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Rudy Giuliani

DEFENDS A-ROD

'He's One of the Greatest Players Ever'

7/10/2013 9:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani doesn't give two craps about steroids allegations ... telling TMZ, Yankees fans should STOP dumping on Alex Rodriguez because he's a baseball legend ... and a good person, too.

Yankees fans have been crushing A-Rod for years -- some say he's overpaid, some say he's overrated, some just like to give him grief -- but now that the famous third baseman is smack in the crosshairs of ANOTHER steroid investigation, the opprobrium has reached new levels.

But Giuliani tells us, it has to stop now -- "I was one of the first to say that Yankee fans should not boo A-Rod. He's on our team. You gotta root for him. I think he's one of the greatest players ever."

For the record, A-Rod admitted to using banned substances from 2001 to 2003 ... but he was never punished by MLB.

Now, with Rodriguez possibly connected to Biogenesis (which allegedly supplied PEDs to baseball players), Alex is drawing some serious fire from Yank fans.

Still, Rudy's got his back: "I happen to know him personally," Giuliani tells TMZ ... "He's a really good man."

So we gotta ask ...

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!

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