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The 9 juiciest things we learned from Alex Rodriguez's interview with The New York Times Magazine

Between dropping in on unsuspecting exercise classes, managing the ever-expanding (and still sort of ambiguous?) A-Rod Corp and serving as J-Lo's arm candy at various award shows, Alex Rodriguez is seemingly even busier now than he was during his playing days.

But A-Rod still managed to look up from writing a thank-you note to Barack Obama long enough to give a lengthy interview to The New York Times Magazine on Monday -- and thank goodness he did, because it was a veritable font of fun facts. Here's everything we're thrilled to have learned.

Jennifer Lopez is incomprehensibly wise

Rodriguez is a professional baseball analyst, but even he's taken to jotting down some of Lopez's musings -- including ones she offers in the middle of the night.

"It was about Mariano Rivera," A-Rod recalled. "She said, 'Mo getting 100 percent tells you more about his greatness off the field than it does on the field.' I thought, 'That’s so true. I played with him all these years, and I couldn’t have come up with that.'"

2. He's never played against somebody he thought was better than him -- not even Barry Bonds

Upon being asked whether, during his career, he ever faced another player he thought was better than him, A-Rod's answer was simple: "If you take away my first year and my last season, I don’t think I ever saw that." Not even Barry Bonds? "I played against Barry. Interleague."

Hey, if you went from high school wunderkind to No. 1 Draft pick to richest man in the history of sport to member of the 600 home run club, you'd probably feel the same way.

3. The centaur story isn't true -- but he sort of wishes it was

You may have heard the rumor that Rodriguez commissioned a portrait of himself as a centaur. Rodriguez definitely has, and he finally gave us an answer: "100 percent not true. I wish it was true because it’s such a cool story."

4. The inside story of the kissing photo

Another art-related nugget that is true: the Details photo shoot for which A-Rod was captured kissing his reflection in a mirror.

"I cringe at that," Rodriguez explained, before delving into just how it came together. "We were ending the photo shoot, and I wanted to run out of there. I think Steven Klein was the photographer, and he was like, Let’s just shoot one more. And I’m like, What? I just want to eat a burger. Let me get out of here."

5. He teaches a reputation management class at Stanford

Technically, Reputation Management: Strategies for Successful Communicators.

6. Jamie Dimon and other finance titans are his business idols

He's gone from idolizing Cal Ripken to idolizing J.P. Morgan. "Obviously," he added, "our Babe Ruth is Warren Buffett."

8. He can really rock a turtleneck

I mean, just look at this photo:

9. He still has a ton of respect for Derek Jeter

Rodriguez gives a very thoughtful response to a question about the tension an athlete feels between individual and team performance.

Look, I played for 22 years and won one championship. Dan Marino and Charles Barkley -- they didn’t have championships, and to this day I know they hear the echoes. I feared that. So ’09 was an amazing experience, but the other half was relief. But I also had already made a small fortune. It’d probably be different if you asked me when I hadn’t signed my contract. Then that becomes a question of would you rather hit .330 and not win or .270 and win? That’s where it gets a little tricky.

And then he drops a very interesting list of names, one that's sure to anger both Red Sox and Yankees fans:

Because that batting-average difference equates to a difference of millions of dollars in salary? Tens of millions. But there are unique players that are truly all about winning. Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Dustin Pedroia.

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