Mets player: “most of us are still Neanderthals”

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Last month when I wrote about Charles Barkley’s comments on an active gay athlete coming out, I referred to those who would not be accepting of such a thing as “Neanderthals.”  Some people in the comments thought it was a low blow of me to refer to simple dumb bigots as “Neanderthals.” To each his own, I guess.

Know this, though, someone on the Mets agrees with me.  In a blog post by Andy Martino talking about Mets players’ mixed reaction to New York’s passage of gay marriage law, one anonymous Met said this:

As [Ron] Darling said the day before, most players felt that the professional sports locker room might not be ready to fully accept an openly gay athlete.  Asked why this was, one Met said, “Most of us are still Neanderthals.”

Know what? Between last month’s thing and this, I believe my strongest feelings about all of this have to do with my sense that the Neanderthals are being slandered. Neanderthals were actually pretty cool! They made advanced tools. They had complex social groups, were able to control fire, skinned animals and it is believed that they even had a language.

To suggest that someone who has enmity for another simply because of who they choose to* love is a “Neanderthal” is truly unfair to a species as evolved as the Neanderthal.

*Lazy choice of words on my part because obviously we don’t choose such things. If you differ on this point, I’d simply ask that you tell me the date on which you chose your sexual orientation before offering your comments. Thanks!

Former Mets pitcher Anthony Young dies at 51

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Former Mets pitcher Anthony Young died on Tuesday at the age of 51, the team said. Young was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in February.

Young, 51, pitched parts of six seasons in the majors from 1991-96. He began his big league career with the Mets in 1991 and stayed with the team through ’93. He famously failed to win a game between April 24, 1992 and July 24, 1993. During that span of time, he went 0-27. It was a great example, even back then, of the uselessness of won-lost records. Young posted a respectable 4.17 ERA in ’92 and 3.77 in ’93.

Former pitcher Turk Wendell, who was Young’s teammate with the Cubs in 1994-95, called Young “a true gentleman.”

Blue Jays designate Jason Grilli for assignment

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The Blue Jays announced on Tuesday that the club designated reliever Jason Grilli for assignment as part of a handful of roster moves. Outfielder Dwight Smith was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo, outfielder Ezequiel Carrera was activated from the 10-day disabled list, and pitcher Chris Smith was recalled from Buffalo as well.

Grilli, 40, struggled to a 6.97 ERA with a 23/9 K/BB ratio in 20 2/3 innings of work this season in Toronto. The right-hander similarly struggled in the first half last year with the Braves before being acquired by the Jays but Grilli’s role had diminished and most of the rest of the bullpen has been pulling its weight.

Grilli should draw some interest — perhaps from the Nationals — as his peripheral stats suggest he’s not nearly as bad as his ERA suggests.