Major League Baseball is investigating Alex Rodriguez's alleged participation in illegal, high-stakes poker games that reportedly required a $100,000 buy-in and included Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Tobey Maguire.
"This is the first we have heard about this and we will look into it,'' MLB vice president of public relations Pat Courtney told RadarOnline.com after Star Magazine broke the story on Friday.
In a text message to ESPNNewYork.com, Courtney confirmed that MLB is investigating the Yankees' third baseman's role in the card games, which according to RadarOnline, were Texas Hold'em games held as recently as two months ago.
Rodriguez refused to comment on the allegations or the investigation when asked about it in the visitor's clubhouse before Friday night's Mets-Yankees game at Citi Field.
"We're not going to address any of that," Rodriguez said. "We're just going to focus on ballgames."
Rodriguez's spokesman, Richard Rubenstein, denied the report to several media outlets.
Rodriguez "has not participated in these poker games," Rubenstein told The Associated Press.
The celeb-filled poker game came to the forefront after Maguire, the "Spider-Man" star, "was sued by a trustee trying to recover money lost in a Ponzi scheme allegedly masterminded by a Beverly Hills hedge fund manager (named Brad Ruderman)," according to the New York Post.
Maguire won more than $300,000 in the poker games from Ruderman, Star Magazine reported.
"Initially, A-Rod came to the game and simply watched," one source told Star. "But once he knew what it was all about, he bought into the game."
"I'm not really going to get into any of that right now," Rodriguez said when pressed further by reporters on Friday. "We're going to focus on good little baseball here against a great team. ... Any basketball questions? Any boxing questions?"
Major League Baseball frowns upon players gambling.
According to the Daily News, Rodriguez's denial comes six years after he vowed to walk away from playing at illegal poker parlors in New York. In 2005, commissioner Bud Selig was "very unhappy" with Rodriguez's gambling.
Wallace Matthews covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com. Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.