A-Rod doesn't want to leave NY next season

Updated: April 25, 2007, 8:41 AM ET
Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Alex Rodriguez's torrid start has reaffirmed his intentions for after this season: He wants to stay in pinstripes.

Flavor Of The Month
Alex Rodriguez
Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez's 14 homers are tied for the most in the month of April. Home run leaders by month in Major League Baseball history:
Year Player HRs
APRIL
2007 Alex Rodriguez 14
2006 Albert Pujols 14
MAY
2001 Barry Bonds 17
JUNE
1998 Sammy Sosa 20
JULY
1998 Albert Belle 16
1999 Mark McGwire 16
AUGUST
1937 Rudy York 18
SEPTEMBER
1927 Babe Ruth 17
1995 Albert Belle 17

Rodriguez, whose 14 homers are tied for the most ever in April, said Tuesday that he has no plans to leave the New York Yankees after the season, when the third baseman can opt of his contract.

"I want to stay in New York, no matter what," Rodriguez said in the Yankees' third-base dugout before Tuesday night's game at Tampa Bay.

"I love New York. It's the greatest place for me to play."

Rodriguez is entering the seventh season of his $252 million, 10-year contract, a deal he signed with the Texas Rangers. He can terminate the agreement after the season, forfeit the $81 million owed in the final three years and become a free agent.

"Abilitywise, we certainly want him here," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "Sitting in the middle of our lineup and making the statement he is right now, we certainly don't want him to go anywhere. That's without question. I'd like to believe he's going to be here."

Rodriguez entered Tuesday night's game at Tampa Bay hitting .400 with a league-leading 34 RBIs in 18 games, and he's already matched the record for April homers set by Albert Pujols last year.

Rodriguez had hit safely in 18 consecutive games to start the season, but the streak ended Tuesday with an 0-for-3 night in New York's 6-4 loss to the Devil Rays.

When asked if he could explain his start, Rodriguez said simply, "No."

"I know you guys are looking for some profound answers, but I don't have them," Rodriguez said. "I'm having as much fun as I can. I'm trying to keep it simple. Just try to prolong it as long as possible and enjoy it."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press