Jeremy Affeldt: “I had homophobia, and now I don’t”

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Jeremy Affeldt was interviewed about his new book. Which, it seems, reveals the deeply Christian Affeldt to have experienced a transformation on the matter of homosexuality:

When Jeremy Affeldt came to the Bay Area as an opposing player, he refused to leave his hotel room aside from going to and from the ballpark. He was admittedly homophobic … “I didn’t leave my hotel room when we came to play the Giants or A’s. I didn’t want to go out or see anyone … There’s a chapter in there of me coming to San Francisco and being hesitant because I had homophobia, and now I don’t,” he said. “I see more San Francisco as a city of love and a city of passion and compassion. It’s unbelievable this city. To see that and to have my heart change as a city I didn’t ever want to come to, to a city that I’m so thankful I’m going to be part of for a long time, it talks about that. For me, it was an awesome deal.”

The explanation is pretty simple: he met gay people who were human beings, not cartoonish “abominations.” He realized that the Bible he reads says a lot more about loving thy neighbor than it does about condemning things which scare some people. He used his brain and his heart and realized that being a Christian is not incompatible with accepting others as they are. Quite the opposite, actually.

I’ve not read Affeldt’s book, but from what I have seen of it, he sounds like a thoughtful and interesting guy. I’m glad he’s getting some attention for it.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.

Report: Cardinals, Yadier Molina making “major progress” on contract extension

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.

Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.

Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.