Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 11/20/14
While the New York Yankees played against the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater Tuesday, the team's braintrust, Hal and Hank Steinbrenner took in an animated movie during an afternoon matinee. The film called "Henry & Me" — which is nearly completed and had been six years in the making — serves as an homage to Yankees' history and includes a virtual Who's Who of Bronx Bombers past and present. It had been so long in production the producers faced a possible conundrum with Alex Rodriguez playing a small but pivotal role in the uplifting film.  In it, A-Rod hits a big home run with the help of the movie's protagonist, Jack, who is battling cancer and is given life lessons by current and former pinstripe stars. The dilemma for the Yankees and producers was whether nor not it was appropriate to portray the injured third baseman in such a positive light given A-Rod's reported PED link in the Biogenesis scandal. After seeing the rough cut of the project, Hank Steinbrenner, who is the voice of his father George in the movie, gave it a thumbs up. "I think it doesn’t matter," Steinbrenner, the Yankees’ co-chairperson with his brother, told The New York Post. "The move is about a child with cancer and his love of the Yankees. Everybody else is in it, too, Ruth and Gehrig and everybody else, so it’s really a small part of it. "The focus really needs to be on what the movie is about. It’s really sad at the beginning and luckily a happy ending. It’s not about whether Alex is in it or not. Maybe it is to the baseball press, but it’s not going to be to anybody else." The film’s producers, Joseph Avallone and Joe Castellano, and director Barrett Esposito presented the movie along with executive producer Ray Negron, the Yankees adviser who was personally hired as a Yankees batboy when he was a teenager.  Negron's Yankees-centric children’s books are the foundation of the story. "This is my tribute to The Boss and the Steinbrenner family and [team president] Randy Levine for all the things they’ve done for me," said Negron. The film has a voiceover cast which includes star-studded Yankees fans Richard Gere as Lou Gehrig, Chazz Palminteri as Babe Ruth and Paul Simon as Thurmond Munson. Yogi Berra, Bob Sheppard, Bernie Williams, CC Sabathia, Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman play themselves as toons. A-Rod himself met with the producers two times to record his lines, once in 2009 — a few months after he confessed to using illegal PEDs — and in 2010 after a great postseason. On whether or not A-Rod's troubles off the field taint his role in the film, Avallone was practical and philanthropic.   "We could change it," said the producer. "Give me another million, give me another year, we could change it. We don’t have a million. We don’t have a year. And you know what? It’s really bigger than Alex. It’s about giving back. It’s about the children." The producers plan to donate $2 from each DVD purchase or download to the charities of the film's actors. The Yankees next animated role for A-Rod might be in Spirited Away but that's after he plays a Centaur in a remake of Beauty and the Beast. 

Cardinals Bruce Arians benches Logan Thomas on Christmas Day

Richard Sherman: Marshawn Lynch having MVP season

Curt Schilling tweeted advice to Johnny Manziel

Aaron Rodgers buys TVs for Packers teammates

Harbaugh smiled when asked about Michigan's bday tweet

Jackie Robinson West Little League accused of cheating


Police: Fire that burned down McClain's home 'suspicious'

Furniture store will refund purchases if OSU wins title

What each NFC team in the hunt should ask for from Santa

Is SI ashamed to mention Jameis Winston on its cover?

Kobe Bryant disappointed Lakers didn't get Rajon Rondo

Niners OT Anthony Davis takes shot at offensive coordinator

Is the NFL playoff system heading south?

WATCH: Quincy Acy ejected for throwing punch at John Wall

Billy Beane did not want to trade Josh Donaldson

Peyton Manning plans to be back with Broncos next year

WATCH: Blazers announcer botches Damian Lillard call

WATCH: P.K. Subban disguises himself, surprises kids for Xmas

Baseball cards: a fan's love for the ultimate stocking stuffer

Packers game is a career defining moment for Stafford

A look inside Jason Grilli's contract with the Braves

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

WATCH: Bahamas Bowl ends on insane Hail Mary play

Mike Yeo slams Wild for not having 'winner's attitude'

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Is the NFL playoff system heading south?

WATCH: Announcer botches call

Police: McClain fire 'suspicious'

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

Bahamas Bowl ends on crazy Hail Mary

49ers OT Davis takes shot at coordinator

Will FIFA ever care to change?

Top storyline for each Week 17 game

40 great Christmas-related sports names

Nick Mangold and dealing with feelings as a sports fan

Ibaka, Aldridge ejected for scuffle

Baseball cards: a fan's love for the ultimate stocking stuffer

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.