Found October 27, 2012 on
Fox Sports Florida:
MIAMI -- If embattled Alex Rodriguez needs any advice, an avid New York Yankees supporter welcomes A-Rod to call him.
That fan would be LeBron James. In an interview Friday with FOX Sports Florida, the Miami Heat star talked about the surprising drop-off and benching experienced by Rodriguez in the postseason and offered his assistance.
"If he wanted to reach out to me, I've never turned down a phone call to help somebody," James said.
James has met Rodriguez on several occasions, although he doesn't feel he knows the legendary third baseman well enough to make an initial call. But James believes he shares a kinship with Rodriguez because both stars have received criticism for not winning a title or delivering in the clutch.
"I've always kind of wished him the best and wanted him to do well because I was in that same position, people saying you can't win one, you can't win, you don't show up under pressure," said James, who won his first title last season in his ninth NBA year while Rodriguez won his one World Series with the Yankees in 2009 in his 16th season. "It was good to see him actually play the way he played when they actually won it. He was a big reason why they won it.
"You always hear the saying, What have you done for me lately?' It sucks that it had to come to that, that one of the greatest baseball players of all time is actually scrapped out of the lineup when he's still capable of playing baseball. I think we all think he's capable of still doing it. It's like, What happened?"'
Rodriguez, 37, had a so-so regular season, hitting .272 with 18 homers and 57 RBI in 122 games. But he really fell off the map in the postseason, going 3-of-25 (.120) with no extra-base hits or RBI and 12 strikeouts and not being in the starting lineup for three of the team's nine playoff games, including the final two.
"I think it's an unfortunate turn of events what happened with that situation," said James, who often wears a Yankees hat and whose beloved team was swept 4-0 by Detroit in the American League Championship Series. "Being a Yankees fan, just knowing of what he's capable of doing and for that to happen so quickly, so fast, with him being out of the lineup, it's unfortunate for both parties But I don't know the future for him. I don't know."
There has been speculation Rodriguez, who grew up Miami and who has five years and 114 million left on his contract, could be traded to the Marlins if the Yankees pay a large portion of his remaining salary. James didn't offer a strong opinion on whether he'd like Rodriguez join him in Miami.
"I'm not going to sit here and say he'd be great for the Marlins or whoever," said James, who, like Rodriguez, has won three MVP awards. "I just think it was unfortunate with what transpired here in October I want him to be happy. That's all that matters. If it's the Marlins or if it's staying with the Yankees, I just want the guy to be happy."
If there's any advice Rodriguez feels James can provide him for that to happen, A-Rod is welcome to call.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter@christomasson
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