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New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is reportedly being cut from Henry & Me, an animated movie that he had done some voice work for. Since he has been suspended by Major League Baseball for his alleged connections to performance enhancing drugs, a producer on the film said that it might just edit him out.
Executive producer Ray Negron spoke with Newsday and had originally said that Rodriguez would definitely be cut, but later backpedaled and said that a final decision hasn’t been made. The highest-paid player in baseball had recorded lines for 49 sequences and it might cost too much to edit him out.
“I love Alex Rodriguez, but I love kids more,” Negron told the paper. “We just don't want to get caught up with everything that's happening right now. The message that we are trying to relay to kids is too important that we don't want to get caught up with that.”
Producer Joseph Avallone told The Hollywood Reporter that it would “cost a fortune” to make the edits, which could take up to six months to complete.
“If that's what has to happen here, that's what has to happen here from the standpoint of what's best for the team," Negron explained. "The team being children who are going to be seeing this for the rest of their lives.”
Hank & Me is a Yankees affair, with a dedication to the late owner George Steinbrenner and includes his son, Hank, voicing his father. It’s based on Negron’s books and that Yankees worked with Creative Group to make the film.
According to its IMDb page, in addition to Yankees greats like Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams and Yogi Berra, actors Richard Gere and Danny Aiello also did voice work. Singers Paul Simon and Cyndi Lauper also contributed.
THR reports that the film took six years to make and was planned on a direct-to-video release, but will get a limited theatrical run in April.
Rodriguez has been suspended from baseball through 2014, but is still playing pending appeal.