Rodriguez currently seeks help from two therapists

Updated: May 25, 2005, 6:39 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is proud to be in therapy, calling it "an incredible thing" that he helped him discover a different life.

Alex Rodriguez
Third Base
New York Yankees
45 16 46 40 3 .318

Rodriguez told the television show "Extra" in an interview taped to air Wednesday that he was reluctant to go to therapy because "in many ways therapy is synonymous with a bad thing and why let the train wreck come before you fix it." But he credits his wife, Cynthia, for convincing him to go.

"I think it's a different life that I've discovered and I thank Cynthia for that ... because therapy is an incredible thing and you might get to know someone who you didn't even know was in there," he said.

Because it is so rare for an athlete to say he is seeking help, Rodriguez's comments made the front page of the Daily News on Wednesday.

"I don't think kids need to feel like the oddball," he said before Wednesday night's game against Detroit. "It's something neglected very much. I just know it's a really good thing for kids."

Rodriguez donated $200,000 on Tuesday to the Children's Aid Society to benefit mental health programs that work with young students in Manhattan.

"I would never just talk about it to talk about it. Because of the children, it was easy," he said Wednesday.

Rodriguez has said in the past that he was deeply affected when his father left his family when he was 9.

"I didn't have anyone to talk to, but I did have mentors and coaches," he said.

Rodriguez said he'd been in therapy for 10-to-11 months.

"It's about life in general and managing life. Baseball is just secondary," he said.

Rodriguez hit two home runs Tuesday night in New York's 12-3 win over Detroit. He leads the majors in homers and RBIs.

"I think it's great," Torre said Wednesday. "We have put ourselves as men in a position where you're supposed to be macho and never be afraid of anything.

"I think you open yourself up to having people look at you a different way, that even though you do have a super talent, there are some things you have to deal with. It's not a storybook all the time."

When he first started seeking help, Rodriguez saw three different therapists. Now he goes to two, and believes all children would be helped with therapy.

"For those kids, if they can have that advantage at this point in their lives, I think it would behoove them," he said.

Rodriguez and his wife had their first child, Natasha Alexander, on Nov. 18.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press