IT WAS the question of the winter after the 2005 season: Where exactly was Alex Rodriguez from, at least as far as the World Baseball Classic was concerned? Rodriguez, who was born in New York City, originally said he would represent the Dominican Republic, where his parents were born, in baseball's inaugural world cup event. (WBC rules say players can represent either their birth countries or nations of citizenship.) Then he switched to the U.S. After a storm of protest from Dominican fans, he decided not to play at all so as not to dishonor either country. Finally, six weeks before the event, the Yankees third baseman changed his mind yet again and played for Team USA.
This year there are no questions about A-Rod's intentions. While playing a golf tournament hosted by Red Sox slugger David Ortiz in Punta Cana last Saturday, Rodriguez said he will represent the Dominican Republic in the 2009 WBC, which begins March 5. "This time there will be no doubts," he said. "It will be a very special day for me and my family." Fine. Now that we know what uniform he'll be wearing, that leaves only the most frequently asked question about the WBC: Will Madonna be there?