New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez flirted with a female fan at Yankee Stadium during Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, and had scribbled a note on a ball asking her phone number, according to a New York Post report.

The paper said that A-Rod, who had been lifted for pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez, wrote a note on the ball and had it delivered to her by a ball boy. The woman was identified as Kyna Treacy, an Australian bikini model.

"It's true," a team source told ESPNNewYorkcom. "It was witnessed in the dugout. The whole thing is true."

When asked about the Post report a day earlier, Rodriguez told ESPNNewYork.com, "Don't believe any of that (expletive)."

Coincidentally, Rodriguez was benched against right-hander Justin Verlander. Manager Joe Girardi said before the game that it was because he was 0-for-18 with 12 strikeouts against right-handed pitching in the playoffs.

"I let him know before I posted the lineup that I was gonna go with Chavy [Eric Chavez]," Girardi told reporters. "These guys want to be in there and I understand that, and as I said, these are hard decisions but decisions I felt I needed to make."

Through it all, Rodriguez has a friend in Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who spoke out in support of the aging slugger. The two became friends on the set of a commercial a few years back, and Bryant said the two talked a few days ago.

"I just [said] to him, 'You're Alex Rodriguez. You're A-Rod. You're one of the best to ever do it,'" Bryant told ESPN.com. "I think sometimes he kind of forgets that and wants to try to do the right thing all the time. Which is the right team attitude to have. But other times you really have to put your head down and say, 'Hell with it' and just do your thing.

"Hopefully the next game they'll kind of give him a chance, maybe put him back at third and let him respond to the pressure, which I think he'll do."