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Saturday, May 26, 2007

DOE Hires Pitchman (and Batsman)

May 26, 2007 (GBN News): The NY City Department of Education announced today that Yankee first baseman Josh Phelps and Met pitcher John Maine will be among twelve new people permanently hired for the DOE publicity department. Phelps, 29, has been frustrated by the Yankees’ poor start and the fact that Doug Mientkiewicz has received most of the playing time at first base. It was felt that he and Maine, 26, who started off well but has struggled of late, would benefit from the change of scenery.

Schools Chancellor Joel Klein was said to be pleased with the recent public service announcement made by the two players, an ad designed to persuade people to fill out school survey forms, which have been coming in at a slow pace. In the ad (see text below), entitled, “Just Take It”, Maine and Phelps are heard exhorting parents, teachers and children to “Just get it”, “just take it”, and “just end it”, and the two emphasize that being “busy” is no reason for failure to complete the form. The Chancellor liked their “no excuses” approach, and noted that Phelps in particular, having worked for George Steinbrenner, should have no trouble adjusting to the culture of the DOE.

In a clarification, Maine denied that in saying “just end it” to Phelps, he was referring to the Yankees’ season.

Full disclosure: GBN News owner and Chief Executive Gary Babad is also competing for one of the DOE publicity positions. He pointed out that he is willing to do the job for $150,000 a year, far less than the millions remaining on Phelps’ and Maine’s contracts. However, he did indicate that he might be open to a platoon situation whereby he would alternate ad spots with Maine and Phelps.

Full text of the DOE ad: (Yes, this is an actual DOE announcement you can hear on radio)

“Just Take It”

Josh Phelps: I'm Josh Phelps from the New York Yankees.

John Maine: And I'm John Maine from the New York Mets.

Phelps: We are here with a message for all public school parents, teachers, and middle and high schoolers. Shall I give it to them, or do you want to?

Maine: Just say it.

Phelps: You've all received the City's first education opinion survey through the mail or inside your child's backpack. If you don't have one, call 311 or speak to your Parent Coordinator.

Maine: Just get it.

Phelps: Send the survey back by June 1. We know you're busy, but...

Maine: Just take it!

Phelps: That pretty much covers it. Should we keep the commercial going?

Maine: Just end it.

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