Bette Midler Wants Yankees to Clean Up Their Act

By Jennifer Millman
|  Tuesday, Nov 10, 2009  |  Updated 9:35 AM EDT
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C'mon, Yankees. Show the Major Deegan some love.

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The Yankees may have swept the grin off Jimmy Rollins' prophetic mouth, but Bette Midler wants the World Series champs to target their brooms closer to the ground.

The singer/actress has been shelling out money since 2004 to clean up two trash-polluted miles of the Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx, but now that the Yanks' glossy new stadium sits right alongside that dirty roadway, Midler thinks it's the team's turn to take out the trash -- or at least foot the bill.  

"Come on guys!" Midler pressed the Yankees as she urged them to "Adopt-A-Highway" near their stadium, reports the Daily News. "It's a good thing, it's not expensive, and it's great branding for the Yankee organization."

Midler has been campaigning to clean up the city since she returned to the Big Apple more than a decade ago and found its precious public places ensconced in refuse. She founded the New York Restoration Project in 1995, a group originally comprised of her friends and family committed to making the city greener and cleaner that has expanded to include more volunteers. 

Cleaning up the Major Deegan has become a personal mission of Midler, who personally pays cleanup crews to come by twice a week instead of the one day a week the city pays for. But that's not enough – and given the hundreds of millions the Yankees spend on their roster, can't they shell out a meager $25,000 a year for a cleaner highway?

Vice President of Adopt-A-Highway Greg Wooden told the News it wouldn't even cost the Yankees $2,000 a month to clean up the dirtiest areas of the Major Deegan. Heck, A-Rod, who makes a whopping $252 million, could just pay for it himself. It may even help his, ahem, batting average. 

"Think of all the creative things you can do with your own stretch of highway. Alex Rodriguez could really impress Kate Hudson with a mile of A-Rod Rhododendrons," Midler told the News.

And what about Jeter's gal, Minka Kelly?

 "A-Rod could split it with Derek Jeter. I hear his girlfriend wants an engagement ring, but if he's not ready for that level of commitment, nothing says, 'I love you' like a mile of the Major Deegan planted with Jeter Junipers!

Still, some things should be a team effort.

"I'm thrilled to death that they [the Yankees] won, but would they please in their win fork over - it's so cheap - like 25 grand for a whole year," Midler told the News. "They could have flowers that say "Go Yankees!"

A Yankees spokesman told the News the team was investigating the matter.

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