The Canadian anthem was given short shrift at the All-Star Game

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Justin Morneau is a bit miffed
at last night’s pregame protocol which had Sheryl Crow singing the
United States’ national anthem, but merely a pre-recorded instrumental
version of “O Canada”:

“I wasn’t very impressed with that to tell you the truth. You figure
they could find somebody to come and sing the song. They have a hockey
team here, the Canadian teams play here. It’s something that didn’t
really go over too well. I think if it happened the other way around,
if they were playing in Toronto and they did that, it would have been a
lot bigger deal. But nothing you can do about it.”

He’s absolutely right to note that people here would be freaking the
hell out if they dissed “The Star Spangled Banner” like that. And even
if there weren’t many Canadians present — other than Morneau, dual
citizen Jason Bay was the only other Canuck on either of the rosters —
“O Canada” is a beautiful song in its own right, and deserved the same
treatment as the U.S. anthem.

I somehow suspect that U.S.-Canadian relations will survive this
incident without shots being fired, but still: bad form, baseball.

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.

Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.

As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.