Country star Luke Bryan apologizes for All-Star national anthem


There’s nothing quite so patriotic as using a cheat sheet to sing the anthem.

Luke Bryan’s rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner at Tuesday night’s All-Star Game was met with pretty scathing reviews, not only because of its length, but because he appeared to keep checking his hand and watch during the performance.

Bryan took to twitter Wednesday to explain:

Morning everyone. I really wanna explain the national anthem performance from last night.

I had a few keys words written down to insure myself that I wouldn’t mess up. I just wanted to do my best. I promise it was from the heart.

If I offended anyone with my approach I sincerely apologize. Anytime I sing the anthem it is an honor and my heart beats out of my chest.

I did check my watch because I knew the stealth bomber would fly over 2 minutes in and I knew a started a little late.

Being a part of the all star game was amazing and I look forward to the next time I can perform the anthem. Thanks y’all. Love ya

You might not want to wait by the phone, Luke. FOX already has plans to have the 2013 All-Star Game anthem performed as a medley featuring six American Idol runners-up.

Blue Jays sign Danny Espinosa to minors deal

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Free agent middle infielder Danny Espinosa signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays, the team announced Saturday. The deal includes an invite to spring training, where Espinosa is scheduled for his first split-squad game against the Orioles this afternoon.

Espinosa, 30, was inked to another minor-league deal with the Yankees in January. The veteran infielder was competing for an infield job until the team picked up second baseman Neil Walker on a one-year, $4 million deal last Monday. Prior to his release, he slashed .160/.276/.320 with one home run through his first 12 games with the Yankees this spring. He didn’t fare much better in the majors last year, either, batting a cumulative .173/.245/.278 with six home runs and a .523 OPS in 295 PA for the Mariners and Rays.

Blue Jays starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is still dealing with a bone spur in his heel and has officially been ruled out for Opening Day, which could clear a path for Espinosa to claim a starting role in Toronto. Of course, he won’t be the only candidate under consideration — Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz are still in the mix as well, though no final decision appears to be made just yet.