UPDATE: This could just be a formality, but the San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that negotiations between the two sides are ongoing and that an agreement is not expected until after the All-Star break.
9:22 PM: The O’Malley family is getting back in the baseball ownership business. This time with the Padres.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com has the goods:
The O’Malley group, which includes four grandchildren of former Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley, has emerged as the favorite over the past couple of weeks and was recently given an exclusive window to purchase majority control of the club from outgoing owner John Moores. Golfer Phil Mickelson, who is from San Diego, is also an investor with the group. Commissioner Bud Selig expressed support of the O’Malley’s bid earlier this week.
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.