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.
The Mariners acquired Yankees’ right-hander Nick Rumbelow in exchange for minor league righty Juan Then and left-hander JP Sears, per an official announcement on Saturday. Rumbelow made 17 appearances for the Yankees in 2015 before undergoing Tommy John surgery and could provide some bullpen depth for the Mariners in 2018.
The 26-year-old right-hander spent the majority of his 2017 season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he delivered an 0.62 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 over 29 innings. The Yankees didn’t rush Rumbelow into a full workload after he missed the 2016 season recovering from Tommy John, but he didn’t appear to have any significant setbacks with his health or performance and should be ready to compete for a role next spring.
Sears, 21, was ranked 21st in the Mariners’ organization by MLB Pipeline. He was drafted in the 11th round of the 2017 draft and features a deceptive, low-velocity fastball that he can throw for strikes to either side of the plate. In his first year of pro ball, he split 17 games between Short-Season A Everett and Single-A Clinton, turning in an 0.65 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 16.6 SO/9 across two levels.
Then, 17, also completed his first year of pro ball after signing with the Mariners as a free agent. He went 2-2 in 13 games of rookie ball, pitching to a 2.64 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 in 61 1/3 innings. Neither Sears nor Then will take the mound for the Yankees anytime soon, and offloading Rumbelow to the Mariners should clear up some room on New York’s 40-man roster as they prepare for the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.