Yankees Old Timer's Day might need a nap

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Disclaimer: I love baseball. I love history. I love baseball history.
I’m a Mets fan who does not dislike the Yankees (settle down Benigno).

That being said … it might be time to put this Old Timer’s Day thing on the shelf for a couple years until guys like Jeter and Mariano and O’Neill
are old and gray and haven’t been heard from in 10 years. Then you
celebrate them and everyone’s happy and it’s a great time for all. Or
do it every 5 years.

But do the Yanks really need to do this every year? If you continue
to have these ceremonies where the greats (and some non-greats) all
trot out, the oversaturation factor kicks in. Within the last 12
months, the Yanks have now had four similar celebrations – All-Star
Game, final game at Old Yankee Stadium, opening of New Yankee Stadium,
Old Timer’s Day – where the team honors its past. Seriously, we get it.
The Yankees are the greatest franchise ever. You had us at the 183rd
time you told us.

Most of the legends have passed on (Mickey, Joe D). Now, Yogi and Whitey are surrounded by the likes of Dave Eiland, Homer Bush, and Aaron Small. To put things in perspective, imagine the Mets celebrating Old Timer’s Day with Tom Seaver, a couple other dudes from ’69, but also Rico Brogna, Bill Pulsipher, and Keith Miller. Everyone would make fun of it, right? Not to equate Mets history with Yankees history, but hopefully you get the point.

If the Yanks were inviting these guys because they’re truly
acknowledging that the lean years are just as important as the
championship years, then that’s one thing. I applaud that. But me
thinks that some of this crew is just roster filler. Guys like John Sterling, Michael Kay, and the YES propaganda crew rarely reminisce about Mike Easler or Pat Kelly.

And let’s not even get started about the politics with some of these choices. If you think that Joe Torre ever gets invited back with the current regime in place, you’re crazy.

Again, honoring your past is fantastic and the idea of an Old
Timer’s Day is wonderful. But when it gets watered down and played out,
it’s time to re-evaluate things. Let it breathe. Let Old Timer’s Day
take a nap for a couple years. It’s return will feel special again.

The National Anthem: an unwavering sports tradition . . . since the 1940s

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Associated Press
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There’s an interesting article over that the New York Times in the wake of the Colin Kaepernick stuff. This one is about the history of the National Anthem at sporting events.

The anthem is a fixture for as long as those of us reading this blog have been attending games and it’d be weird if it wasn’t there. But it hasn’t always been there, the Times notes. Indeed, it was not a regular fixture until 1942 when it was added for the obvious reason that we were at war. The other major sports leagues all adopted the anthem soon after. The NBA at the inception of the league in 1946 and the NHL in the same year. The NFL’s spokesman doesn’t mention a year, but notes that it’s a non-negotiable part of the game experience. The non-negotiability of it is underscored by the comment from the MLS spokesman who notes that they felt that they had no choice but to play the anthem when that league began play in the 1990s.

I like the anthem at ballgames. It just seems like part of the experience. I like it for its own sake, at least if the performance isn’t too over the top, and I like it because it serves as a nice demarcation between all of the pregame b.s. and the actual game starting.

But this article reminds us that there is no immutable structural reason for the anthem at games. Other countries don’t play their own anthems at their sporting events. We don’t play it before movies or plays or other non-sports performances. It’s a thing that we do which, however much of a tradition it has become, is somewhat odd when you think about it for a moment. And which has to seem pretty rote to the actual ballplayers who hear it maybe 180 times a year.

Jeremy Jeffress will enter rehab after Friday’s DWI arrest

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 23:  Jeremy Jeffress #23 of the Texas Rangers pitches in the seventh inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 23, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Texas 3-0.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
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Rangers reliever Jeremy Jeffress was arrested on Friday for driving while intoxicated (DWI). According to a report from WFAA-TV in Dallas, Jeffress changed lanes without signaling and almost hit a car. While he was undergoing sobriety tests, he could not keep his balance or stand on one leg. His blood-alcohol content registered at .115.

Major League Baseball has opted not to suspend Jeffress as he has voluntarily chosen to check into an inpatient rehabilitation clinic, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports. He’s expected to spend about a month at the clinic, which is based in Houston. There is still a possibility Jeffress can rejoin the Rangers in time for the postseason.

Jeffress issued a statement, which Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provided:

This is not the first time Jeffress has had trouble with substance abuse. He was suspended 50 games in 2007 after testing positive for a second time for a drug of abuse, which was marijuana. He tested positive again in June 2009 and was suspended 100 games. It was later revealed that Jeffress suffers from juvenile epilepsy and he was self-medicating with marijuana.

Hopefully, his time in rehab helps him recover from substance abuse. Substance abuse is an issue about which people have a shortage of empathy, especially when it comes to celebrities, including athletes.

The Rangers acquired Jeffress along with catcher Jonathan Lucroy from the Brewers at the August 1 trade deadline. They sent prospects Lewis Brinson, Luis Ortiz, and a player to be named to Milwaukee. In nine appearances with the Rangers, Jeffress has a 4.00 ERA and a 6/5 K/BB ratio.