Country star Luke Bryan apologizes for All-Star national anthem

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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.

Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord

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John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.

The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.

Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.

The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.

Report: Rays acquire Lucas Duda from the Mets

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.

Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.