A-Rod Not Upset With Chipper's Comments

The Associated Press
Friday, August 10, 2007; 9:30 PM

CLEVELAND -- Alex Rodriguez understands that the more home runs he hits, the more he'll be scrutinized. Just as Chipper Jones said earlier this week. New York's third baseman, who recently became the youngest player in history to reach 500 career homers, anticipates that if he ever challenges Barry Bonds' record his numbers will also be questioned.

"In the era we live in, there's going to be comments," Rodriguez said before the opener of a three-game series with the Indians on Friday. "With great accomplishments come questions."

Earlier this week, Atlanta's Jones predicted Rodriguez will be the next player dealing with steroid suspicion, just as Bonds is enduring while passing Hank Aaron as the game's home run king.

Jones further said he didn't think Rodriguez was guilty of cheating, but he would face doubters because of baseball's ongoing steroid drama.

"He's going to have to answer the questions," Jones said. "And that goes for everybody that approaches the number. It's just so farfetched, the numbers that those guys are putting up. And a lot of it comes from the era that they're playing in."

Rodriguez, who hit his major league-leading 37th homer leading off the second, said he had no problem with Jones' comments.

"I'm friends with Chipper," he said. "I go back to high school days with him. He didn't say anything out of order. I don't have any issues with him or what he said. He included himself in the conversation."

Yankees manager Joe Torre didn't see anything wrong with the observations by Jones that were blown up by New York's tabloids.

"I read it and it was nothing like the headline," Torre said. "He said that anybody is going to come under scrutiny, get asked questions. And that is true."

Torre said that questions regarding steroid use are going to haunt the game.

"People are not going to trust us until we get over this," he said. "We all have to drop the gloves and work together. I think everybody in the game, players, owners, managers, umpires, want it baseball to be on the highest level. Well, we all have to work together to get it there."

© 2007 The Associated Press