NEW YORK ―
The New York Yankees could seek criminal charges against a Boston Red Sox-loving construction worker who buried a jersey of his favorite team in the new stadium.
But Gino Castignoli, the Red Sox fan who said he intended to curse the Yankees by planting the jersey, said he did it in jest.
"Anybody with half a brain knows it was all done in fun," Castignoli said in Monday editions of The New York Post.
About possible legal actions the Yankees may pursue, the Bronx-born Local 780 cement mason told the Boston Herald in Monday editions: "It's typical Yankeess... It's not like I snuck in there. It didn't do any structural damage. I didn't put anyone in harm's way."
But maybe his bad vibes got to the Yankees anyway: The pinstripes fell Sunday to Boston, 8-5, in the series finale Sunday night.
Castignoli's bid to curse the Yankees was foiled earlier that day when the home team removed the offending shirt from its burial spot.
After locating the shirt in a service corridor behind what will be a restaurant in the new Yankee Stadium, construction workers jackhammered through the concrete Sunday and pulled it out.
The team said it learned that a Sox-rooting construction worker had buried a shirt in the new Bronx stadium, which will open next year across the street from the current ballpark, from a report in the New York Post on Friday.
Yankees President Randy Levine said team officials at first considered leaving the shirt where it was.
"The first thought was, you know, it's never a good thing to be buried in cement when you're in New York," Levine said. "But then we decided, why reward somebody who had really bad motives and was trying to do a really bad thing?"
On Saturday, construction workers who remembered the employee, Gino Castignoli, phoned in tips about the shirt's location.
"We had anonymous people come tell us where it was, and we were able to find it," said Frank Gramarossa, a project executive with Turner Construction, the general contractor on the site.
It took about five hours of drilling Saturday to locate the shirt under 2 feet of concrete, he said.
On Sunday, Levine and Yankees Chief Operating Officer Lonn Trost watched as Gramarossa and foreman Rich Corrado finished the job and pulled the shirt from the rubble.
In shreds from the jackhammers, the shirt still bore the letters "Red Sox" on the front. It was a David Ortiz jersey, No. 34.
Trost said the Yankees had discussed possible criminal charges against Castignoli with the district attorney's office.
"We will take appropriate action since fortunately we do know the name of the individual," he said. A spokesman for Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson said Sunday he did not know whether any criminal charges might apply.
Levine said the shirt would be cleaned up and sent to the Jimmy Fund, a charity affiliated with Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
"Hopefully the Jimmy Fund will auction it off and we'll take the act that was a very, very bad act and turn it into something beautiful," he said.
Getem' Yankees! LOL!