PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - When Alex Rodriguez emerged for his latest moment in the national spotlight Tuesday, a pair of men accompanied him.
Ben Porritt, a partner and senior strategist for a crisis-management firm called Outside Eyes, had known the Yankees' third baseman for about a week, it's believed. Richard Rubenstein, who runs Rubenstein Public Relations and is the son of George Steinbrenner's well-known spokesman Howard Rubenstein, has been working with A-Rod for a few years.
Both men played significant roles in the preparation for Tuesday's news conference at Steinbrenner Field. Neither had anything to do with A-Rod's interview eight days earlier with ESPN's Peter Gammons.
Scott Boras, Rodriguez's agent and the man who put together the Feb. 9 sit-down with Gammons, was nowhere to be found on Tuesday. Neither was Cynthia Rodriguez, A-Rod's former wife, who accompanied him to the Gammons interview.
If it sounds haphazard, it sounds perfectly typical for Rodriguez, whose circle of trust is a revolving door that would make a shopping mall blush with envy.
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Through baseball, business and personal relationships, A-Rod operates with an ever-changing group of confidantes and advisers.
Here are some of the more notable people who have checked in and checked out -- and, in many cases, entered and exited more times than Billy Martin in the Yankees' manager's office -- throughout the years.
TOMMY BOLIN. A Rangers clubhouse attendant who developed a very close personal relationship with A-Rod. The two men had a falling out, and Bolin now works for former Yankee Jason Giambi.
SCOTT BORAS. A-Rod's only professional representative, he is by far the game's most famous agent. They experienced a falling out when Rodriguez opted out of his Yankees contract after the 2007 season and didn't speak for more than six months. They're back in regular contact now, yet not as close.
MIKE BORZELLO. Joe Torre's godson, and a primary source in Torre's recent book with Tom Verducci, Borzello usually accompanied A-Rod to and from Yankee Stadium, from 2004 through 2007. Borzello followed Torre to the Dodgers.
CESAR CACERES. Nicknamed "Heat." A Yankees clubhouse attendant who dedicates most of his energy to attending to A-Rod's needs.
JOSE CANSECO. Yes, they used to be friends, thanks to their shared Miami roots. Not so much anymore.
TOM HICKS. The Rangers' owner who signed A-Rod to an industry-shocking, 10-year, $252-million contract. Hicks consulted A-Rod on player transactions and still cherished their friendship -- until this past week, when Hicks ripped into Rodriguez.
RUDY JARAMILLO. The longtime Rangers' hitting coach, he and A-Rod still enjoy a strong relationship.
DEREK JETER. Yes, kids aged eight and younger, they used to be great friends -- so much so that they once joked around during a bench-clearing brawl between the Yankees and Mariners. But when A-Rod dissed Jeter in an Esquire Magazine interview, published in January 2001, Jeter concluded the friendship.
KEVIN LONG. The Yankees' current hitting coach gets along well with A-Rod.
LOU PINIELLA. A-Rod's first big-league manager, with the Mariners from 1995 through 2000, and undoubtedly his favorite. The two men still share a close relationship.
CAL RIPKEN JR. A-Rod idolized the Hall of Famer, but they're not as close as they used to be.
PETE ROSE. The Hit King, banned from baseball, became A-Rod's swing guru a couple of years ago, as first reported by ESPN The Magazine, following a chance meeting in Las Vegas.
ROB THOMSON. Now the Yankees' third-base coach. When Verducci asked A-Rod to name his best friend on the Yankees, back in a 2006 interview, Rodriguez identified Thomson.
MICHAEL YOUNG. Rodriguez's best friend from his 2001-03 stay (yes, his admitted time of using illegal performance-enhancing drugs) with the Rangers.
WARREN BUFFETT. The billionaire advised A-Rod to dump Scott Boras and go to the Yankees alone after the 2007 opt-out backfired.
GERRY CARDINALE. A Goldman Sachs executive who helped broker Rodriguez's return to the Yankees, he's no longer close.
STEVE FORTUNATO. A former official with Major League Baseball Productions, Fortunato became A-Rod's marketing representative in 2004. Althouogh Fortunato now runs his own firm, he remains a Rodriguez ally.
LISA GILSON. Rodriguez's personal assistant, she originally worked under Boras' umbrella before switching to work directly for A-Rod. She has been a steady presence inside the circle.
GUY OSEARY. An entertainment manager -- he works with Madonna and Lenny Kravitz -- he entered the scene during the 2007-08 offseason, but he hasn't actually done much.
BEN PORRITT. He most recently worked as a spokesman for John McCain,during his campaign for president. He's the new guy in A-Rod's world.
RICHARD RUBENSTEIN. The second of Howard Rubenstein's three children, Rubenstein also represents Don King and Donald Trump.
J.D. ARTEAGA. A longtime friend of A-Rod's, he inspired a character "JD the shortstop" in Rodriguez's children's book of 2007. They aren't as close as they used to be but are on good terms.
PEPE GOMEZ. A friend since elementary school, he works for A-Rod and serves as an "unofficial swing coach," according to reports.
CYNTHIA RODRIGUEZ. She married A-Rod in 2003 and divorced him last year. Nevertheless, they remain in touch, as evidenced by Cynthia's appearance at the Gammons interview.
MADONNA. The pop singer and A-Rod first became friendly in 2007, and while they've never confirmed their romantic relationship, Cynthia Rodriguez cited Madonna as a factor in her divorce from A-Rod.
LOURDES NAVARRO. A-Rod's mother, she is a constant presence in her son's life.
EDDY RODRIGUEZ. He worked at the Miami Boys and Girls Club and served as a father figure to Alex Rodriguez, whose own father left his family when A-Rod was very little. Eddy Rodriguez left A-Rod's circle about five years ago, however.
CONSTANTINE SCURTIS. A-Rod's brother-in-law, he ran the superstar's fledgling real estate company. It's not clear whether the divorce has impacted his role.
GUI SOCARRAS. A childhood friend, he is often at A-Rod's side.