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The end is near!

Updated: May 9, 2007, 11:38 PM ET
By Buster Olney | ESPN The Magazine

Editor's Note: This story appears in the May 21 edition of ESPN The Magazine.

Alex Rodriguez dropped 12 pounds during the off-season, making it easier for him to attack fastballs, range for grounders and dodge reporters. He stood in a corner of the dugout at Yankee Stadium during the last week of April as a sportswriter closed in, looking to ask the kinds of introspective questions that A-Rod now understandably avoids.

When you're hitting a home run every six at-bats, the last thing you ...

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