Warren Buffett praises Alex Rodriguez's business sense: 'He's got a money mind'

By Warren BuffettFOXBusiness

Alex Rodriguez: I’m always bullish on Derek Jeter, Major League Baseball

Former Major League Baseball MVP Alex Rodriguez discusses his early investments and Derek Jeter’s decision to buy a stake in the Miami Marlins.

Former New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez’s mentor Warren Buffett recently praised the athlete and rising businessman.

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Rodriguez, 43, did a tell-all interview with Sports Illustrated that was published Tuesday. Rodriguez talked about his career's ups and downs, including when he was suspended and his investment company A-Rod Corp. The athlete is also a busy sports analyst who has appeared on ESPN and Fox.

However, Rodriguez has turned to his sights to the business world recently and sought help from one of the richest people in the world – Buffett. The two have been spotted together in the past and Rodriguez has showed his admiration for the billionaire. Earlier this month, Rodriguez shared an Instagram post of him enjoying a sweet treat with his mentor.

“61 years in the same house,” Rodriguez wrote. “57 years in the same office building. Bought his first shares of Berkshire Hathaway in 1962.”

Buffett spoke with Sports Illustrated about Rodriguez, arguing that the sports analyst didn’t need him.

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“Alex may give me some credit—but he doesn’t need me,” Buffett said. “He’s got a money mind. He just gets things, if they’re business- or money-related.”

The two became acquainted after Buffett insured a part of Rodriguez’s 10-year, $252 million contract with the Texas Rangers. The then 25-year-old baseball star emailed Buffett’s assistant to ask if the two could meet. Buffett said he believed Rodriguez would be successful in his business ventures.

“Most athletes get gamed,” Buffett told Sports Illustrated. “They’re pigeons, basically. They don’t have a nose for smelling out the people that are promoters rather than true friends. I don’t know if the term is used anymore, but we used to call them jock-sniffers. They promote partnerships, the young kid is getting checks like he never dreamt of before. Sometimes even their agents may be in cahoots. That has not happened to Alex, and it wouldn’t happen to Alex. He’s got a bull---- detector that’s pretty d--- good.”

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Rodriguez revealed he had invited Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte to help “create content for one of the fitness companies A-Rod Corp” invested in. He reportedly started the swimmer at $15,000 a month.

Rodriguez spoke to Lochte as part of his CNBC series “Back in the Game,” discovering the Olympian lived with his family in a rented apartment after he lost many of his sponsors. Lochte claimed during the 2016 Olympics that he was robbed at gunpoint at a Rio de Janeiro gas station. Rio police said Lochte’s robbery story was false. Charges of “falsely communicating a crime to authorities” were eventually dropped by a Brazilian court.

“Being with him, learning, having him help me out—it’s amazing what he’s been able to do,” Lochte said of Rodriguez.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.