Joe DiMaggio’s controversial lawyer nixes a DiMaggio bobblehead day at Yankee Stadium

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The Yankees wanted to give away Joe DiMaggio bobbleheads in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Yankee Clipper’s 56-game hitting streak. They won’t be doing that, though, because the lawyer who long handled DiMaggio’s business affairs and continues to handle those of his estate is, apparently, a pain in the butt to work with.

People familiar with DiMaggio’s post-playing life know the name Morris Engelberg. He’s long been a controversial figure, having been accused of isolating DiMaggio from friends and family in life and of being extraordinarily difficult to deal with with respect to the business affairs of DiMaggio’s estate. Now the Daily News says that Engelberg’s demands have nixed the bobblehead deal too:

Engelberg said he only had two requests after the Yankees approached DiMaggio’s grandchildren about a day honoring Joltin’ Joe’s hitting streak: He wanted former Mayor Rudy Giuliani to throw out the first pitch and he wanted the Yankees to make a donation to the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Fla.

“I asked for $50,000 for the hospital, $25,000 would have been fine,” Engelberg said.

Engelberg also referenced DiMaggio’s alleged love of George Steinbrenner and added “If George was still here, we’d have this event.” Which has long been a vehicle for b.s. artists to give presumed weight to their unfounded claims, but maybe here he’s right. Who knows! For what it’s worth, Engelberg denies that he was being difficult. The Yankees had no comment.

I have no idea whether Engelberg’s demands are unusual — I suspect the Rudy Giuliani part is unusual — but I also sorta doubt that those were all of his demands too, at least based on his track record.

Padres claim 2-time All-Star catcher Gary Sánchez off waivers from Mets

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SAN DIEGO — The scuffling San Diego Padres claimed catcher Gary Sánchez off waivers from the New York Mets.

The two-time All-Star was designated for assignment after playing in three games for the Mets. He went 1 for 6 with three strikeouts and an RBI, looking shaky at times behind the plate.

With the disappointing Padres (24-29) getting meager offensive production at catcher, they hope Sánchez can provide a boost. Austin Nola is batting .131 with three extra-base hits and a paltry .434 OPS in 39 games. His part-time platoon partner, second-stringer Brett Sullivan, is hitting .170 with four extra-base hits and a .482 OPS in 21 games since getting called up from the minors April 16.

Luis Campusano has been on the injured list since April 17 and is expected to be sidelined until around the All-Star break following left thumb surgery.

San Diego is responsible for just over $1 million in salary for Sánchez after assuming his $1.5 million, one-year contract.

The star-studded Padres have lost seven of 11 and are 3-3 on a nine-game East Coast trip. They open a three-game series at Miami.

San Diego becomes the third National League team to take a close look at the 30-year-old Sánchez this season. He spent time in the minors with San Francisco before getting released May 2 and signing a minor league contract a week later with the Mets, who were minus a couple of injured catchers at the time.

After hitting well in a short stint at Triple-A Syracuse, he was promoted to the big leagues May 19. When the Mets reinstated catcher Tomás Nido from the injured list last week, Sánchez was cut.

Sánchez’s best seasons came early in his career with the New York Yankees, where he was runner-up in 2016 AL Rookie of the Year voting and made the AL All-Star team in 2017 and 2019.

He was traded to Minnesota before the 2022 season and batted .205 with 16 homers and 61 RBIs in 128 games last year.

With the Padres, Sánchez could also be a candidate for at-bats at designated hitter, where 42-year-old Nelson Cruz is batting .245 with three homers, 16 RBIs and a .670 OPS, and 37-year-old Matt Carpenter is hitting .174 with four homers, 21 RBIs and a .652 OPS.