Freak bicycle accident sends Jeremy Guthrie to the disabled list

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Jeremy Guthrie was originally scheduled to start tonight against the Mets, but he’s now headed to the 15-day disabled list after spraining his right shoulder in a freak bicycle accident yesterday.

Guthrie, an avid cyclist, told Troy Renck of the Denver Post that the injury occurred when the chain on his bicycle broke and sent him slamming down into the ground.

“It was a kind of a freak accident. Most of the contact was on my elbow and it kind of jammed my shoulder. I just have some pain, and when that goes away. I would assume yes I will be healthy in 15 days,” Guthrie said after Friday’s game. “It wasn’t like wheel slipped out. I was just riding and the next thing I know I was on the ground.”

Guthrie will be eligible to return from the disabled list as soon as May 8, so he may only miss a couple turns in the rotation. Guillermo Moscoso will be called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs to start in his place tonight against the Mets.

Guthrie, who was acquired from the Orioles in early February for right-handers Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom, has a 5.92 ERA and 5/10 K/BB ratio across 24 1/3 innings in his first four starts this season.

The Yankees stopped playing Kate Smith’s version of “God Bless America”

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The Yankees have played “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch since 9/11. The version they play is the most famous version, recorded in 1939 by Kate Smith. As of today they will no longer be playing the Kate Smith version, however.

Why? The New York Daily News reports that it’s because “the Yankees were made aware of Smith’s history of potential racism.” Which is a rather interesting way of putting it, because there’s not much “potential” to this:

Smith was a famous singer before and during WWII who recorded the offensive jingle, “Pickaninny Heaven,” which she directed at “colored children” who should fantasize about an amazing place with “great big watermelons,” among other treats. She shot a video for that song that takes place in an orphanage for black children, and much of the imagery is startlingly racist. She also recorded, “That’s Why Darkies Were Born,” which included the lyrics, “Someone had to pick the cotton. … That’s why darkies were born.”

I’m guessing this information was available in some Kate Smith biography or is in the memory of some of her big fans who may still be alive, but it was news to the Yankees until recently and once they learned it they decided that going with a version of the song NOT sung by Kate Smith was better. Good call!

Oh, and this was not the first time that the Yankees had to make this kind of call. Ten years ago they fired Irish tenor Ronan Tynan, who used to sing the song at the ballpark during the postseason, after he made anti-Semitic remarks. Precedent, baby.

Anyway, I’m sure someone will complain about this, but I feel like there are better hills to die on than “the Yankees should continue to play the racist lady’s version of the show tune that, despite what we think of it now, was never meant as an actual patriotic anthem.”

If you feel like dying on that hill, be my guest. But please, show your work.