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)

Dodgers clinch NL West on Charlie Culberson’s walk-off home run

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 20: Charlie Culberson #6 of the Los Angeles Dodgers runs to first base after hitting a single RBI in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 20, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
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Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.

The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.

Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.

It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.

Video: Dustin Pedroia’s base running sends Red Sox to 11th consecutive win

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 24:  Dustin Pedroia #15 of the Boston Red Sox is greeted at the dugout by Pablo Sandoval #48, left, and Mookie Betts #50, right, after hitting a grand slam during the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on September 24, 2016 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr. /Getty Images)
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The Red Sox defeated the Rays 3-2 on Sunday afternoon thanks to some nifty base running by second baseman Dustin Pedroia. The win marks their 11th in a row, inching them closer to a division title.

With the game tied 2-2 in the top of the tenth, Pedroia led off with a single off of reliever Eddie Gamboa. After Xander Bogaerts lined out, David Ortiz ripped a double into the right-center field gap. Pedroia, running hard the whole way, rounded third and motored towards home plate, but the relay throw home — from center fielder Jaff Decker to second baseman Logan Forsythe to catcher Luke Maile — beat Pedroia by a good 10 feet. He was a dead duck.

Pedroia danced around Maile’s glove, avoiding the tag. Maile, on his side, continued to attempt to apply the tag on Pedroia. When he finally did, the ball was knocked loose and Pedroia scored the go-ahead run. The play was reviewed but the call was upheld.

Joe Kelly kept the Rays off the board in the bottom of the 10th, securing the 3-2 victory for the Red Sox.

The Blue Jays also won on Sunday, meaning the Red Sox still have a 5.5-game lead in the AL East. Any combination of two Red Sox wins and Blue Jays losses will seal up the division for the Red Sox. The two clubs round out the regular season with a three-game set against each other in Boston.