Much of America got a chuckle Sunday out of a strange television image during the Super Bowl: actress Cameron Diaz feeding Alex Rodriguez popcorn as they watched the game from a luxury box in Cowboys Stadium.
Play-by-play man Joe Buck immediately suggested on the air that Rodriguez might not be thrilled to be pictured in that situation, and he might have been right.
On Tuesday, the Chicago Sun-Times reported A-Rod was angered and confronted Fox personnel after the shot appeared, warning them not to show him and his girlfriend again. (The couple was not shown again during the game.)
Dan Bell, a Fox Sports spokesman, said he was not aware of Rodriguez expressing his displeasure to the network. He did issue a statement stressing that Fox did not intend to make him look bad.
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“In no way, shape or form would we ever intend to show a celebrity in any type of negative manner on this or any other of our broadcasts,” Bell said. “These shots are purely random and were just used to show the audience all of the unique personalities who were in attendance to watch this great game.
“Furthermore, Alex has been nothing but tremendously gracious and cooperative to us throughout the years on our ‘MLB on Fox’ coverage, and we would never do anything to jeopardize that relationship.”
Former Cincinnati Reds All-Star shortstop Barry Larkin and former Montreal Expos pitcher Joe Logan will travel to South Korea and meet North Korean defectors as part of a United States effort to use sport as a tool of diplomacy.
The pair will visit Seoul, Gwangju and Jeju Island Feb. 13-19, and will hold baseball clinics, meet defectors and speak to local students. They will also hold discussions with nongovernmental and minority groups on the importance of diversity.
BACK ON THE FIELD
Cleveland Indians prize catching prospect Carlos Santana has been cleared to resume all on-field activities following a six-month checkup after knee surgery.
Santana injured his knee in a home-plate collision on Aug. 2 in Boston and had surgery to repair a ligament four days later. The NBA Cleveland Cavaliers’ team physician, Dr. Richard Parker, examined Santana’s knee in Arizona and gave him the go ahead to take batting practice and play catch.
Santana will begin position-specific agility drills and baserunning next week. He’s on target to play in games during the first week of the exhibition season.
Washington Nationals minor league catcher Hector Taveras has been suspended 25 games because he was found in possession of an unauthorized syringe. New York Yankees catcher Russell Martin is set to resume catching drills today for the first time since having surgery on his right knee in December. The Tampa Bay Rays designated outfielder Justin Ruggiano and first baseman-outfielder Leslie Anderson for assignment, creating openings on the 40-man roster for free agent acquisitions Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez, who finalized one-year deals Tuesday.