Fan arrested for aiming a laser pointer at Shane Loux and Mike Matheny

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A member of The Best Fans in Baseball got arrested last night in St. Louis for aiming a laser pointer at Giants pitcher Shane Loux and Cardinals manager Mike Matheny.  And, you’re not gonna believe this, but it appeared to be some dumb rich kid, doing it from a luxury suite his friend’s dad owned:

City police arrested a 17-year-old boy from the Ladue area for allegedly pointing a green laser at the opposing team’s pitcher and at Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny in Busch Stadium during Monday night’s game … Matheny then saw the culprit laughing from a suite along the first base line … The Cardinals’ skipper made eye contact with the teen, pointed to him and mouthed the words, “I see you.” The teen then laughed, waved and pointed the laser above the manager’s head.

The cops went after him and he tried to run. He dropped the pointer in a trash can, but they found it. The kid was held for disturbing the peace, but prosecutors are looking at other possible charges. I hope it’s not illegal to use those things or else I’m going to soon have way, way less fun with my cat.

Anyway, you don’t often hear about this kind of thing at sporting events. It’s usually interfering with aircraft that gets you busted for this sort of thing. But according to the article this happened at Citizens Bank Park back in 2009, so it’s not unprecedented.

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.