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Yankee Stadium’s Bleacher Creatures agree to put a halt to homophobic chant

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Score one for the eradication of discrimination.  At baseball stadiums, at least.

According to Flip Bondy of the New York Daily News, several key members of Yankee Stadium’s Bleacher Creatures have agreed to put a halt to a cheer that for years has involved a homophobic slur.

During the middle innings of games at Yankee Stadium, a large section of folks in the right field stands would yell “Why are you gay?” at opposing fans during the playing of The Village People’s famous “YMCA” anthem.

Apparently that won’t be happening anymore.

“It’s all done,” a long-time Creature told the Daily News. “All of it. We’re going clean. We didn’t like the way the Bleacher Creatures were being looked at. That’s not us.”
It might seem like an innocent chant, and probably is mostly innocent, but it’s not fair that some paying fans are made to feel uncomfortable or left out in any way at a baseball stadium.  Or outside of a baseball stadium.  Or while watching a baseball game.  Plus, the Bleacher Creatures take pride in their creativity and calling a supporter of an opposing team “gay” is about as uncreative as it gets.

Zack Greinke named the Dbacks’ Opening Day starter

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 21:  Pitcher Zack Greinke #21 of the Arizona Diamondbacks poses for a portrait during photo day at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on February 21, 2017 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Not a surprise, but a news item on a slow news day is a news item on a slow news day: Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo has named Zack Greinke as the club’s Opening Day starter.

Greinke’s first season with the Diamondbacks is not exactly what the club hoped for when he signed a six-year, $206.5 million deal in December of 2015. He dealt with oblique and shoulder issues while struggling to a 4.37 ERA over 26 starts. Greinke hasn’t pitched yet this spring, but will make his spring debut on Friday. He and the club are obviously hoping for a quiet March and a strong beginning to the season.

Either for its own sake or to increase the trade value of a player who was acquired by the previous front office regime.

“La Vida Baseball,” celebrating Latino baseball, launches

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A new website has launched. It’s called “La Vida Baseball,” and it’s all about celebrating the past, present and future of Latino baseball from a Latino perspective.

The site, produced in partnership with the Hall of Fame, has four general areas of focus:

  • Who’s Now: Focusing on current Latino players;
  • Who’s Next: Focusing on top prospects here, in the Caribbean and in Central and South America;
  • Our Life: Off-the-Field stuff, including player’s lives, lifestyles and hobbies; and
  • Our Legends: Focusing on Latino baseball history, Hall of Famers and overlooked players.

As the site has just launched there aren’t yet a ton of stories up there, but there is one about Roberto Clemente, another about Felix Hernandez and some other stuff.

The site is much-needed. Baseball reporters for American outlets are overwhelmingly white, non-Spanish speakers. Reporters, who, generally, gravitate to the players who are the most like they are. Which is understandable on some level. When you’re writing stories about people you need to be able to communicate with them and relate to them on more than a mere perfunctory level. As such, no matter how good the intentions of baseball media, we tend to see the clubhouse and the culture of baseball from a distinctly American perspective. And we tend to paint Latino players with a broad, broad brush.

La Vida Baseball will, hopefully, remedy all of that and will, hopefully, give us a fresh and insightful depiction Latino players and their culture.