New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez speaks during a news conference in Chicago

A-Rod cut from an animated movie about a boy battling cancer

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There is an animated movie called “Henry and Me” which has been in production for several years now. It’s about a boy battling cancer who, over the course of the film, meets several Yankees legends who provide inspiration. It’s star studded, not only with ballplayers and members of the Yankees organization but also actors like Richard Gere and singers like Paul Simon.

But it doesn’t have A-Rod. At least not anymore, reports the New York Post:

Rodriguez, who did his own voice work while appearing in the upcoming animated film “Henry & Me,” will be removed from the film’s final version due to fears from investors that the Yankees third baseman, who is currently appealing a 211-game suspension for his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs, will hurt the marketability and profitability of the picture.

The movie went into production and Rodriguez did his voice work for it after his 2009 admission that he used PEDs, but apparently this latest stuff is too much. The producers had originally cut out Hideki Matsui when he left the Yankees but will now be re-inserting his portion to cover for A-Rod at, apparently, some considerable offense.

Good to know that Matsui’s off-field interests aren’t considered a problem.

Report: Phillies close to signing Joaquin Benoit

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Joaquin Benoit #53 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the seventh inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 15, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
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Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.

Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.

Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.

The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.

Report: The new collective bargaining agreement reduces players’ meal money

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JAN. 18-19 - This Jan. 15, 2014 photo showing new baseball union head Tony Clark during an interview at the organization's headquarters, in New York. Clark has big shoes to fill _ and not just as Michael Weiner's replacement as head of the baseball players' union. Moving from Arizona to New Jersey, the former big league All-Star also needed to find size 15 snowshoes.  (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
AP Photo/Richard Drew
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ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.

Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.

Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.

EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.