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Carl Pavano was the target of an extortion plot

Mar 29, 2012, 9:12 AM EDT

Carl Pavano

When you think of celebrity extortion plots you tend to think of super famous people with sterling reputations they’d do anything to protect. Someone tried to extort Bill Cosby once, for example. That’s pretty major because he’s an icon.  You tend not to think of extortion plots aimed at guys like Carl Pavano. But they happen:

The family of major league pitcher Carl Pavano told police that a former Southington High School classmate was trying to extort money and a luxury SUV from Pavano by threatening to reveal personal information about him.

Not just any luxury SUV. According to the story, the suspect left a message to Pavano’s family saying “the only way your brother is getting out of this… is with a heart-felt apology and a navy Range Rover with tan leather.”  So apparently he’s a highly specific extortionist. If it was a Mercedes ML63 with black leather we’d all now know about Pavano aided that Prussian spy during wartime or whatever it was.

OK, I’m being cute with that. There is a suggestion in the article of what the basis of the extortion threat was, with the suspect saying it was about “an emotional and physical relationship” he and Pavano had in high school.  Pavano’s family denies that, however.

I would add that extortion plots are more about threats and greed than they are about revealing actual truths and that as such you can’t necessarily assume that the threat in question is based in truth. All it has to be — to be successful anyway, which this one was apparently not — is potentially damaging, and lies can do that too.

  1. bsbiz - Mar 29, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    Pavano recognized it as an extortion plot due to its highly similar nature to how he managed to get $40million out of the Yankees.

    • kopy - Mar 29, 2012 at 9:22 AM

      When you throw dump trucks filled with money at free agents on a regular basis, you are going to get burned once in a while. I still, and never will, have sympathy for the Yankees over the contract they offered Pavano.

      • danrizzle - Mar 29, 2012 at 10:08 AM

        I would note that Pavano was 29 at the time the Yankees signed him, and was coming off two solid (though not exactly Cy Young caliber) years. Was 4 years $40 million a lot? Sure, but it wasn’t exactly crazy. Obviously they got absolutely nothing out of him over those four years, but them’s the breaks, and yeah there’s no need to have sympathy for the Yankees. But I wouldn’t say they were crazy for offering that to him (not that you said that).

      • psuravens19 - Mar 29, 2012 at 10:14 AM

        Well Said!

      • bigharold - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:49 AM

        “.. Pavano was 29 at the time the Yankees signed him, and was coming off two solid (though not exactly Cy Young caliber) years. Was 4 years $40 million a lot? Sure, but it wasn’t exactly crazy.”

        Additionally, Pavano was the best FA pitcher on the market that year and if I remember correctly the RS actually offered him slightly more. In fact he was getting offers from several teams in the 30 mil range.

        Pavano was a complete bust for the Yankees for sure but that wasn’t because the Yankees were being outrageous so much as bad timing for signing Pavano when he was about to run into a rough spot in his career.

      • kopy - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:30 PM

        I did use the words “dump trucks” but I never meant to say that they overpaid the market, just that they gave him a lot. But Yankees fans already know they gave him a lot, otherwise why would they be mad?

    • kxr4trids - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:20 AM

      Dude, that’s wrong. Just wrong. What Pavano did to the Yankees was clearly not extortion. It was larceny! :-P

  2. yankeefanincolo - Mar 29, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    It was probably Hal Steinbrenner trying to get back some of that wasted money!

  3. schlemealsschlimazel - Mar 29, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    That’s nothing. If word ever gets out about the time I distracted the cashier at Bed Bath & Beyond while Drew Butera pocketed a ceramic trivet (that was to DIE for!), that chump will be buying me a phat ass Impreza.

  4. kiwicricket - Mar 29, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    Carl Pavano IS an extortion plot.

  5. yankeesfanlen - Mar 29, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    I thought for sure it was uyf1950 and BigHarold

    • Old Gator - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:03 AM

      Leave Pavano alone! Alyssa Milano already implied that he had a little weewee. Isn’t that enough?

      • bigharold - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:33 PM

        “… a little weewee.”

        We didn’t need her for that information, .. he drives a Porsche, ..which makes it self evident.

    • bigharold - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:51 AM

      Leave uyf1950 and BigHarold ALONE!

  6. foreverchipper10 - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    No relation to baseball but my history teacher in high school played with Bill Cosby on the Temple football team.

    • Old Gator - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:48 PM

      Heh heh…it didn’t take much to play football for Temple…but Hofstra killed us….

  7. rooney24 - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Even if said relationship had occurred (not saying it did), why should anyone care in this day and age? Can’t we get past that? Sooner or later there will be an openly gay athlete in one of the major sports. If you believe what you read, there have been plenty that felt they couldn’t be open about it. Who someone sleeps with shouldn’t be anyone else’s concern (except their spouse).

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