- Ian O'Connor, Senior Writer, ESPN.com
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DETROIT -- Alex Rodriguez did have a ball delivered to two female fans in the Yankee Stadium crowd during Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, and it was witnessed by New York Yankees personnel, a team source confirmed.
The New York Post reported that Rodriguez, who had been removed from the game for a pinch hitter, had written a note on the ball in search of one of the women's phone numbers and had a ball boy deliver it to the fans. The newspaper identified the women as Kyna Treacy, an Australian bikini model, and her friend Kate Quinn.
"It's true," the team source said. "It was witnessed in the dugout. The whole thing is true."
When asked about the Post report Tuesday, Rodriguez told ESPNNewYork.com's Wallace Matthews, "Don't believe any of that (expletive)."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman said before the Game 3 loss to the Detroit Tigers that Rodriguez was benched for the matchup with Justin Verlander for performance reasons only, and the source supported that claim.
"The only reason Alex didn't play was because he's been struggling so much against right-handed pitchers," the source said. "His benching had nothing to do with this story. He would've been in there if the Tigers started a lefty. Even if Sandy Koufax was on the mound, he would've played."
Rodriguez also was out of the lineup against Max Scherzer for Wednesday night's Game 4, which eventually was postponed. Prior to the game, he was asked if he felt he was being punished by the team for something other than his performance on the field.
"Look, I addressed that yesterday and I said it was laughable," he said. "I've been here a long time in New York, I think nine years, and I've never addressed anything from Page Six (in the Post), and I've never addressed anything from blogs or gossip columns. We're here to cover baseball. I do think some of the criticism out there is very fair, and I can live with that, but some of the other stuff is not fair. So you just move on, you don't worry about it too much."
Rodriguez is 0 for 18 with 12 strikeouts against right-handed pitching in the playoffs. He is 3 for 23 in the postseason overall.
Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Andrew Marchand was used in this report.
Alex Rodriguez did have a ball delivered to two female fans in the Yankee Stadium crowd during Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, and it was witnessed by New York Yankees personnel, a team source confirmed.