Seventh-inning stretch can now be used as intended


Way back in RAB’s infancy, we were a bit miffed at restrictive policies during the seventh-inning stretch. Namely, that security guards and police officers would prevent people from entering the concourse during the daily rendition of God Bless America. In April we learned of a fan filing suit against the team. Today we learn the result.

Yes, it has taken a court settlement to determine that fans have the right to move about as Kate Smith’s voice blares over the PA. The settlement came down with the help of a federal judge in Manhattan. No longer will we worry about harassment when we just want to hit the head while there’s a slightly longer mid-inning break.

Of course, there were ways before to circumvent the policy. At the game last Wednesday, I started my walk to the bathroom as Andy Pettitte recorded the second out in the top of the seventh. Risky, of course, because the inning could have gone a bit longer. But in the end I relieved myself at the perfect time, returning to my seat just in time for Take Me Out To The Ball Game.

Hat tip Pinto.

Categories : Yankee Stadium


  1. rbizzler says:

    Of course the socialists at RAB would be happy about this anti-American ruling…


  2. Ayayay.

    It’s not like there’s a gov’t mandate to play God Bless America or anything.

  3. Chris says:

    It’s official, our country is falling apart!

    What’s next? Women voters?

  4. I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

    Now we only need a court to rule that YMCA and Cotton Eye Joe are lame and way beyond their sell dates, and must be removed from the New Stadium experience.

  5. Michael says:

    Actually, it wasn’t a “court ruling”. The Yankees reached a settlment with the ACLU.

  6. Kulish says:

    Lawl. Gotta love The Post

    Campeau-Laurion, a Red Sox fan…

  7. MattG says:

    Look, I just want to say, without getting too pious or anything, that GBA is a really poor choice of song for remembrance of 9/11. Consider for a second that the hijackers believed fully that God (Allah or whatever) would reward them for their actions. Now consider the implications of “God Bless America” as the theme for rebuttal.

    We are not meaning to evoke a holy war, are we? Are we not supposed to be fighting tyranny and terror? Divine intervention is their calling card–ours is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    Whatever song we use to remember 9/11 should have been founded in American principles, not religious ones. “America the Beautiful,” for instance, is every bit as patriotic, and nowhere near as inflammatory.

    I turn off GBA every time I hear it. And not because I am not patriotic–I do it because it offends me.

    • +1

      Though it is worth nothing that the lines “God shed his grace on thee” and “God mend thine every flaw” are in America The Beautiful.

      • MattG says:

        True this, and maybe I’m wrong, and America the Beautiful is a poor choice too, but GBA has God actively overlooking/protecting America:

        “Stand beside her, and guide her
        Thru the night with a light from above. ”

        That’s just not the message I want to be telling Muslim extremists. It ain’t helping anybody.

        • Ivan says:

          Who Cares there terrorists. TERRORISTS. EVIL PEOPLE. They wannna destroy the greatest country in the world. WE ARE THE USA DAMMIT. FUCK THEM AND THEIR RELIGION.

          Fox News’d

        • billbybob says:

          Seeing as how our country was founded by religious extremists (Puritans) I don’t find it that bad.

          • Puritans didn’t found the United States; they founded a colony in New England; there’s a big difference.

            (Yeah, I just used two semi-colons in one sentence–I kick ass.)

            • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:


              (I was impressed with this comment)

            • DerMegalodonster says:

              The *Americans* had the chances of birth in their favour, and their *forefathers imported* that equality of conditions into the country whence the *democratic republic* has very naturally taken it’s rise. Nor was this all they did; for besides this republican condition of society, the early settlers bequeathed to their descendants those customs, manners, and opinions *which contribute most* to the success of a *republican form of government*. When I reflect upon consequences of *this primary circumstance*, methinks I see the destiny of America *embodied* in the first *Puritan* who landed on those shores, just as the human race was represented by the first man. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville

              Go back to the sources and learn your history Matt…

              P.S. the first constitution written was the Fundamental Orders (of Connecticut) and the first confederation of colonies (you might say “united states”) was between the various Puritans of New England

              • I never cared much for de Tocqueville, though I haven’t read him in a few years.

              • Mattingly's Love Child says:

                de Tocqueville was a schmuck (says the history/poli sci major). And the good folks from the Commonwealth of Virginia say hi to him and his broad generalizations about who represents the American colonists.

                • DerMegalodonster says:

                  Other than being a vapid ad hominem response, whom should I reference MLC?

                  Perhaps the Frenchman Achille Murat in his “A Moral and Political Sketch of the U.S.” of 1833? The Englishwoman Harriet Martineau’s “Society in America” of 1837? Perhaps the South Carolinian Dr Ramsay’s eyewitness “History of the U.S.” (3vol, 1816-17)?

                  Speaking of Virginia, should we peer into the life and writings of that great Virginian George Mason, author of the “Virginia Declaration of Rights” (which Jefferson essentially plagarized for the Preamble of the Declaration), and considered the father of the Bill of Rights? Oops! better be careful… we just might find a “Puritan” down there in the old Commonwealth!

                • Mattingly's Love Child says:

                  It’s great to see how much more well read you are than I.

                  But it still doesn’t mean that I’ll concede from my point that describing the United States as being founded by Puritans as being overly simplistic.

                • JackC says:

                  Many of the Founding fathers helped to draw up what we consider the basic tenets of our national rasion d’etre as a direct counter argument to Puritanism. It is simplistic to say that the country was founded by Puritans or with puritanical ideals; likewise it’s silly to pretend their collective voice doesn’t speak loudly and echo prominently throughout our national narrative. Adams wouldn’t have been upset to be labled a Puritan, whereas Franklin would’ve laughed at the notion.

                • DerMegalodonster says:

                  “It is simplistic to say that the country was founded by Puritans or with puritanical ideals…”

                  Actually, far from being simplistic, it is simply a matter of the historical record (accepting a true, perceptible difference in the 3 southernmost colonies).

                  But thanks for bringing up Franklin… he brings us back to the subject at hand. While I concur that he would have laughed at the notion of being called a Puritan, even still, he would not have supported the outcome of this matter! See for example the sentiments in his famous letter to Paine regarding the publication of the “Age of Reason,” wherein he considers it folly and a pointless affront to the ideals/religious sensibilities of the general populace.

                  Sorry to belabor the point but it was too specious to let go and I had to state it for the record. Truly, I hope I’m not coming off as crass. Done.

          • MattG says:

            400 years ago. I think we’ve moved on.

    • What about “This Land is Your Land?”

      Or “My Country Tis of Thee?”

      • How about this…just Take Me Out to the Ballgame. I think we all got along just fine w/o any other songs during the 7th inning stretch.

      • MattG says:

        This Land is My Land is a pithy little thing. Try and sing that one without smiling!

        • Also, wasn’t it written in mockery of God Bless America?

          • Tank Foster says:

            Yes, it was a mockery of sorts. My reading of the story of that song wasn’t that it was a parody, but that it was an anti-God song. It was a protest to the idea that our country was God-given, or only for the “Godly”…more toward it being something of the people.

            Which I always found odd, because he put in there that this land was “made” for you and me. Made…by whom?

          • Whitey14 says:

            Quoting Springsteen as closely as I can “it was Woody Guthrie’s answer to Irving Berlin who had just written God Bless America”

            In reality, it’s pretty much a protest song.

      • Thomas says:

        I wouldn’t go with “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee,” because it is actually the British national anthem (God Save the King/Queen) with the lyrics changed, but I might the only one who cares about that.

        Though definitely the worst choice would be “This is my Country.”

    • YFan says:

      From the Declaration Of Independence.

      When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

      And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

      America was founded by people who believed that God gave the above mentioned rights to everyone. Because some people use God for war and destruction doesn’t taint everything associated with God. We use God for freedom, they use it for tyranny. God given rights, for better or worse is the principal on witch Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness are based on.

      P.S. I turn off GBA as well and don’t really care for it, but I think It’s a strong rebuttal to 9/11.

      • YFan says:

        Meant to post this in the next set of comments.

      • God given rights, for better or worse is the principal on witch Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness are based on.

        But that only holds up if you believe we are born with rights. There’s an argument to be made that rights themselves are not natural, but rather created by social and political institutions.

        • YFan says:

          I know but consider the difference of the two, if It’s given by people it may be taken away by them as well. That’s why I believe they put it like that so that it can’t be challenged.

          • But if they didn’t want the rules/laws/etc. to be challenged, they wouldn’t have made the Constitution amendable, or they would’ve just installed another king. Remember, kings also ruled by what they called a divine right.

            • YFan says:

              Freedom is above rules and laws it is a principal on which laws are made to abide, and to make a Constitution that is not amendable is like saying the world will never change, It will and the Constitution will. And Kings used “divine right” for the very reason that it can’t be challenged unless you challenge the belief itself. The same thing with the Constitution you can challenge the belief of “divine right” to freedom but by doing that you challenge the Constitution, but if you believe freedom is given by people then It’s just another law that can be “amended”.

      • Mattingly's Love Child says:

        BTW most of the god stuff in the Declaration was thrown in there to appease those who were extremely religious. Jefferson/Adams/Franklin/Sherman/etc realized that in order to get anything done they needed to make sure the religious side was happy with what they were writing. Besides the line about relying on divine providence, one could argue that they were worshipping Allah, Yaweh, or Ganesha.

        And if there was a God they sure as hell wanted him on their side since they were doing something that had never been done before….

      • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

        Songs and ballgames are nice, but the best response to terrorism is a JDAM…

  8. Ivan says:

    That is why the God Bless America really SHOULD end. Whats the point of plying it. Im a proud American but do I have the hear the song every damn time, heck no. It’s really dumb. It’s like the same politicians who bitch when somebody is not wearing the American pin on their clothes and thus are not “American”

    You know whats mess up? People will probably think im “unpatriatic” or “unAmerican” for my opinions.

    playing the GBA song is really bringing politics and personal stuff into sports in my opinion.

  9. andrew says:

    I honestly never knew about this. i guess i was lucky both times i went to the new stadium. because both times i got up and pissed during the 7th inning stretch. and wasnt harrassed.

  10. Steve S says:

    Now when will they allow a smoking section? I mean it really is ridiculous, I want to be there for as long as possible and I want to spend money on food and beverage. The place is massive and for the most part wide open, cant you non-smokers give us one little spot to huddle in? Its cruel torture, you are in this beautiful open ballpark, beer and concession stands all over, with better food than ever before, and if you are there for 4-6 hours you cant have a cigarette.

  11. Nigel Incubator-Jones says:

    I’m sorry, but all of this pales in comparison to the fact that I’ve seen people doing “the wave” at the stadium more than once this year.

    • People who do the wave should be ejected, have their photos and fingerprints taken, credit-card information recorded and never be allowed to attend a professional sporting event. Ever.

      • MattG says:

        Is that the wave where you stand up and sit in turn? Or the one where you call all your friends from your cell phone and do stupid stuff behind home plate? Or both?

        The cell phone people should be ejected, have their photos and fingerprints taken, credit-card information recorded and SHOT.

      • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:


      • Kiersten says:

        This is possibly the greatest idea ever.

        Not only have I seen it more than once this year, I’ve seen it at every game I’ve been to, including 1-run games. And I’ve been to about 10 home games so far…

    • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

      I know! It’s symbolic of the bandwagon effect. Thankfully, no wave broke out on Sunday, but on Thursday, with the Yanks down by two runs to Seattle, the wave broke out and went on multiple times.

      I was ashamed!

  12. Tank Foster says:

    I think the “God Bless X” statement is generic and colloquial enough not to consider it an insulting song. I mean, everyone decides for themselves what’s offensive, obviously, but the song is clearly more about love for our country, and is not really a religious song per se.

    But I agree that it’s kinda dumb to keep singing it, every game. It’s overdone–meaning the nod of respect for 9/11 victims, fallen war heroes, and soldiers in battle. I have no problem with – I support, actually – a moment of silence before the National Anthem but that, and the Anthem itself, should be enough. What they do now is gilding the lily.

    For the 7th inning stretch, I like “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” possibly followed up by something more rousing like Fogerty’s “Centerfield.”

  13. DerMegalodonster says:

    HOORAY for OLIGARCHY! Ugh! Mr Madison and the other wise and learned founders of this nation, who steadfastly believed in majority rule – having a keen, firsthand understanding of the perniciousness of minority rule, must once again be rolling in their graves… though, at this point,one muses whether such an instance would even engender a yawn.

  14. bobmac says:

    ACLU are bottom feeding slime.

  15. King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

    If I said ‘God bless the ACLU’ would they sue me?

  16. steve s says:

    Offended by having to stand up for perhaps 90 seconds for a moment of solidarity, reverence and tribute to those who have died tragically or those who have died defending our country? You should welcome the opportunity to reflect on how great your life is going and how lucky you really are; not crap on it.

    • I didn’t want to jump into this thread, I really didn’t. But this comment is ridiculous. It’s not about the act, it’s about mandating the act every single home game. No one here doesn’t appreciate and honor the men and women who serve and have served this country. We object to the forcible handling of the situation.

      And you know what? There are plenty of opportunities to reflect on how great our lives are and how lucky we are. It need not be at a ball game.

      • DerMegalodonster says:

        I didn’t find his comment ridiculous at all. Whether it’s false patriotism, empty patriotism, or enforced patriotism (mandated)it still gets down to majority vs minority rule/rights. In any democratic republic it is a given that certain individuals or minorities will have to conform (gasp!) to the will, and yes, “rights” of the majority. You speak of “mandating” but what about one individual or court mandating/imposing their will on the New York Yankees? Do they not have rights?

        • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

          DerMegalodonster, the U.S. Constitution was designed to override simple majority rules when it comes to certain rights.

          This would be one of those times.

          • DerMegalodonster says:

            I Remember James Madison (and Hamilton too)!

            His Constitutional rights were not infringed. He still and always maintained his Constitutional rights of redress. Those of voting, of assembling and petitioning, of running for office, etc. These are the safeguards for a minority.

            In fact, the Constitution was created in order to empower the will of the majority so that it would not be subject to that of the minority or “faction” as the founders would call it.

            Men of this class… have in too many instances abused the confidence they possesed; and assuming the pretext of some public motive have not scrupled to sacrifice the national tranquility to personal advantage or personal gratification!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ~ HAMILTON, Federalist no. 6 (New Yorks finest – thanks Al, ya just can’t make this stuff up!)

            If a faction consists of less than a majority, relief is supplied by the republican principle, which enables the majority to defeat its sinister views by regular vote… it will be unable to execute and mask its violence under the forms of the CONSTITUTION. ~ MADISON, Federalist no. 10

        • Dayman, fighter of the Nightman says:

          Is George, Nixon loving, born on the Fourth of July, Steinbrenner what qualifies as a majority now?

    • IMO, playing GBA is false patriotism and isn’t really much aside from something showy. If you do it all the time, doesn’t it lose its special flavor? We don’t have Memorial Day every single day, do we?

    • Jake K. says:

      There are plenty of patriotic Americans who support the troops, pay their taxes and vote who don’t believe in God. I also happen to believe that enforced patriotism isn’t patriotism at all.

    • Clayton says:

      I could of swore there was a moment like that at the beginning of the game where this play this whole song and stuff. I think the even begin with “Will everyone please stand as we honor America,” but I could be wrong. I really thought that they played a song like that talking about rockets and bravery and a flag and everything. But I could be wrong.

    • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

      By your theory, every second of every day could have 90 seconds to do that.

      - Before you get on the subway, can’t you take 90 seconds?

      - Before you get off the subway, can’t you take 90 seconds?

      - Before you enter your job, can’t you take 90 seconds?

      - Before you staple that report together, can’t you take 90 seconds?

      - Before you sexually harass the new pretty receptionist … er.. okay, I’ve gone too far …

      But you get my point. It’s a time and place issue. Why, during the 7th inning of a baseball game, is THAT the time to sing God Bless America, especially since, as others have pointed out, we already sing the national anthem before games.

      • Jason says:

        Ha very well said,

        I dont think GBA has any place at a baseball game since the National Anthem is already sung at the beginning. Is it during the 7th inning that we are reminded that we truly love america? Come on…

        Lets toss out Cotton Eyed Joe and the YMCA while we’re at it

    • Tank Foster says:

      Not to pile it on, steve, but I honestly think you can do a disservice to the cause, you can cheapen it, by overdoing it.

      I think having a moment of silence before games, and the National Anthem, is the perfect expression of support and reverence.

      God Bless America doesn’t bother me, at all, by the way. I don’t say this because I object to supporting military actions or God. I just think it’s a matter of taste and how you do it.

      Great example….Natalie Gulbis won the Evian Masters in France in 2008. She posed for a picture after the tournament. She was sitting on a stool holding up the trophy. The stool had been draped with the American flag. So she was sitting on the flag.

      Envious as I was of that flag, this was clearly a case of patriotism gone wrong. I found the picture offensive…God Bless America isn’t in this category, but I don’t think it’s unpatriotic to say it’s something we could do without.

  17. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    How about the “Team America” theme song?

  18. George G. says:

    God Bless America doesn’t bother me and I sing the words when they’re played, but I’m very glad they removed the ridiculous rule baring people from moving around the stadium during it.

    I’ve been to 7 games to far and I’ve seen the wave happen 3 times… pisses me off to no end. The wave is always started by the idiots on top of the Mohegan Sun Sight Blocker.

    Also, can we please stop throwing the ball back. Leave that in Wrigley where it belongs.

  19. Kulish says:

    steve s,

    This is a free country. If the guy doesnt want to stand around during a song he doenst agree with, he has that RIGHT. A person also has the right not to be harassed for not doing something they dont believe in. It’s that simple. Has nothing to do with him ‘crapping’ on anything or disrespecting wo/men in uniform.

  20. Heh.

    RAB: Come for the baseball, stay for the existential philosophy.

  21. mo says:

    I cant believe you guys just had a full conversation on the subject of using the song GBA… its 100% ok in my book. the muslim terrorists are gonna hate us regardless of what we play at our baseball games… people please get it straight they are bred to hate us for no reason. there is no rationality behind their hatred the same way there is no rationality behind what they did on 9/11


    • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

      They are “bred” to hate us? Like thoroughbreds? Are there really guys who look at a man and say, “His bloodlines for anti-American hatred are great. I’ll pay you $5,000 for his semen to impregnate this woman, who also has great hate bloodlines. In fact, she won the 2002 Hate America Derby.”

    • Terrorism rarely has no point.

    • Mattingly's Love Child says:

      So are you one of those people that believes you only do the right thing if people are looking?

      Just because singing GBA isn’t going to make terrorists hate the US more, doesn’t mean it is necessarily the appropriate response to 9/11. You are right, the people who attacked us are not rational. But we are rational, so let’s do the appropriate thing and not stoop to the level of “our god” vs “your god”.

      If we need to memorialize 9/11 during the 7th inning, which really shouldn’t be necessary during a stupid baseball game, we should pick a song that represents American well, like America the Beautiful, as sung by Ray Charles. But even that really isn’t necessary, IMO.

  22. Kulish says:

    The only problem I have with GBA being played in Yankee Stadium is that, Kate Smith’s version is like a cat in heat. Why not someone else? Tynan maybe?

    • Kulish says:

      Sorry, should say “is like ‘listening’ to a cat in heat.”

    • It sounds like it’s being played on a record from like…1947. They really couldn’t get a better quality recording?

      • Kulish says:

        You’re right. It does sound like it’s being played in a tin can.

        I thought they’d retire it and go with a newer version when they moved across the street. What was I thinking?

    • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

      I’m opposed to GBA being played, but I’m especially opposed to it being Kate Smith. And here’s why:

      You have to figure that many, many Yankee fans root for the Islanders or the Rangers. Islander fans and Ranger fans don’t agree on much, but we do agree on one thing: We hate the Flyers.

      And Kate Smith singing GBA is, for a hockey fan over the age of 40, first and foremost linked with the Flyers. When Smith was still alive, she would sing GBA and big Flyer games, and the rumor/stats showed that the Flyers had a great record when she sang.

      So when I hear Kate Smith singing GBA, I can’t help thinking, “To hell with them, we’re going to win anyway! Now someone put Clarke and Leach into the boards!”

  23. Mike says:

    Reading these comments give me the same uncomfortable feeling I get when my friends and I accidently start talking politics. We get mad when someone says something controversial and lose site of the fact that we got together to drink and watch baseball, not talk about terrorism and god. Lets all agree…America is awesome, the Yankees are awesome, and Kate Smith is old. Now everyone can be friends again

    • jsbrendog says:

      this is why i stayed out of it.

      but i totally gotta agree with the ccr/fogerty plan raised above.

      thats it. im done. friends.

  24. Kulish says:

    Yeesh. Kate Smith? One thing comes to mind.

    “Marla Hooch…What a hitter.”

    She looks like Peter Griffin with longer hair.


  25. King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

    Over at the NYT they’re asking if anyone has considered the use of off duty cops. really?

    While this discussion is interesting, for me the incident centers on:
    the cop said stop, then he pushed or went around them.

    Proud to be an American > God Bless America

  26. [...] Bruce Golding (Hat-tip to River Ave. Blues): Yankee fans are now at liberty to go to the bathroom during the playing of “God Bless [...]

  27. jsbrendog says:

    they should play hulk hogan’s theme music:

    “i want to be an american
    fight for the right of every man
    i want to be an american”

    • jsbrendog says:

      When it comes crashing down, and it hurts inside
      Ya’ gotta take a stand, it don’t help to hide

      If you hurt my friends, can you hurt my pride
      I gotta be a man, I can’t let it slide
      I am a real American
      Fight for the rights of every man
      I am a real American
      Fight for what’s right – Fight for your life

      Well I’m feeling strong about right and wrong (Ooo yeah)
      And I don’t take trouble for very long.
      I got somethin’ deep inside of me
      Courage is the thing that keeps us free

      I am a real American
      Fight for the rights of every man
      I am a real American
      Fight for what’s right – Fight for your life

      I am a real American
      Fight for the rights of every man
      I am a real American
      Fight for what’s right – Fight for your life

      If you hurt my friends, can you hurt my pride
      I gotta be a man, I can’t let it slide
      I am a real American
      Fight for the rights of every man
      I am a real American
      Fight for what’s right – Fight for your life


    • Dayman, fighter of the Nightman says:

      How about James Brown’s “Living In America”?

  28. dc1874 says:

    ….How about removing those ridiculus HUGE signs that cover the outfield walls on the new CATHEDRAL….TACKY>>>TACKY>>TACKY>>>!!!!

  29. Kulish says:

    Advertising dollars > Tackiness

  30. rob says:

    Good news. Next I hope people stop yelling at everyone to take their hats off before GBA. It’s not the National Anthem; we’re allowed to keep our hats on.

    • matt s says:

      for real, someone almost started a fight with me a few years back. I was sitting in the bleachers, didn’t take my hat off for the song, because i believed it wasn’t required, afterwards this guy comes up and starts cursing at me in front of someones family, and tries to threaten me.

      ps dont like this new “tradition”either and really hate the kate smith version, i mute it every night.

    • LiveFromNewYork says:

      I’ve seen that SO many times and by the 7th inning people are way too drunk to even know they’re being yelled at yet alone what for.

  31. Tony says:

    I don’t have a problem with the song. I have a problem with it getting ****ed out by the Yankees. It is meaningless at this point and YS isn’t a military base or a reeducation camp. It needs to effing stop. This is like when people wear flag bandanas and bikinis. No, that’s not reverence, jackass.

  32. [...] great posts about this topic from a Yankee blog here and here. Comments [0]Digg [...]

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