New York and Kansas City: connected in baseball, connected in jazz

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New York Yankees fans of a certain age, or people who simply know a lot about Yankees history, know the primary connection between New York baseball and Kansas City: the old Arnold Johnson-owned Athletics serving as a defacto farm team for the 50s-60s Yankees. Or, more recently, the Pine Tar game or something.

Today the New York Times, searching for some other Kansas City-New York connections, finds a cool one: baseball and jazz. As in, both the tradition of jazz greats coming to New York from Kansas City and those jazz greats being super in to baseball.

Stuff about how Count Basie fielded a baseball team with his band members as players. They played against Duke Ellington’s band. Lester Young — who would later move from Kansas City to New York — pitched for Basie. Charlie Parker didn’t play, but he was a big fan of the Kansas City Monarchs.

Fun article with lots of cool pictures of jazz greats playing baseball. Something to pass the time between now and 8pm tonight.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”