As Yanks Slide, Report of A-Rod Affair

As if the New York Yankees need another public relations headache.

After losing a fifth straight game Tuesday night -- and falling 14½ games behind the Boston Red Sox in the American League East -- the slumping Yankees woke up this morning to find another black eye. And this one came off the field.

The New York Post ran a front-page bombshell exclusive today with photos of Yankee third baseman and all-star Alex Rodriguez apparently visiting a strip club in Toronto on Sunday night with an unidentified blonde woman. The headline dubbed the high-priced talent "Stray-Rod."

"The cozy duo dined with two pals at a pricey steakhouse late Sunday night," the Post reported, "then headed to a glitzy strip club before making their way to his hotel, where the pair ducked into an elevator and headed upstairs just after midnight."

Rodriguez and his guest stayed at the Four Seasons while most of his Yankees teammates and coaches were checked in down the road at the Park Hyatt, the Post reported.

Rodriguez, who went 0-3 in Tuesday night's loss to the Blue Jays, gave the Post a "no comment" when asked about his night out. A Yankees spokesman told the Post that Rodriguez never comments on his personal life.

The Yankees star is married to wife Cynthia, with whom he has a 2-year-old daughter, Natasha. His wife, who was photographed with Rodriguez in the 2004 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, was nowhere to be seen during the Yankees' Toronto road trip, according to the Post.

A witness told the Post that Rodriguez and the mystery woman dined at the upscale Harbour Sixty Steakhouse before visiting the Brass Rail, one of the city's most exclusive strip clubs.

Rodriguez, who signed a record-breaking 10-year, $252 million contract, is batting .293 this season with 19 home runs.

Struggling behind poor pitching, the Yankees are now eight games below .500. Owner George Steinbrenner lured pitcher Roger Clemens out of retirement, and the future Hall of Famer is expected to get his first start next week.

Steinbrenner made it clear this week that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman's job was on the line if the team did not get back on track.

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