Extortion, by its very definition, is not a clean business. This week, however, extortion took on new heights of ridiculousness when a former classmate attempted to extort a Range Rover from Minnesota Twins pitcher Carl Pavano. The man, Christian Bedard, threatened to expose a homosexual relationship between he and Pavano unless he received an apology, as well as a navy blue Range Rover SUV with tan interior.
The specificity of the vehicle’s colors, however, was not even the strangest part of this demand. The threat was not even made to Pavano himself. Instead, Bedard issued his extortion demands to Pavano’s sister, and he did it through Facebook. Bedard allegedly sent Pavano’s sister numerous messages through Facebook, claiming that he was writing a book which would contain allegations of a homosexual relationship between he and Pavano unless Pavano provided him with the above-requested apology and vehicle.
There have been no reports, however, about whether anyone else “liked” the Facebook messages.
Moreover, Bedard apparently claimed that he was to receive a $1.2 million dollar advance to write the book, and that he was willing to give up that advance if he received the “I’m sorry” and his blue and tan cruising vessel. This claim is incredible on at least a couple of levels. First, who would give up over a million dollars for one vehicle, which, even if fully loaded, can’t cost more than $100,000? It simply does not make economic sense. Also, let’s face reality for a second. What publisher would be willing to give an unknown author, with an unsubstantiated story, over a million dollars? And for a story about Carl Pavano? Carl Pavano? Clearly there was no such advance in the works.
No charges have yet been filed against Bedard. In a statement, Bedard, who is 36 and lives with his mother, claimed that: "I have been openly gay for most of my adult life … For years, my physical high school relationship with Carl Pavano has been well-known to my close friends and family. Carl Pavano's sister, Michelle DeGennaro, contacted me on Facebook asking under what conditions would I not talk about my relationship with Carl." He further stated that the Range Rover request was made in jest.
Pavano’s sister disagrees with this account, obviously, and reported the threats to police. She maintains that her brother is not gay. Pavano, citing the advice of counsel, has declined to comment. He has sported a large, Tom Selleck-like 1970’s porno mustache for some time now, but, if one recalls the “Seinfeld” ménage-a-trois episode, that does not make him gay, it just means that he is an “orgy person”. There have been no other allegations about Pavano being a homosexual, and it appears that this was simply a misguided attempt by an old classmate to cash in on the success of a professional athlete.
Besides, if Pavano owes anyone a Range Rover, it should be given to me. In December 2004, Pavano, then with the Montreal Expos, signed a four-year contract with my beloved Yankees for the outrageous sum of $39.95 million dollars. Shoulder injuries limited him to only four victories in the 2005 season, and in 2006 he suffered a buttocks injury in spring training (no jokes, please) and then later broke two ribs in a car accident. 2007 brought questions about his performance from teammates, and he only started one game (and earned one win) for the Yankees. There was scant little more success in 2008, and Pavano ended his four-year term in the Bronx with a total of nine victories, or a cool $4.44 million dollars per win. He threw a total of 145 major-league innings during that stint, meaning that he was paid $275,517 per inning, or almost $92,000 per out.
Those numbers are simply ridiculous, and Yankees’ fans deserve restitution. It should not be difficult to figure out. He was paid almost $40 million dollars. The Yankees averaged about four million fans each of the seasons that he “played,” and I use that term loosely, in the Bronx. That means that there were 16 million fans total, and that each is therefore entitled to $2.50 from Pavano. I went to numerous games over that span, however, and am therefore entitled to more; also, like an attorney in a class-action suit, and since I am the “lead plaintiff” in this request, I should be entitled to additional monies. So I want a Range Rover.
And no, Carl, I have no juicy stories to tell about you. Sadly, the reasons that you owe me and so many others money is a matter of public record. Just let me know when you are sending it over. And please, I don’t want it in blue with tan leather interior. I will take silver. Thank you.