06.30.06

Raissman : YES’ A-Rod Bashing An Organized Effort

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 6:37 am by

Presumably, the paying customers at Yankee Stadium are still expressing themselves without the benefit of a prior memo. From the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman.

David Justice’s pointed critique of Alex Rodriguez Tuesday night on the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network was not a solo act.

A variety of moles, some embedded inside YES, said Justice (above, right), the network’s pre- and postgame studio analyst, was strongly encouraged – perhaps even ordered – to criticize A-Rod, by YES brass, including the network’s production boss, John Filippelli.

“It (Justice’s A-Rod rip) was verbatim what they wanted him to say,” one mole said.

The question is, did the order to verbally hit A-Rod come directly from the Yankees’ high command?

Justice was not the only YES voice approached to put the wood to Rodriguez, who was mired in another slump until breaking out Wednesday with a game-winning home run. The three voices who worked Tuesday night’s game on YES – Michael Kay, Jim Kaat, and Al Leiter – were also “encouraged” to come down on A-Rod. Saying Rodriguez was not the only problem the Yankees have, they flat out refused to single him out and trash him.

When asked about the situation, Eric Handler, a YES spokesman, would only say: “As always, there is a healthy give and take among production personnel regarding the direction of the show.”

Apparently, this particular “give and take” lingered after Tuesday night’s postgame show ended. After hearing Justice’s spiel on A-Rod, the three voices were stunned by the length and intensity of the spew. “They (Kay, Kaat, Leiter) could not believe this —,” one source said. “They were all still steamed when they came back to the Stadium Wednesday morning (to work Braves-Yankees game).”

The timing of Justice’s soliloquy was curious for one reason: He had recently encouraged fans to lay off A-Rod and stop booing him.

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