Neanderthal

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!

Video: Aledmys Diaz hits a grand slam in remembrance of Jose Fernandez

ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 21: Aledmys Diaz #36 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits an RBI single against San Diego Padres in the sixth inning at Busch Stadium on July 21, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz was childhood friends with Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, so it was expected when Diaz took time away from the team on Monday to visit Fernandez’s family in Miami. They grew up on the same street in Cuba and played for the same youth baseball team and both would ultimately wind up playing Major League Baseball in the United States.

In the bottom of the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Reds, Diaz hit a 2-1 Robert Stephenson fastball out to left-center field for a no-doubt grand slam. Teammate Yadier Molina gave Diaz a tight hug as he crossed home plate.

Before Tuesday’s game, Diaz said that the best way to honor Fernandez was to play with his passion, as MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports. Diaz said, “I only play for [Fernandez’s] family right now.”

Here’s the video.

AL East still mathematically undecided as Red Sox lose, Blue Jays win

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 27:  David Price #24 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the first inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 27, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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The Red Sox would have clinched the AL East if one of two things happened on Tuesday night: the Red Sox themselves beat the Yankees, or the Orioles defeated the Blue Jays. Neither happened.

The Jays soundly took down the Orioles 5-1 behind six strong innings from Aaron Sanchez. Josh Donaldson went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run and a pair of walks and leadoff batter Ezequiel Carrera went 2-for-3 with a solo homer, an RBI single, a walk, and three runs scored.

Meanwhile, at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees outlasted the Red Sox for a 6-4 win, responding to both two-run innings the Sox had in the sixth and seventh with a run in the sixth and two in the seventh. Gary Sanchez hit his 20th homer of the season. Didi Gregorius and Tyler Austin also contributed dingers. Starter Luis Cessa pitched well, limiting the Sox to two runs over six innings on five hits and a walk with two strikeouts. Red Sox starter David Price struggled, yielding six runs in 6 1/3 innings. Yankees reliever Tyler Clippard got into trouble in the ninth inning but was able to wiggle out of trouble to finish out the game.

Once again, the Red Sox will be able to clinch the AL East on Wednesday with a win over the Yankees or a Blue Jays loss to the Orioles.