NEW YORK—Citing concern that his fellow major-leaguers would consider him an outcast and overachiever, Alex Rodriguez announced Wednesday that he will not take part in the increasingly unpopular World Baseball Classic. "The Classic seemed like it would be a great opportunity to represent my country and give baseball unprecedented worldwide exposure; that is, back when everyone else said they were going to be in it, too," said Rodriguez, who watched as stars like Barry Bonds, Nomar Garciaparra, and John Smoltz withdrew from the tournament in recent weeks. "When most of the other guys tentatively said they would participate, I thought that playing was a good decision, but after seeing my heroes like the great Mariano Rivera bow out, I am now sure that this is the right, and popular, thing to do." Rodriguez added that, even though the World Baseball Classic "is for losers," he wouldn't rule out playing in the tournament if enough of his friends decide to reconsider their withdrawal.