Protesting the lameness — and the homophobia — of the "kiss cam"

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This Saturday the Cardinals are holding an “OUT at the ballpark” promotion in conjunction with a local LGBT group.  This is not uncommon. Lots of ballparks do this.  What is less common is that some people behind the event are wanting to turn it into a protest of sorts over how ballparks, stadiums and areans use the “Kiss Cam.”

The idea for a kiss cam moment came about after Sunday’s Ram’s
game against the Arizona Cardinals. During the game, the kiss cam
focused on two men in Arizona jerseys who jeered at the camera and
made expressions of distaste toward one another.

Some gays and lesbians who were at the game said it appeared
that by having the kiss cam linger on the men – who seemed to them
to be straight — there was an insinuation that the men were gay.
The kiss cam catch was followed by hoots and derisive cheers from
the audience.

I’ve always hated the kiss cam because it’s kind of lame, but I’ve especially never cared for that last, homophobic moment they almost always seem to create, as described above.

I used to go to a lot of Indians games with a buddy of mine and we made a pact that if they ever tried to use us as the pretext for mocking homosexuals that we’d immediately — and with as much passion as we could muster — kiss each other.  Yeah, that would have made for an uncomfortable drive back to Columbus, but the point would be made.

Actually, I take that back. The point wouldn’t have been made. I think it’s possible to get almost anyone to question their bigotry if you try hard enough, but homophobes seem like a lost cause to me. The lack of even the pretense of reason behind that junk is astounding.

So I wish the protesters at the Cardinals game who want to get on the kiss-cam in order to make a point this weekend good luck, but my guess that, regrettably, they’re not going to change any minds. To the contrary, they’ll probably only make the bigots more comfortable with their bigotry and the kiss cam will continue to be a source of lame gay jokes for years to come.

(h/t to The Big Lead)

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.