On his first day of spring training, Alex Rodriguez drew plenty of questions about money. At the New York Yankees' first full-squad workout, Derek Jeter drew the eye of George Clooney.
"He's the biggest star in the world, isn't he?" Clooney said Wednesday as he watched Jeter at Legends Field. "He does everything right."
Clooney was in Tampa, Fla., to film a movie. A lot of Yankees fans wanted his autograph, along with Jeter's signature.
Jeter, having recently signed a $189 million contract, doesn't want rooters to expect his statistics to increase at the same rate as his salary.
"I don't think they'll expect me to hit 60 homers and drive in 200 runs," he said. "They'll want me to do the things I've done the past few years.
"I don't think now that I've gotten a long-term deal that all of a sudden I've got to pick up this huge load. This is a team. We need everyone to do their job in order to win."
Rodriguez reported to camp and went right to work for the Texas Rangers, taking batting practice and fielding grounders.
Baseball's highest-paid player then answered questions at Port Charlotte, Fla., and no surprise, many of them dealt with his $252 million deal.
"I'm almost embarrassed and ashamed of this contract, because my personality is to go out and play baseball," he said. "Now, there's this 252 tag over my head.
"I never dreamed in my wildest dreams that I would be making this type of money. Like I say, it's almost embarrassing to talk about it. I don't know if Michael Jordan or Bill Gates or Alexander the Great or anyone is worth this type of money. But that's the market that we're in today," he said.
Speaking of stats, Todd Helton thinks it's possible to hit .400.
The Colorado star was at that lofty level last Aug. 21. He finished at .372 with 42 home runs and a major league-leading 147 RBIs.
Helton was trying to become the first player to hit the mark since Ted Williams batted .406 in 1941.
"I think it can be done, but it will be hard," he said at Tucson, Ariz.
"I remember it was Aug. 19 and I was at .400 and I was like, wow," he said. "After that I think I was still hitting the ball as well as I was hitting it before. It was just that a few balls didn't go through."
Helton, 27, wishes he had handled things differently.
"I would have been a little more head-on with it, looked it in the eye instead of skirting around it," he said. "And, of course, I wish I would have had a little better run at it. But having gone through the situation, I learned a lot, and learned a lot about myself."
Gary Sheffield is still waiting to find out whether he'll be staying the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Dodgers are trying to trade the slugger, who asked for either a new contract or a new deal.
"His request earlier this month was to be a career Dodger. He asked for a contract extension," agent Jim Neader said. "The result, indeed, was he may be traded, although there's always hope the contract extension will come.
"Right now, the Dodgers are attempting to trade Gary. The Dodgers will make the decision they're going to make, whether it be trade or extension. He will report on or before Feb. 27 to the Dodgers if there is no deal," he said.
Neader referred to the mandatory reporting day of next Tuesday. Sheffield is the only member of the 40-man roster not in camp at Vero Beach, Fla.
Sheffield's remarks have caused turmoil at camp.
"If it is the truth, it would make it very difficult for him to come back," first-year Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said.
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