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TICKER - Next: Middle East Peace? Goldman is everywhere suddenly, including the bronx

In fairness, baseball star Alex Rodriguez didn’t rely solely on advice from Goldman, Sachs & Co. executives when he decided to return to the New York Yankees for a very Goldmanesque payday of $275 million over ten years.

As it turns out, the MVP third baseman reportedly also got a little guidance from billionaire investor and newfound buddy Warren Buffett on his baseball — and business — future. Subsequently, A-Rod told John Mallory, a Goldman Sachs wealth management executive, that he was having second thoughts about leaving the team. Mallory passed word to Gerry Cardinale, a Goldman managing director who sits on the board of the YES Network, which broadcasts Yankee games and is partially owned by Goldman. He, in turn, told team president Randy Levine. It is not the first time Goldman has stepped up to bat for the Bronx Bombers. Last year the firm helped the team finance a new stadium, to be completed in 2009, by lead-managing a $967.6 million bond offering. “We have a strong and close relationship. They work with us in many areas,” says Levine.

The connection between the baseball team and the investment bank is a striking one. To many in the market, Goldman has become the Yankees of banking: stacked with talent, paying out exorbitant salaries, winning at nearly everything and making extraordinary amounts of money — a recipe for being at once envied and increasingly reviled by its many competitors. The comparison might not sit well, though, with Goldman. After all, following years of success the Yankees haven’t won the World Series since 2000 and ,worse, have had to watch their bitter rivals, the Boston Red Sox, take two of the last four.