Dodgers manager Don Mattingly suspended two games for arguing with umpires

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According to Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has been suspended two games by MLB for arguing with umpires during Thursday’s game against the Pirates. Bench coach Trey Hillman will manage the final two games of the team’s weekend series against the Braves.

Thursday’s incident started after Matt Kemp was ejected by home plate umpire Angel Campos for arguing balls and strikes from the bench. Mattingly was tossed after coming out of the dugout to defend his center fielder.

Kemp certainly risked a suspension with his behavior, so all things considered, this situation could have played out a lot worse for the Dodgers. MLB executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre spoke with Mattingly on Friday and told him that his first priority should have been to get Kemp under control as opposed to arguing himself, so he’s essentially taking the hit for his player.

By the way, no word on if Campos will receive any discipline for his behavior in the situation.

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.