Last week I wrote of my distaste of the casual homophobia fostered by the Kiss Cam and some St. Louis fans’ desire to use it as a means of protest. I missed this at the time, but David Whitley of FanHouse wrote about it on the same day. He took a bit of a different tack than I did:
I’d like to take the socially enlightened high road on this one, but I can’t help sympathizing with that father who’ll be sitting next to his son or daughter at Busch Stadium.
“Daddy, why are those two men kissing?”
“Umm, err, hey isn’t that Albert Pujols coming to bat?”
I just so happen to have a son and a daughter. If either of them asked me that question, the answer would be “because they love each other.” Then again, maybe I just don’t appreciate all of the nuance of the allegedly complicated scenario Whitley has set up for us.
Kids understand love. It’s a pretty easy concept. What they may have a hard time understanding is being used as a rhetorical “think of the children” prop designed to hide the author’s deep, deep discomfort with homosexuality in an online column. Whitley:
Call me homophobic, but I just don’t think a 5- or 10-year-old brain is ready to tackle those complexities.
Fine. You’re homophobic.
And you know what kinds of complexities my five year-old has a hard time understanding? Unfairness. Like when his sister gets a toy and he doesn’t. Or when his friend gets a cookie but he doesn’t. And while it hasn’t come up yet, I can guarantee you that he’d have an equally hard time understanding why some folks get to marry the people they love and some people don’t. Indeed, the unfairness of that would be as plain as could be.
Wanna know hard? Try explaining to your kid the rationale behind such disparate treatment. I bet you can’t. Not even to a five year-old.
Last week it was widely speculated that Shohei Otani, the highly-touted Japanese pitcher/designated hitter who stars for the Nippon Ham Fighters, would not come to the United States to play due to changes in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The upshot: the new CBA caps money available to international free agents under age 25 at $5-6 million and Otani, 22, would be worth way more than that, so why take the pay cut?
Now, however, Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that the Fighters are set to post Shotei Otani following the 2017 season. Passan says that his sources have told him that there are potential ways around the limit on spending for under-25 players like Shohei Otani and he links a Japanese article from Sponichi which says the Fighters would post him after the 2017 season.
It’d be interesting to see what that loophole is. Without knowing the exact terms of the CBA on this score it’s impossible to know, but one possibility is that there are different rules applicable to those with professional experience in other countries as opposed to amateur free agents.
Whatever the case, the notion that we could see Otani in the U.S. at age 23 or 24 is pretty exciting.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.