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Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Investors might pull A-Rod from film

By Ian Begley

A group of investors is mulling a decision to pull steroid-stained Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez from its Bomber-themed film about a young child battling illness.

The investors might pull Rodriguez from the film due to baseball's decision to suspend A-Rod for 211 games for his alleged use of banned substances over "multiple years," among other violations.

Alex Rodriguez
Baseball may not be the only one to ban Alex Rodriguez.
Rodriguez voices himself in the animated film "Henry & Me." The film illustrates the story of a young boy, Jack, who is battling cancer. Jack meets several Yankees -- including Rodriguez and late owner George Steinbrenner, who is voiced by his son, Hank -- who offer him advice along the way.

Investors are wary of including Rodriguez in the film, according to executive producer Ray Negron, a Yankee executive who wrote the children's book upon which the film is based.

"He has not been cut. A final decision has to be made by the investors," Negron said, adding, "we do not want anything to do with steroids."

Rodriguez is appealing baseball's decision to suspend him for 211 games. He is allowed to play during the appeals process.

But investors are concerned that A-Rod's steroid battle will take away from the film, which Negron has dedicated to George Steinbrenner.

"As much as I love Alex Rodriguez, we can't have the focus shift from what this is all about," Negron said.

A final decision is likely to come later this month, according to Negron.

Rodriguez was originally cast in the movie in 2009 to replace Hideki Matsui, who left for the Angels after helping the Yankees to a World Series win. Though it would be costly, the investors might decide to replace Rodriguez with Matsui.

"I have been fighting this fight for a while now, as far as keeping Alex. But I just don't want to lose the incentive as far as the kids and the Boss, I don't want to lose that," Negron said. "So if it means a sacrifice, then that's what I've got to do."

The film also features general manager Brian Cashman, Reggie Jackson and CC Sabathia, among other Yankees.

Singers Paul Simon and Cyndi Lauper and Chazz Palminteri are also voices in the film.