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Bryce Harper And Hunter Strickland Are Both Suspended For Monday’s Brawl

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Unsurprisingly, Major League Baseball suspended San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Hunter Strickland and Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper for the brawl the two players were involved in on Monday afternoon.

It was announced on Tuesday that Strickland would be suspended for six games. Harper initially received a four-game ban. However, Major League Baseball reduced Harper’s suspension to three games on Wednesday afternoon.

The now infamous brawl started after Strickland threw a pitch directly at Harper’s hip during the eighth inning of Monday’s game at At&T Park. After the pitch hit him, Harper threw his helmet in anger and charged the mound. As Strickland and Harper went at it, the benches of both teams cleared.

Following the brawl, Strickland and Harper were both ejected from the game. The Nationals went on to beat the Giants 3-0.

It was obvious that Strickland hit Harper intentionally. The two players have a history with each other. Back in the 2014 National League Division Series between the Giants and Nationals, Harper took Strickland deep twice over the course of the four-game series. The first home run was not really the problem. What annoyed the Giants reliever was that the Nationals young slugger stared him down as he rounded the bases after hitting the second home run off of him. Harper also stood near the batter’s box for a few seconds and watched the ball go over the fence, something that definitely irked Strickland.

Clearly, Strickland had been holding a grudge against Harper for a few years. He did not appreciate being shown up. Even though the Giants went on to defeat the Nationals in four games in the NLDS and eventually won the 2014 World Series, Strickland still harbored plenty of anger toward Harper. He finally saw a good opportunity to get revenge when the Nationals came to town on Monday, and decided to do so.

Baseball is not a sport known for its fights, so when this happened, it garnered plenty of attention. The brawl got fans fired up on social media. It was even more significant because Harper was involved. He is one of the biggest stars in the game right now. The 24-year-old slugger is a four-time All-Star and won the NL MVP Award in 2015. Although Harper is disliked by many fans and players, no one can deny that he is extremely talented.

Everyone knew that suspensions were coming for Strickland and Harper. Strickland purposely hit Harper, who then promptly decided to charger the mound. Considering the history between these two players, this is unlikely to be the last time that they are involved in an altercation.

 

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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