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A-Rod launches official site with chat

A-Rod launches Web site with online chat

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?

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Rodriguez: Sushi.

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.

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