October 16, 2009
First the Yankees told Challenger the Eagle to take a hike after almost divebombing Derek Jeter and Jason Giambi during the 2003 World Series.
Now the team is telling another Yankee Stadium postseason tradition that he'd be better off staying at home for tonight's Game 1 of the ALCS.
According to the New York Daily News, the team has canceled the appearance of singer Ronan Tynan after the Irish tenor made an anti-Semitic remark to a Jewish doctor who was looking at an apartment in his building on Manhattan's East Side.
Tynan often sings "God Bless America" at Yankee Stadium in the seventh inning and is also known for singing at events like Ronald Reagan's funeral and Rudy Giuliani's wedding.
But he won't be in The House That Jeter Built for the Yanks' first ALCS game since 2005.
"The trouble started when Tynan, 49, bumped into a real estate agent showing an apartment in his East Side apartment building to a doctor from NYU Medical Center.
"The agent told Tynan, 'Don't worry, they are not Red Sox fans,' according to apartment-hunter Gabrielle Gold-von Simson.
"'I don't care about that, as long as they are not Jewish,' was Tynan's reply.
Tynan has already gone on the, uh, offensive, offering up plenty of apologies, claiming it was a "misunderstanding" and even rolling out the old "Hey, I have three band members who are Jewish!" line. He called the doctor to offer a "sincere apology" that was accepted and sounded remorseful in this interview he just did with WNBC (see it below).
Considering that the Yankees were able to eventually invite Challenger back for a preseason game at the new stadium, I'm sure the team will ask Tynan back to perform in the near future (so long as he keeps his sense of humor to himself, of course).
After all, Tynan's rendition of the song is so good that it makes everyone forget to ask why an Irish guy is singing God Bless America in the first place.
What would October in The Bronx be without it?