Category: Archive

41 on deck

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Bush sent the message in the aftermath of the Yankees becning Tynan after he made a remark that a listener believed to be Anti-Semitic.
“I am writing this on behalf of my long time friend Ronan Tynan. He is a good man, a fair man, certainly not an anti-Semite,” President Bush said in his emailed letter to the Yankee organization.
Bush acknowledged that Tynan’s words might have caused offense but stated that Tynan had immediately apologized and that his apology was accepted.
“It would be very good if your organization could in some way recognize that this incident, though unfortunate, could be forgotten. It is my understanding that some distinguished Jewish leaders have forgiven Ronan Tynan.
“Please give him another chance to bring his musical magic to the ball park,” wrote the 41st president, whose family has long been involved in baseball, primarily through its role in the Texas Rangers franchise.
The message of support was sent from the president’s office in Houston, Texas. It was signed “Respectfully submitted, George Bush #41.”
An aide to the former president confirmed to the Echo that the 41st president had interceded on behalf of Tynan.
“Mr. Bush considers Mr. Tynan a long-time friend and a good man,” Jim Appleby said.
The letter from President Bush was sent to “the Steinbrenner family.”
Ronan Tynan sang at Mr. Bush’s 80th birthday party in Houston, back in 2004.
Tynan sang for the Anti Defamation League after the reports of his comments led to the Kilkenny-born tenor being sidelined.
The ADL stated afterwards that it did not believe that Tynan was in any way Anti-Semitic.
Nevertheless, Tynan’s exile has continued. He was in Fargo, North Dakota when the Yankees won their 27th World Series and he was at Kennedy Airport in New York when the triumphant team was being feted in Manhattan by fans and Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Tynan was traveling to Naples, Fla. To sing with a symphony as the street celebrations reached their climax.
He likely would have been present at the ticker tape parade and City Hall in other circumstances.
“I’m thrilled the Yankees won,” Tynan told the Echo by phone from JFK.
As he spoke he said he was watching the victory parade on TV. The moment was “bittersweet,” he said.
Tynan, who is to sing at a memorial Mass for Senator Edward Kennedy in New York this Thursday, told the Echo that he feels “devastated” by the entire incident and its aftermath.
He also feels deeply hurt in that he was shut out by the Yankees without being given the opportunity to explain the circumstances and context of his remarks which, he says, merely amounted to humor taken up the wrong way by a woman present when they were uttered who reported his words to the Yankees.
A spokeswoman in the Yankees communications office in the Bronx said she was not aware of the organization being contacted by the elder President Bush and said it was possible for the matter to be now resting in “Tampa.”
A message left by the Echo for Yankees executive vice president Hal Steinbrenner, son of Yankees boss George Steinbrenner, this in his Tampa office, had not been returned by presstime.
A call made last week by the Echo to the Yankees public relations firm, Rubenstein and Associates, had not been returned in the intervening week.

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