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Yankees Agree To An Inexpensive Deal With Slugger Chris Carter

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The New York Yankees were able to add to their depth at first base without spending a lot of money.

On Tuesday, the Yankees signed slugging first baseman Chris Carter to a one-year, $3.5 million contract. The way the deal works, Carter will get a $500,000 signing bonus in addition to a $3 million base salary.

It is somewhat surprising that the Yankees were able to get Carter for only $3.5 million. Last season while playing for the Milwaukee Brewers, he belted 41 home runs. This tied him with Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado for the most home runs in the National League.

Despite his power, there were not too many teams interested in Carter this offseason. This is probably because his batting average was only .222 in 2016. He also struck out 206 times, which was more than any other player in the National League.

From the Yankees’ perspective, this signing makes a lot of sense. With all of the power that he has, Carter has the potential to hit a decent amount of home runs at Yankee Stadium. He is also a right-handed hitter, which means that he will probably see plenty of playing time when the Yankees face left-handed pitching.

As of right now, Greg Bird is set to be the Opening Day first baseman for the Yankees. A young lefty who also has a lot of power, Bird has a bright future with the team. He missed the entire 2016 season after undergoing surgery last offseason to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Before getting injured, Bird showed plenty of potential at the Major League level. He was called up in August of 2015 and put up impressive numbers in the short amount of time before the end of the season. In 157 at-bats, he hit .261 with 11 home runs and 31 RBIs. As long as he is able to stay healthy this year, the Yankees will get to see what Bird can do in a full season.

With Bird likely to be the starting first baseman, Carter will assume the role of his backup. Carter will definitely get starts, but probably only when they Yankees are facing a left-handed pitcher. The Yankees could also utilize him as their designated hitter. Slugger Matt Holiday, who was signed by the Yankees earlier in the offseason, will most likely be the team’s main designated hitter. When he needs a day off, Carter can step in.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman made a smart move by signing Carter. The fact that they were able to get him at such a low cost makes the signing even better. The Yankees now have a viable backup option at first base. It will be interesting to see how Carter does when he gets playing time this season.

Aspring sports broadcaster/writer. Freshman Television-Radio major at Ithaca College. Die-hard Mets, Giants, Nets, and Devils fan.

MLB

Flyers Remove Statue of Kate Smith

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The Philadelphia Flyers have joined the New York Yankees in the removal of ties to singer Kate Smith, whose famous rendition of “God Bless America” was played at both Flyers and Yankees games.

Earlier this week, the Yankees decided to suspend the use of Smith’s rendition, which was played during the seventh-inning stretch, while they investigated allegations of racism against the later singer.

According to a report from the New York Daily News, there are conflicting claims about Smith’s 1939 song “That’s Why Darkies Were Born” which
originated in the 1931 Broadway revue “George White’s Scandals” and was considered satire but includes racist language, including the line;
“Someone had to pick the cotton. … That’s why darkies were born.”

The song was recorded by Smith and Paul Robeson, who was black.

The Flyers put out the following statement on Sunday (h/t ESPN):

“The Flyers have enjoyed a long and popular relationship with ‘God Bless America,’ as performed by the late Kate Smith, a woman who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor for her patriotic contributions to our nation.

“But in recent days, we learned that several of the songs Kate Smith performed in the 1930s include lyrics and sentiments that are incompatible with the values of our organization, and evoke painful and unacceptable themes.”

Smith, who was popular during the WWII era, recorded the offensive jingle, “Pickaninny Heaven,” which she directed at “colored children” who should fantasize about an amazing place with “great big watermelons,” among various other treats. 

Smith also endorsed the “Mammy Doll” back in 1939 which was based on a racist caricature of a black woman similar to Aunt Jemima.


“The Yankees have been made aware of a recording that had been previously unknown to us and decided to immediately and carefully review this new information,” a club spokesman said. “The Yankees take social, racial and cultural insensitivities very seriously. And while no final conclusions have been made, we are erring on the side of sensitivity.”

The odds aren’t good that Smith’s songs will return to their prominent places during sporting events such as they were with the Yankees and the Flyers.

There is a lot of cleaning up to do when it comes to racism in sports, and weeding out songs attached to artists with questionable, and controversial, backgrounds such as Smith’s, is important in pushing forward towards the future.

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Chicago Cubs

MLB Investigating Racist Social Media Messages Sent to Cubs’ Carl Edwards Jr.

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Major League Baseball is investigating racial messages sent, via social media, to Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. prior to his demotion to the Triple-A Iowa Cubs back on April 6th.

According to The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney, the messages have caught the attention of both the Cubs and the MLB Players Association, leading to the launch of the investigation.

Mooney had been a solid bullpen option during the last few seasons, but had a nightmare start to the 2019 season posting a terrible 32.40 ERA in just 1.2 innings of work over four appearances.

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MLB

Carlos Zambrano Attempting Comeback, Signs with Indy Team

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Former MLB pitcher Carlos Zambrano is attempting a comeback and has signed with the American Association’s Chicago Dogs, according to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Gordon Wittenmyer.

Zambrano last pitched in the majors back in 2012 with the Miami Marlins, but earlier in his career he finished in the top five of the Cy Young voting in the National League three times as a member of the Chicago Cubs.

Zambrano started his comeback bid last fall when he took the mound for 7 starts in the Mexican League, pitching to the tune of a 5.18 ERA, and performing even worse during a short stint in the Venezuelan Winter League.

Given his recent lack of production, it is a longshot to believe that Zambrano will return to the MLB level, but stranger things have happened.

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