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.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.