As rumors of illicit Beverly Hills poker parties and talk of suspension swirled, Alex Rodriguez attempted to clear the air by stating he did not participate in high-stakes poker games and only attended the parties because they offered easy access to performance-enhancing drugs.

“I’m not interested in throwing my life away for a stupid game,” said Rodriguez. “It’s true that I went to some of these parties, but I didn’t go there to play poker. I went to those parties because they’re a great place to score drugs and get laid.”

Rodriguez said he’s shaped his approach by learning from a sorted cast of mentors.

“In my career, I’ve always tried to learn from the best: Barry Bonds, Darryl Strawberry, Roger Clemens… and I can tell you one thing for certain: You always play better when you’re taking performance enhancing drugs,” said Rodriguez. “Whether it’s BALCO-roids or a bump of good old cocaine, drugs are an important part of any training regimen. On the other hand, no athlete gets better by gambling. Just ask Pete Rose.”

Rodriguez paused to clench his jaw and wipe his nose, but it was not long before he continued his tirade.

“I’m not like all these actors and rich folks who throw down on the poker table,” said Rodriguez. “I was in the wine cellar banging chicks and blasting lines. I bet most of you have never done a line of cocaine off a high class hooker’s rack, so let me tell you, there’s nothing like it to elevate your game.”

When asked for comment, a Yankees official keeled over and started foaming at the mouth. As of press time, the cause of the official’s collapse was still undetermined, but unnamed sources suggest he may have attended some of the same parties as Rodriguez.

Wompah Keiner