Skip to content

Francona’s fight with an ump halted for “God Bless America”

May 28, 2013, 9:13 AM EDT

American Flag

Fun times in the Indians-Red Sox game on Sunday.

In the seventh inning, Michael Bourn was thrown out stealing to end the top half. He argued with the second base umpire, Tom Hallion. Then Terry Francona came out to argue too. Paul Hoynes describes what happened just as he was getting into it:

Suddenly, Francona stepped back, took his hat off and put his hand over his heart as “God Bless America” was being sung. Quickly, Bourn and Hallion followed his cue, turning toward the flag in center field … Said Francona, “I told Tom Hallion, ‘I came out here to yell at you and now I’ve got to honor America with you.'”

First time “God Bless America” has been useful at a baseball game in about a decade.

  1. proudlycanadian - May 28, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    At least “God Bless America” is not as grating as “Sweet Caroline”. Neither is as good as “Take Me Out To The Ball Game”.

    • unclemosesgreen - May 28, 2013 at 9:40 AM

      Thank you for reminding us that haters come in all shapes, sizes and nationalities. Bah-bah-bahhhh, good times nevah seemed sooo good (so good so good so good)

      • proudlycanadian - May 28, 2013 at 9:51 AM

        My musical tastes are my own and I fully expected that others would not agree with me.

      • proudlycanadian - May 28, 2013 at 9:53 AM

        My taste in music is my own. I never expected that everyone especially Red Sox fans, would agree with me.

      • unclemosesgreen - May 28, 2013 at 9:56 AM

        I’m just defending the flag because I have to – it’s a godawful song. I even gave you a thumbs up!

      • Old Gator - May 28, 2013 at 10:04 AM

        Proudly, your response to “Sweet Caroline” is not merely a matter of taste, but of philosophical integrity. In the realm of Plato’s ideals, that song is still a horrible piece of shit.

      • unclemosesgreen - May 28, 2013 at 10:07 AM

        De gustibus non est disputandum — except in the case of this song. It is eardrum-perforatingly bad in any circumstance other than Fenway during the seventh inning stretch.

      • Old Gator - May 28, 2013 at 10:34 AM

        The judge sometimes hums it when throwing puppies up in the air for target practice.

      • unclemosesgreen - May 28, 2013 at 12:39 PM

        The Judge haunted my nightmares before I ever met him.

      • APBA Guy - May 28, 2013 at 12:22 PM

        OG-I’m certain most of the thumbs down didn’t get the Blood Meridian reference. Most of them.

      • Old Gator - May 28, 2013 at 1:01 PM

        APBA Guy: I probably hit some exposed nerves in some PETA member’s deteriorating dental work too. “The dog blossomed and sank” is one of the most perfect little sentences in all of western literature.

        Moses: you mean “before ever we two met,” don’t you?

    • Shayna - May 28, 2013 at 11:54 AM

      I think the real musical champ here is “America”. (I hope that’s the correct title.) You know, the “amber waves of grain” one. Beautiful tune, great lyrics celebrating things about the US that really are worth admiring. If they were singing that instead of the grating and thumping GBA, I’d be much happier to listen to it. (Of course, the forced patriotism issue wouldn’t be helped much but we open with an anthem or two anyway.)

      Up here in the true north strong and free, we are spared these problems. Instead we are currently stuck with a really obnoxious version of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” — sounds as if it’s being sung by a computerized version of Alvin and the Chipmunks chewing glass. I love TMOBG — it’s a great song with a wonderful bridge and has had the chops to last through generations of fans gargling it — but the version the Dome-inators have stuck us with would discourage Placido Domingo from singing along.

      • indaburg - May 28, 2013 at 12:03 PM

        Like several others on this board, I am partial to Guthrie’s This Land Is Your Land, but then again I’m a liberal commie pinko tree hugging wuss (who also happens to love this country and the greatness it is capable of), so take that for what it’s worth.

      • proudlycanadian - May 28, 2013 at 12:11 PM

        I would love to hear Placido sing it although a Mandy Patinkin version would be fine.

      • Shayna - May 28, 2013 at 12:43 PM

        Hey, PC, your wish is my command.

        Here’s Mandy reconciling this thread by singing both TMOBG and GBA (in Yiddish yet!) .

        From his album “Mameloshen”, the Yiddish word meaning “mother tongue”. Plus, bonus!, there’s some nice eye-candy with graphics showing associations between Jews and baseball.

    • curtcantpitch - May 28, 2013 at 2:10 PM

      I would rather hear either God bless America, Sweet Caroline or Take me out to the ballgame over the Canadian national anthem, and since its an American game, why not? eh?

      • proudlycanadian - May 28, 2013 at 2:23 PM

        LOL! Condolences my friend and kindly remember all the foreign players in MLB who have to listen to the Star Spangled banner every game.

  2. calicokiller49 - May 28, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    is anyone else offended that this clown, described god bless America as useless, must be a democrat

    • number42is1 - May 28, 2013 at 9:57 AM

      your punctuation makes no sense, you must be a dumbass

      • Old Gator - May 28, 2013 at 10:06 AM

        Nope, just home schooled by Tea Party enthusiasts.

    • deathmonkey41 - May 28, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      I pretty much gave up on religion once I made my confirmation about 25 yrs ago, but I still don’t understand why anyone is bothered that they sing GBA at ballgames. If it really even registers on your radar, then perhaps you should get your skirt taken out because it’s apparently too tight and is getting your panties all in a bunch.

      • js20011041 - May 28, 2013 at 11:13 AM

        I don’t think it’s the religious theme that anyone dislikes. I think it’s the forced patriotism. Keep in mind that those who are the most overtly patriotic (teabaggers) are all too willing to send others to die for any trivial reason. George Carlin had it right. All wars are little more than the young and poor being sent off to die in order to protect and expand the property and power of the wealthy. That’s a policy that many of our most “patriotic” citizens support.

      • Old Gator - May 28, 2013 at 11:26 AM

        I prefer Carlin’s definition of war as “dick waving.”

    • alexo0 - May 28, 2013 at 11:04 AM

      If you’ll read it a little closer, he describes it as no longer being useful at a ballgame. A slightly different thing.

      • deathmonkey41 - May 28, 2013 at 11:42 AM

        What forced Patriotism? If you don’t want to stand for it or whatever, then don’t do it. This isn’t North Korea- we’re not forced to pay tribute by gunpoint. This is about God and Country being mentioned in the same sentence- that’s why people are crying about it. Like I said, I spend my a lot of time mocking religion, but I just don’t care about this. And I’m not sure what the morality of war has to do with this song? I think you can object to war and still take the 60 secs or so to stand until this song is over without being a contradiction onto yourself, but that’s just my opinion.

      • js20011041 - May 28, 2013 at 12:07 PM

        I didn’t mean “forced” in the literal sense of the word. The singing of god bless America is just one symptom in a trend of, “you’re not a REAL American unless you’re a right wing, anti-gay, gun worshipping, war mongering, christian” that started post 9/11. While many people in this country, myself included, do get pissed about god being put in places it shouldn’t, this isn’t one of them. This truly does have more to do with the patriotic theme of the song than the religious. I personally don’t have much of an issue with the song. I’m an atheist and I’ll still stand up when it’s played. But I can definitely see why certain people would take issue with it. There are many different types of people in this country and most of them love and support this country in their own way. Most of us are just a little pissed off at a certain group of people usurping (and raping) the essence of patriotism.

      • deathmonkey41 - May 28, 2013 at 12:25 PM

        I don’t see why people would take issue with it. Seriously- the singing of this song isn’t impinging on anyone’s rights that I can see. Just like people saying “Merry Christmas” or having religious symbols at work isn’t hampering my rights to be a heathen and listen to Slayer (which I am doing at this very moment). I see a misguided attempt in this country to be “tolerant” through being completely intolerant of everything. Like I said, GBA at ballgames shouldn’t even be a blip on anyone’s radar. If they feel they are being bullied into patriotism, I think the issue is with them and not with reality. And as an aside, I would not be adverse to Slayer being played at Yankees games during the 5th inning.

  3. hushbrother - May 28, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    For shame! You America-hating commie. How dare you suggest the playing of GBA during games is pointless!

    Remember, the tradition started at Yankee Stadium right after 9/11, so it was a creation of George Steinbrenner’s. If the Boss was still alive and he heard you saying this he would never have stood for it.

    • historiophiliac - May 28, 2013 at 10:26 AM

      The terrorists won!

      • Old Gator - May 28, 2013 at 10:40 AM

        How dare you imply such a thing? I’m going to have the Imam issue a fatwa on your sorry ass!

      • historiophiliac - May 28, 2013 at 11:30 AM

        Dang, I guess that one needed the “/s” — I thought it was so obvious as to not need it there, but whatever.

      • indaburg - May 28, 2013 at 12:05 PM

        Irony is dead. RIP. /smh

      • Old Gator - May 28, 2013 at 1:06 PM

        It’s not dead. It’s just sleeping.

        – No, it is dead. It is an ex irony.

      • badintent - May 29, 2013 at 3:02 AM

        @Old Gator
        Nice to know that those Federal income taxers you paid last year are paying for those nice Israeli F-15s blowing up the Russian surface to air batteries in Syria operated by Hamas or another of your Palestine camel humpers buddies.You did pay your taxes right ? Or do I have to call Obama’s IRS hoe “Lerner the 5th “. Teabaggers gonna get her ass fired pronto.! She can join Obama’s ex-president of Haaaaaaaaaaaavard 1 percent elitists on the unemployment line. Yes, I know, she gonna get her old professor job back in 6 months, Haaaaaaaaaavard is afraid of the her threat to sue her for gender and racial discrimination even though she Spied on students And 16 Deans of departments. Must have had some help from Fast and Furious Holder. Nice cover up there Holder on the IRS.Keep it up, you can take the fall for Odrama.

  4. Old Gator - May 28, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Ahem – just a quick note that “Dog Bless America” is not our national anthem (which, of course, is itself an unsingable musical disaster). Maybe it should be, though – it’s full of awful cliches, has a trite melody and refers to an “ocean white with foam,” even managing to capture our detergent and fertilizer runoff. All that’s missing is one more verse celebrating our red tide, fish kills and Pfiesteria outbreaks.

    • historiophiliac - May 28, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      What do you have against Oh, Columbia? Imagine what thousands of drunk fans could do to with “when borne by the red, white, and blue”!

      • Old Gator - May 28, 2013 at 10:36 AM

        I think that New York University fans would be offended by any song that stayed uptown all night.

  5. drewzducks - May 28, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Watching this incident on Sunday and one thing immediately popped into my head:

    • louhudson23 - May 29, 2013 at 4:25 AM

      My first thought…..

  6. historiophiliac - May 28, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    IT’S NOT, NOT, NOT! THE NATIONAL ANTHEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • ltzep75 - May 28, 2013 at 11:17 AM

      Yeah. Nothing is as great as our anthem based off of a drinking song! Nothing!!!!

      Well, except for this ashtray. Nothing, except for this ashtray…and this paddle game. Nothing except the ashtray and the paddle game…And this remote control. The ashtray, the paddle game and the remote control…And these matches. The ashtray, and these matches, and the remote control, and the paddle ball… And this lamp. – The ashtray, this paddle game, and the remote control, and the lamp. Nothing is better, not one… except this. – The paddle game and the chair, and the remote control, and the matches for sure.

  7. breastfedted - May 28, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    Now if only God Bless America could start playing and interrupt Craig every time he’s about to write another blog entry…

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 28, 2013 at 10:36 AM

      And yet you are here, still commenting…

    • Old Gator - May 28, 2013 at 10:37 AM

      Craig would ignore it, and I would click the little speaker symbol and mute it. Total waste of ear time.

    • indaburg - May 28, 2013 at 12:07 PM

      I thought breast fed children were smarter. Oh, wait…

      • historiophiliac - May 28, 2013 at 12:24 PM

        BTW, in the Frying Pan, we sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame and then our State song (Oklahoma!). Nobody else does state songs?

  8. heyblueyoustink - May 28, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Glad I avoided this mess of a post. All be praised be the hookie day from work.

    Nice work Craig, good day after Memorial Day line.

    • historiophiliac - May 28, 2013 at 1:26 PM


      /throws peanuts — not at your head

  9. chip56 - May 28, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    There are a lot of truly useless things that happen in ball games (mascot races, mascots in general). I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having two tributes to America. I don’t think Craig does either, I just think he’s trying to be witty and coming up short (as lawyers often do)

  10. phillyphannn83 - May 28, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    proudlycanadian May 28, 2013, 2:23 PM EDT

    LOL! Condolences my friend and kindly remember all the foreign players in MLB who have to listen to the Star Spangled banner every game.
    If I played a sport, or held my job whatever it may be, in a foreign country, I would expect to hear that country’s national anthem regularly. It is entirely different to have to hear a foreign country’s national anthem on your home soil. Personally, if I go see my Phillies play, say, the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto, I would not expect to hear nor support hearing the Star Spangled Banner at the game, except if it was the World Series(I give an exception for championship games/series). I would fully expect to hear Canada’s National Anthem(what is it called, O Canada or God Save the Queen, something like that) because I’m in Canada. If foreign players don’t like it then don’t come to our great nation to earn your living. We certainly aren’t going to feel bad for them because they have to hear our National Anthem, especially when most of them send their money back to their home country(which they should do, I would if I was working in a foreign country).

    • louhudson23 - May 29, 2013 at 4:29 AM

      He didn’t say they necessarily complained about it….he was just commenting on what it must be like for them to hear it 162 times a year…..I think the majority of foreign born players are very happy to be here and happy for the opportunity MLB provides…..

  11. ningenito78 - May 28, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    So God Bless America is useless? I knew you were a whiny, liberal, drum beating shit head. But wow. Idiot.

  12. ningenito78 - May 28, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    The fact that some people are equating patriotism with those idiot tea baggers is really stupid. You can be patriotic and believe whatever you want politically. It just so happens the liberal side are always the ones pissing and moaning about the word God being in anything associated with America. What is the big friggin deal? And atheists, for the record, are just as stupid as the religious wackos. Screaming down somebody that believes in God by saying ‘there is no God!’ makes you the EXACT same person just the opposite opinion.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Baez (2247)
  2. B. Crawford (2213)
  3. H. Pence (2174)
  4. B. Harper (2095)
  5. C. Correa (1961)