Craig Calcaterra

Washington Nationals' Bronson Arroyo pitches against the Houston Astros in the first inning of a spring training baseball game, Thursday, March 10, 2016, in Viera, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Bronson Arroyo confirms that he has a “significantly torn” rotator cuff

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Washington Nationals pitcher Bronson Arroyo was reported yesterday to have a torn labrum. Today he confirmed a shoulder injury but says it is a “significantly torn” right rotator cuff. The difference of which I’m sure is important to Arroyo and his doctors but for our purposes both may as well be career-ending.

He says he’s not ready to call it a career just yet, but it’s hard to see a 39-year old dude who hasn’t pitched since 2014 coming back off yet another major surgery. A shoulder surgery no less.

Cardinals take gay ex-player’s allegation ‘very seriously’

busch stadium getty
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ST. LOUIS (AP) The St. Louis Cardinals said they’re taking allegations that a gay minor-league pitcher abandoned baseball because of homophobia “very seriously.”

Tyler Dunnington, whom the Cardinals selected in the 2014 draft, told Outsports.com in a report published Wednesday that he heard derogatory comments from college coaches and later unidentified teammates in the pros. He said that “each comment felt like a knife to my heart.”

General manager John Mozeliak told The Associated Press in a statement Thursday that he’s “very disappointed” to learn about the 24-year-old’s experiences, adding that “our hope is that every player, staff member and employee feels they are treated equally and fairly.

“Given the nature of these allegations I will certainly look into this further as well as speak with Billy Bean of the Commissioner’s office for further assistance on this matter. … We will take this very seriously,” Mozeliak said.

Dunnington spent most of the summer after he was drafted with the Cardinals’ rookie-level affiliate in the Gulf Coast League, a team based in Jupiter, Florida. He said he felt uncomfortable revealing his sexual orientation to the Cardinals and retired a year ago before spring training for “my own sanity.”

Dunnington, who was 3-2 with a 3.41 ERA in 18 games as a reliever, told the website that he should have worked to “help change the game” and that quitting “isn’t the way to handle adversity.” Dunnington didn’t immediately respond to an email from the AP.

In 2013, Major League Baseball established a policy prohibiting players from harassing or discriminating against other players based on sexual orientation. Bean, baseball’s Ambassador for Inclusion, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he’s sought out Dunnington to discuss and understand his experience, though Bean said there was “no precedent” for an investigation of this nature.

Dunnington told the website that in one conversation, a Cardinals teammate mentioned he had a gay brother. Dunnington said that after “some supportive talk,” two other teammates questioned how someone could be friends with a gay person and “even mentioned ways to kill gay people.”

“This is something that reminds me I have a lot of work to do, and it’s a challenge,” said Bean, a former big leaguer who publicly revealed in 1999 that he is gay and joined the commissioner’s office a year later.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said he had been told about the allegations and that the team would “try to figure out ways so they can have an atmosphere where they can be as good as they can be.”

Are there any other “solitary” baseball fans out there?

Mike Ehrmann -- Getty Images
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I wrote this up on my personal blog last night but I thought it’d be interesting to talk about here.

I was interviewed yesterday by someone doing some academic research about how sports fandom has been transformed by cable television, the web and stuff like that. He chose me to interview because he stumbled across some things I wrote about how I became an Atlanta Braves fan primarily because of Superstation TBS in the 1980s as opposed to me growing up in Atlanta or anything like that.

Among the things the researcher asked me was what it was like to root for an out-of-market team in the days before the Internet without having friends, family and peers who likewise were Braves fans. The researcher specifically asked me about how, absent that connection, I bonded with others over the team I rooted for.

It’s a question I have never once considered. Indeed, before today I have never thought about the fact that, unlike most people who are sports fans, I didn’t really have anyone with whom I talked about the games or with whom I engaged in the communal aspects of sports fandom. All sports fandom, on some level, is tribal, but traditional sports tribalism was a close to nonexistent experience for me. Since my 20s I’ve been able to talk with folks online about it all, but as a kid, when I was most impressionable and when most people’s lifetime sports affiliations are formed, there was none of that at all.

On the one hand, I suppose I’ve missed out on some nice communal experiences as a result of this. The things that happen when a team which hasn’t won much finally makes it to the top and an entire community gets behind it. On the other hand, I think I am way less bummed out when my team doesn’t do as well as others might be because I never had anyone to share misery — especially the sort of misery which feeds off other misery — with. And I wouldn’t be shocked if my interest in the non-sports part of sports and my way of looking at players as entertainers and human beings in ways a lot of people don’t view athletes is attributable to that . . . removed sort of fandom I developed in the 1980s and early 1990s.

I’d be curious to hear if any of you have similar experiences. I know that it’s very different if you grew up with the Internet and you could be on fan forums and things from the youngest of ages, but there are likely still a lot of weird things about rooting for a team no one around you roots for. And I’m sure some of you have similar stories to mine by virtue of your age, national coverage of regional teams on channels like TBS, WGN and WOR and the like.

If you have something to share along these lines in the comments, I’d be eager to read it.