You’ll recall Ronan Tynan, the Irish tenor who used to sing “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch at Yankee Stadium. You’ll also recall that Tynan ran into some trouble back in October, getting sacked from his Yankees gig as the result of some comments he made to a realtor about Jews looking at apartments in his building. Will Leitch of New York Magazine caught up with Tynan recently and has the singer’s first public comments since the incident. It’s been a rough time for him.
I suppose my sympathy for the guy is dependent on whether his comments at the time are, as he claims, the result of a misunderstanding or a misguided attempt at a joke or, as was reported at the time, constituted some sort of racial slur.
Limited sympathy at best, of course, because as even Tynan said at the time, he was being stupid. And though we may not particularly like the overly-sensitive world in which we live, the fact is that in this day and age, even casual remarks by barely public figures can turn into public relations issues if it even smells like it touches on race.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.