The White Sox are encouraging naps

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If I was a free agent and I was looking for a team that suited my needs, it’d be harder to find a better place to land than the south side of Chicago. Because as Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com reports, they encourage naps:

White Sox director of conditioning Allen Thomas thinks a 30-minute window can make a huge difference in a player’s energy level. Thomas said the team not only has reduced the workload of players’ specific workouts, but he also encourages them to find a pillow in the clubhouse or at the hotel whenever possible.

“There’s a whole lot of power in a 15-minute nap,” said Thomas, who is in his 10th season as director. “When you plug your battery back in for a few minutes, you still get some charge. Guys are doing a lot more contrast: we’re doing the hot tub, cold tub and just cutting down their volume of work. You try to get better efficiency out of a fewer number of reps and use the energy for the main event.”

I can see it. Which always makes me wonder why falling asleep at work will get you fired.

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.