Alex Rodriguez denied using performance-enhancing drugs, telling CBS' "60 Minutes" in an interview aired last night that he's never felt as if he needed them to compete. The Yankees slugger also said he isn't sure he's worth his record contract, and described being "white like a ghost" when news of his opting out of his deal with New York broke during Game 4 of the World Series.

Rodriguez' interview was aired just 3 days after George Mitchell's report on performance-enhancing drugs in baseball was released. Jose Canseco, the former Oakland slugger who was one of the first to admit using steroids, said he couldn't believe Rodriguez wasn't included in the former Senate majority leader's findings.

Rodriguez answered "no" when asked whether he's ever used steroids, human growth hormone or any other performance-enhancing substance.

"I've never felt overmatched on the baseball field," he said. "I felt that if I did my work as I've done since I was, you know, a rookie back in Seattle, I didn't have a problem competing at any level."


* Japanese righthander Hiroki Kuroda was introduced in Los Angeles after agreeing to sign with the Dodgers. Kuroda, who turns 33 in February, receives a $7.3 million signing bonus and will be paid a salary of $5 million next season, $10 million in 2009 and $13 million in 2010.

* The Yankees and Minnesota Twins reportedly are talking again about a deal that would send lefthanded ace Johan Santana to New York.

* Oakland righthander Chad Gaudin will have surgery tomorrow to repair a torn hip labrum. *