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Plot to Curse New Yankee Stadium Is Buried

Monday, April 14, 2008

A construction worker's bid to curse the Yankees by planting a Red Sox jersey in their new stadium was foiled yesterday when the team removed the offending shirt from its burial spot in the ballpark.

After locating the shirt in a service corridor behind what will be a restaurant in the new Yankee Stadium, construction workers jack-hammered through the remaining concrete yesterday and pulled it out.

The team learned that a Sox-rooting construction worker had buried a shirt in the stadium from a report in the New York Post on Friday, team officials said.

Yankees President Randy Levine said the team at first considered leaving the shirt.

"The first thought was, you know, it's never a good thing to be buried in cement when you're in New York," Levine said. "But then we decided, 'Why reward somebody who had really bad motives and was trying to do a really bad thing?' "

The worker had buried a Boston jersey under a locker room in the new stadium, which will open next year across the street from the current ballpark, team officials said.

It took about five hours of drilling Saturday to locate the shirt under two feet of concrete, he said.

Now in shreds from the jackhammers, the shirt still bore "Red Sox" on the front. It was a David Ortiz jersey, No. 34. . . .

Ortiz was out of the starting lineup for the Red Sox against the Yankees last night after getting off to the worst start of his career.

Manny Ramírez moved to Ortiz's DH spot and Jacoby Ellsbury took Ramírez's place in left field.

Ortiz, batting .070 with 3 hits in 43 at bats, was to work with hitting coach Dave Magadan. He started the season in an 0-for-12 slump and is hitless in his last 17 at-bats, his worst stretch since he went 0-for-17 in August 2004. He went 0 for 4 in Saturday night's 4-3 win over New York.

· BEDARD SCRATCHED FROM START: The Mariners scratched Erik Bedard as their starting pitcher before yesterday's game against the Angels because of inflammation in his left hip.

Bedard missed a scheduled start April 6 at Baltimore because of the hip injury, but pitched six innings to earn a 6-5 win at Tampa Bay on April 8 in his second start of the season.

· RYAN ACTIVATED: Closer B.J. Ryan was activated by the Blue Jays, barely 11 months after elbow ligament replacement surgery.

He earned his first save in more than a year yesterday in Toronto's 5-4 win over Texas.

-- From News Services

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