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Originally published Monday, February 16, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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A-Rod calls SI reporter Selena Roberts, apologizes

Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees phoned Selena Roberts, the Sports Illustrated reporter who broke the news Feb. 7 that Rodriguez had...

TAMPA, Fla. — Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees phoned Selena Roberts, the Sports Illustrated reporter who broke the news Feb. 7 that Rodriguez had failed a drug test in 2003, to apologize to her.

Rodriguez ranted about Roberts in an interview last Monday with ESPN's Peter Gammons, in which the player admitted using steroids from 2001 to 2003 while with the Texas Rangers. During the interview, Rodriguez accused Roberts of trying to break into his house. Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post and CNN first reported Rodriguez had called Roberts to apologize for his false accusation. Roberts has confirmed Rodriguez's call.

In last week's ESPN interview, Rodriguez said: "Sports Illustrated pays this lady, Selena Roberts, to stalk me. This lady has been thrown out of my apartment in New York City. This lady has five days ago just been thrown out of the University of Miami by police for trespassing. And four days ago, she tried to break into my house, where my girls are up there sleeping, and got cited by the Miami Beach police."

Roberts denied trying to break into Rodriguez's house, and there were no police citations against her. Roberts is writing a book about Rodriguez titled "A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez" that is due out in April.

Rodriguez is to arrive at Yankees camp and address media Tuesday.

Notes

• First baseman Albert Pujols, fresh from winning his second National League most valuable player award, said the St. Louis Cardinals' commitment to winning will dictate whether he re-signs with the team when his contract expires; he is signed through 2010 and the team has an option for 2011.

"It's not about the money all the time," the 29-year-old Pujols said in Jupiter, Fla. "It's about being in a place to win and being in a position to win. If the Cardinals are willing to do that and put a team [on the field] every year like they have, I'm going to try to work everything out to stay in this town. But if they're not bringing championship-caliber play every year, then it's time for me to go somewhere else that I can win."

• The San Francisco Giants hope 45-year-old Randy Johnson, a former Mariner, will boost their rotation. Johnson, who was 11-10 for the Arizona Diamondbacks last year, grew up in the Bay Area.

"The perfect scenario was to finish in Arizona," Johnson said. "If it didn't work out, and a lot of times it doesn't work out for a player, then the next best option was to stay on the West Coast in the National League West. Because of the familiarity, that accommodates my game."

Johnson, a five-time Cy Young Award winner, has a 295-160 record.

"Winning 300 is important, but it is not the sole reason I am playing this game," he said. "It will be a great moment in my career. It's only five wins. I hope to get five wins early in the season and move on. When it's over, I would like to do what I came here to do — help this team win. Hopefully the four or five months after that are really important. I'd like to have people think that I made a difference, that I had an impact in some way."

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• Utilityman Miguel Cairo, 34, signed a minor-league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies and will get a chance to earn a roster spot with the World Series champions in spring training.

Cairo batted .249 in 108 games for the Mariners last season.

• San Diego reliever Heath Bell lost 25 pounds and reported to camp in Peoria, Ariz., at 245. The 31-year-old Bell credits his Nintendo Wii Fit game — "it said I was obese" — for helping to reduce.

"It makes me feel good to hear the coaches say, 'Don't lose any more weight' because they don't want me to lose velocity," he said.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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