New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez will be cut out of an animated film to which he leant his voice and likeness because producers were concerned that he would hurt the marketability and profitability of the film, USA Today reported.
The one-hour family film, Henry and Me, is financially backed by the Yankees. Reporters were shown of a clip of it on Wednesday. It shows Rodriguez hitting a home run for a cancer-stricken boy, who he then visits in a hospital.
Producer Joseph Avallone told the New York Post that Rodriguez only has a few lines in the film but is included in 49 scenes. His character will be replaced by former Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui.
Avallone said it will take months of editing a lot of money to cut out Rodriguez. However, Rodriguez was asked to be in the film in 2009, after he admitted to taking performance-enhancing drugs.
Voice actors in the movie include Richard Gere, Chazz Palminteri, Cyndi Lauper and Paul Simon, as well as current and former Yankees Yogi Berra, Reggie Jackson, Bernie Williams, CC Sabathia, Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira. Owner Hank Steinbrenner also provides a voice in the film.