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A Sticky Situation in the Bronx

By Dustin Racioppi

Alright, the Yankees are making the playoffs. They can kind of glide into the post season care-free and lighthearted and fans/bloggers don't necessarily need to ride the team so hard for the next couple of weeks. But still, there are other important matters at hand in Yankeeland. Namely, the grounds crew and Alex Rodriguez.

I don't know if he has a vendetta against the crew or simply has a serious oral fixation, but as a relative of mine has noticed and since passed on to me, Mr. Rod still doesn't know where the garbage cans in the new Yankee Stadium are.

He has this habit between almost every inning where he takes this slobbered mass of pink matter, comprised of at least five or six pieces of synthetic rubber (or gum) from his pie hole, and throws it on the Stadium's fine Kentucky bluegrass. When the Yanks notch a win, take notice, he has a special gum flip where he pops it out of his mouth and into the air, then whacks it away just before he starts shaking his drooly hands with his teammates. Tally it up, that's a lot of Bazooka Joe on the Yankee grass by the end of a game. We're talking legions, folks.

So, no, I wouldn't want to be on the Yankee grounds crew.

Now I don't know what kind of a pain gum in the grass can be for the green thumbs of Yankee Stadium. I'm guessing somewhere on the gum-on-the-bottom-of-the-shoe and gum-in-the-hair-scale, it's somewhere in between.

Alex has a documented infatuation with himself — er, I mean, bubblegum. Just check out this New York Times story describing Alex when he spoke at his alma mater. And there's plenty of pictures on the Internet or from past newspaper stories of him blowing a large pink bubble. Like many baseball players do. But I don't think I've ever seen such ritualistic and egregious littering from another baseball player.

On the other hand, I haven't heard any bizarro comments from Alex and his season has been foible-free to this point. Maybe the gum ritual is doing something that translates into good PR.

I think anybody in the Yankee organization — grounds crew included — will take that.

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