The Cincinnati Reds are sick

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No, that’s not some figure of speech. It’s a literal description:

There was a big pot of chicken soup in the dining area of the Cincinnati Reds’ clubhouse on Wednesday. Several players were in the trainer’s room getting intravenous fluids.

A day after a stomach virus went through the team, the Reds were starting to feel better.

The Reds were still missing shortstop Zack Cozart and had to change their pitching plans for the second game of a series against the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday. Mat Latos started in place of Mike Leake, who was weak after not eating for a day. Cozart was out for the second straight game.

On the bright side, after today, I bet the Reds are no longer 11th in the NL in runs.

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!

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.