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A-Rod takes off the gloves in BP

Tim Brown
Yahoo Sports

NEW YORK – About a month ago, Alex Rodriguez(notes) stopped wearing batting gloves during batting practice, a switch that coincides with one of the great postseasons in New York Yankees history.

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Alex Rodriguez waits by the batting cage during a workout at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday.
(Kathy Willens/AP Photo)

In 14 games against the Twins, Angels and Phillies, he is batting .360 with six home runs, five doubles and 18 RBIs. His on-base percentage is .484. And the Yankees are one win from their 27th World Series title, and A-Rod's first.

Rodriguez still wears batting gloves during games. He is going gloveless pregame, he said, because he grew up idolizing Keith Hernandez, who played 17 seasons, most of them with the Cardinals and Mets and did not wear batting gloves.

“Keith Hernandez was always my favorite player,” Rodriguez said before batting practice Tuesday on the off day between Games 5 and 6 of the World Series. “Plus, I like the feel of the bat in my hands.”

A-Rod didn’t explain why he waited until the end of his 16th season to honor Hernandez. Only a handful of players go gloveless during the season, among them Vladimir Guerrero(notes), Jason Kendall(notes), Coco Crisp(notes) and Yankees teammate Jorge Posada(notes). Rodriguez said he had no plans to take his batting practice preference into games.

Asked what it was like to take so many swings with bare hands, Rodriguez laughed and said, “Painful.”

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