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Matt Garza has opinions on birth control

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The offseason can be hard on some players. Sure, if you’re a hunter or if you like to travel or if you’re super involved in charities or something your schedule is pretty full between November and early February. But what if you don’t have that stuff in your life? Then you’re just like the rest of us sad wretches, hanging out on the Internet all day, arguing with movie stars.

Well, not everyone hangs out on the Internet arguing with movie stars. But Brewers starter Matt Garza does.

The movie star is Jessica Chastain, who is not a fan of the direction policies with respect to birth control are heading:

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Garza took the opportunity to explain birth control to a woman, at least in the own special way a man with six children who had his first child when he was 18 can talk about how he understands birth control:

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There’s nothing wrong with abstinence if that’s what you’re into or if that’s what your religion teaches you to practice. It’s a free country.

But though abstinence may prevent one from getting pregnant, it is not a “contraceptive.” A “contraceptive” is a means of preventing pregnancy for those who are sexually active. Abstinence, then, is no more a contraceptive than “staying inside” is “sunscreen.” If you wanted to go to the beach and asked a friend for a sunscreen recommendation and he said “don’t go to the beach,” you’d say “uh, thanks” and then you’d ignore their advice on the matter at hand because they’re not interested in protection from UV rays, they’re interested in making sure people don’t go to the beach. Just as Garza here is not opining on contraception, he’s telling people they should not have sex.

Obviously I’m the last person to tell anyone to “stick to sports,” and I would not tell Matt Garza to stick to sports if he doesn’t want to. But really, it’d be a good idea to know what one is talking about when one moves outside the area of their expertise.

Oh good, it’s “Yasiel Puig is a showboat” season

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With the Los Angeles Dodgers punching their ticket to the World Series, Yasiel Puig is now going to be the subject of commentary by people who tend not to care about Yasiel Puig until it’s useful for them to write outraged columns or go on talk radio rants about baseball deportment.

We got a brief teaser of this last night when, after scoring the Dodgers’ ninth run on a Logan Forsythe double, TBS analyst Ron Darling criticized Puig for his “shenanigans” and “rubbing it in.” Never mind that his third base coach was waving him home and that, if he didn’t run hard, he was just as likely to be criticized for dogging it. In other news, baseball teams don’t stop trying in the fourth inning of baseball games, nor should they.

That was just an appetizer, though. The first real course of the “Puig is a problem” feast we’re likely to be served over the next week and a half comes from Phil Mushnick of the New York Post, who wrote it even before the Dodgers won Game 5 last night:

If you were raised to love baseball and to recognize the smart, winning kind from everything less, the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig is insufferable. As the sport is diminished by professionals who disregard the basic act of running to first base as a matter of style, Puig, an incurable home-plate poser, often makes turning doubles and triples into singles appear effortless . . . In the postseason, Puig continues to behave as if he’s in the Home Run Derby. He even seems to relish his high-risk flamboyant foolishness despite frequent backfires.

This may as well be a fill in the blanks column from 2013 or 2014, when “Puig is a flashy showboater who costs his team more than he gives it” columns were all the rage. It ignores the fact that Puig, commonly dinged for being lazy, worked his butt off in 2017, particularly on defense, to the point where he has a strong case for a Gold Glove this year. It also ignores his .455/.538/.727 line in the NLDS sweep of the Diamondbacks and his .389/.500/.611 line against the Cubs in the NLCS. In the regular season he set career highs for games, homers, RBI, stolen bases and almost set a career high for walks despite having seventy fewer plate appearances than he did back in 2013 when he walked 67 times. He’s not the MVP candidate some thought he might be, but he’s a fantastic player who has been a key part of the Dodgers winning their first pennant in 29 years.

But the dings on Puig from the likes of Mushnick have rarely been about production. They’ve simply been about style and the manner in which he’s carried himself. To the extent those issues were legitimate points of criticism — particularly his tardiness, his relationships with his teammates and his at times questionable dedication — they have primarily been in-house concerns for the Dodgers, not the casual fan like Mushnick. On that score the Dodgers have dealt with Puig and, by all accounts, Puig has responded pretty well. An occasional lapse to be sure, but nothing which makes him a greater burden than a benefit. I mean, if he was, would be be batting cleanup in a pennant-clinching game?

So if the beef with Puig is not really about baseball, what could Phil Mushnick’s issue with him possible be?

I, for one, have no idea whatsoever.