First the jersey, now this.
David Ortiz has apparently once again gotten the Yankees front office all hot and bothered, thanks to his presence in a silly All-Star Game promotion. The “Call Your Shot” event will give a fan the chance to choose a spot in Yankee Stadium where he or she thinks the Red Sox slugger can deposit the ball. Then, Ortiz has one swing to summon Babe Ruth. Simple enough.
But according to the New York Times’ Jack Curry, the Yankees don’t want Ortiz to take that swing.
The Yankees were upset about the plans involving Ortiz and said they were unaware of the promotion until a reporter contacted them Thursday night. The Yankees were discussing the matter internally and planning to contact Major League Baseball for an explanation.
It would be surprising if Ortiz did not get to take the swing. Even though the game is being played at Yankee Stadium, the event is organized by Major League Baseball. State Farm, which sponsors the home run derby, deals with M.L.B., not the Yankees. While the Yankees are the hosts for the game and have been consulted on most matters, they do not make unilateral decisions.
On the one hand, you can understand the Yankees’ beef with the whole thing, having a Red Sox player – and noted Yankee killer – be the one who gets to play Babe Ruth for a night. On the other, are they really going to waste time and energy over a State Farm promotion? You’d think they’d have bigger things to worry about. Like the fact that only the Mariners are in a bigger division deficit than the 22-25 Yankees, 7 ½ games behind Boston.
According to Curry, “Randy Levine, the Yankees’ president, and Lonn Trost, the chief operating officer, have spent more than a year working with baseball representatives about various All-Star Game details. Still, Yankee officials said they were surprised by the news that Ortiz would get a chance to go deep in their yard.”
Still, despite the fact that Ortiz is mentioned prominently in the promotion’s copy, there appears this little disclaimer: *Actual athlete to participate in “Call Your Shot” event to be designated by Sponsor and may not be athlete mentioned.”
Perfect. Imagine poring over spreadsheets and hit charts for Ortiz, only to arrive in the Bronx and see that Alex Rodriguez is going to take his shot instead. Nothing against A-Rod, but if you’ve got one swing with everything on the line, I’m not sure he’s your man.
(Thanks to commenter Benny B for pointing out this portion of the disclaimer: “If a resident of Canada is a potential winner, to win he/she must correctly answer, unaided, a mathematical skill question administered by telephone.” Is this for real? What on earth does a Canadian’s ability to do finite math have anything to do with winning?)