Tweet of the Day: Brandon McCarthy takes on the kiss cam

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I’ve spent a lot of virtual ink talking about the “kiss cam” at ballparks and arenas and the like. I hate it for two reasons: first, it’s kind of stupid. Second — and way more importantly to me — it’s so often employed as a means of spreading casual homophobia. The operator thinks it’s cute to put it on two guys — presumably heterosexual guys — in order to get hoots and hollers from the crowd and to sow homphobic discomfort.

They apparently did it last night at Angels Stadium, because A’s pitcher Brandon McCarty took notice:

 

Damn straight.

Go back to the thread on gay ballplayers yesterday and revisit the comments about how homophobia is still more or less accepted in our culture. If you doubt it, ask yourself how a publicly funded and operated ballpark can still get away with doing a thing, the sole purpose of which is to make tens of thousands of people laugh at the possibility that two men might actually want to kiss. And which encourages straight people to either be humiliated or to pretend to be the part of a minority and to try to act how they think that minority acts in comically exaggerated ways.

It’s pathetic, and I wish ballparks would cut it the hell out.

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.

Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.

As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.