they are human and veteran players and veteran umpires have a rapport. I still don't like being punched out though on a third strike.
prepare: Do you work constantly with Don Mattingly on your swing or only on request?
Rodriguez: Every day. Donnie has a maintenance program we do every day before batting practice.
suebak: Congrats on a great season so far. Any idea why this year is so much better for you than last? Oh, and my 14-year-old daughter just adores you. Her name is Allie.
Rodriguez: Hi Allie. I'm really enjoying this season. I think being more relaxed has been the key.
doctorrpains: What type of TV do you watch?
Rodriguez: I don't watch much TV -- I do more reading. Sometimes I watch replays of the games I just played in when I get home. Here's a good book I just read -- Barbarians at the Gate.
Patrick_Ainslie: A-Rod, do you miss playing shortstop?
Rodriguez: No, playing shortstop was great, but it's in the past. I am a third baseman and I love the challenge of learning to master it every day.
Steven_Rothweiler: You have a very nice website. Did you help in the design details?
Rodriguez: Absolutely. We have been working on this for almost a year and I am very happy with the way it turned out. I hope you like it.
venada: How has your life changed now that you are a dad?
Rodriguez: Perspective. Before children, I did things for myself, now everything I do is for her. Cynthia and I love being parents.
savetekulve: If you could sit and talk hitting for an hour with anyone who has ever played MLB, who would it be?
Rodriguez: Joe DiMaggio -- I would have loved to hear how he handled hitting in the old Yankee Stadium. What a legend.
Alisa_Standley: Hello, I'm excited to be able to chat with you! Does it hurt your feelings when you get booed?
Rodriguez: No, it's part of the game. It comes with the territory.
dawn13: If you could do your career all over again, would you wait until you got out of college to begin your professional career, or change nothing?
Rodriguez: Change nothing. However, I want to stress that college should be an option for everyone. I can't stress education enough. And I am working to get my degree in the future.
Sergio_Rodriguez: You were a big-time high school quarterback, do you ever regret not playing at Miami?
Rodriguez: It would have been a great challenge and a lot of fun. I would have enjoyed making a run at the NFL. But I know I chose the right route.
makearodcapt: Will you be writting a daily diary on AROD.com?
Rodriguez: I will be posting journal entries about once a week.
italian77: Out of your 421 career home runs, is there one in particular that stands out from the rest?
Rodriguez: Yeah, my two against Boston last year in the postseason at Fenway. But actually, they don't count toward the 421.
msiege2: Alex, do you see yourself as a role model? What advice can you give young athletes today?
Rodriguez: Yes. My advice would be to make academics a priority and to stay away from drugs and alcohol. Also, surround yourself with positive people.
jeetfan2: How do you have such success sitting back on breaking pitches and still hitting them with tremendous power?
Rodriguez: Just wait as long as you can and try to hit it up hard up the middle.
natemac079: Thanks for chatting, Alex. You must be pumped for this weekend. How big is this series for you guys? Will you be happy with anything less than a sweep?
Rodriguez: It doesn't matter who we're playing. I'm serious, but I know this is a big series. We need to win as many games as we can.
harrison11: Alex, is there life after baseball? And if so, what will you do?
Rodriguez: I want to help a lot of people through charities. I also see a future in business.
dmg841: Mr. Rodriguez, I am a huge fan and I was wondering who is your closest friend in baseball?
Rodriguez: I would say Michael Young.
jekenbarger: Hey A-Rod, what are the chances of the Triple Crown this season?
Rodriguez: I can't worry about that. The only crown I care about is a World Series crown. I have to get ready to head out to the stadium, so this will be the last question.
yankeefan9554: Are you glad you are here in New York? Have we made you feel welcome here?
Rodriguez: Of course. I can't see myself in any other place. I feel very welcome here. I love the energy and excitement of the city -- and the passion that fans express for the Yankees.
Rodriguez: Well, I hate to leave, but I do have a game tonight. As I said earlier, feel free to e-mail me your questions. I am humbled and honored that so many of you took the time to join me. I really appreciate all of you fans. We, as players, are nothing without you. Take care and God bless you. Alex.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.