Ervin Santana might not be long for the Angels’ rotation

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I wrote earlier this week about Ervin Santana serving up homers at a historic rate and wondered if getting bumped from the rotation might be the only thing to keep him from setting records.

It turns out the answer may be yes, as Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles speculates that the Angels are running out of patience with Santana, who’s 3-7 with a 5.74 ERA and 18 homers allowed in 13 starts.

Of course, Saxon also notes that Mike Scioscia “continues to insist that Santana’s spot in the rotation is secure.” And the manager is right to be patient, because Santana has been a solid mid-rotation starter for most of the past seven seasons and posted a 3.66 ERA in 66 starts between 2010 and 2011.

However, if Santana continues to serve up batting practice once Jered Weaver returns from the disabled list the Angels may have a decision on their hands. Santana is under team control for next season, but right now picking up his $13 million option seems very unlikely and in that case there won’t be a ton of motivation to stick with an impending free agent.

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.