Juju Chang Takes the Field with A-Rod

By kevin 

As a part of May sweeps, ABC’s “Good Morning America” anchor team got to choose different “dreams” to live out on the air this week. George Stephanopoulos plays poker with some pros. Robin Roberts takes flight with Captain Sully. Sam Champion visits a manatee sanctuary. Bill Weir jumps out of planes and hot air balloons.

“This is not about our real dreams, like peace on earth or a cure for cancer,” Juju Chang tells TVNewser. “We just chose something meaningful and personal to us. And I think that’s reflected.”

“George and I have joined this anchor team,” Chang says. “It was a quiet transition. We wanted it that way. So this was our first chance to do a series where we showed our personality and the things we care about.”

Chang says her segment, which airs today, was “very very personal.” She got to play baseball with the New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez.

The love for baseball and the Yankees goes beyond the norm for Chang, her husband, and her three sons. She’s been going to spring training back well into the days the Yankees played in Fort Lauderdale. (Her fanatic husband, whom she describes as “an overgrown kid,” is WNET President and former NBC News president Neal Shapiro.)

“I know people love hating the Yankees,” she says. “But for our family, the Yankees are like religion.” And they don’t just watch. They play too. She tells us she gets a lot of grief from the fam because she can’t pitch. “They say I ‘let up too many hits’ or I’ve ‘beaned my kids.'”

Of her time on the field, Chang says they had a great time, but added, “It wasn’t just baseball, I was also able to hint at life lessons to my kids.” And the coach? She said A-Rod was “sweet and charming and nice and totally patient with my boys.”

Chang tells TVNewser likes the bombers chances this year, but admits she’s “the eternal optimist.” “I think they look good, A-Rod especially,” Chang says. “They have that momentum.”

Stephanopoulos and Roberts spoke with the AP’s David Bauder about their wish fulfillment, with Stephanopoulos saying, “It’s been a good time to start [with some fun] because there’s so much going on.”