Craig Calcaterra

Kiss Cam

The Mets end a homophobic kiss cam joke

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From criminally underrated ex-presidents on the kiss cam to opposing players on the kiss cam.

In response to accusations of homophobia, the New York Mets have eliminated the practice of showing two opposing players on the Citi Field kiss cam. They released a statement to HuffPost Live about it:

We have, on occasion, included players from opposing teams in our popular in-game Kiss Cam feature. While intended to be lighthearted, we unintentionally offended some. We apologize for doing so and no longer will include players in the feature. Our organization is wholly supportive of fostering an inclusive and respectful environment at games.

Good for the Mets.

While seeing a sweet octogenarian couple up there is kind of cute, kiss cams have traditionally been used as a means of spreading casual homophobia. The operator thinks it’s cute to put it on two guys — who they presume to be heterosexual guys — in order to get hoots and hollers from the crowd and to sow homphobic discomfort. In recent years there has been a laudable effort at some parks and arenas to put actual gay couples on the kiss cam, but of course that has stirred up lame “think of the children” protests from people who are, in reality, motivated far more by their bigotry and discomfort than anything else.

I don’t think the Mets meant any harm in this but I’m glad they’ve stopped this practice. If, for no other reason, than the idea of two same sex people kissing is not, in and of itself, a joke nor should it be treated as such.

A best-of-three wild card was proposed but rejected

Greg Holland
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I missed this the other day — it was brought to my attention by Mike Axisa of CBS  this morning — but Theo Epstein told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune that the idea of a best-of-three Wild Card series, as opposed to the current one-and-done format, was once proposed. And promptly rejected:

“We threw out something a few years ago about making it a two out of three, but with a doubleheader the first day because days are at a premium that time of year, and you don’t want the teams that win the division to have to wait too long and then get cold. It’s not fair to them. That didn’t pass. It got rejected.”

Not surprising. And, even if I don’t think one game settles anything meaningful in baseball, I’m not gonna spend too much effort caring, to be honest.

With the wild card game baseball is, quite clearly, favoring excitement and good TV over measuring baseball merit in a truly fair way. But that doesn’t strike me as any kind of mortal sin. For one thing, they’re usually pretty honest about it. They tend to admit that they’re TRYING to generate excitement and make good TV and, no matter what you think about that as a goal, they have accomplished it.

And, to be totally fair, three games — especially if two come in a doubleheader — don’t exactly constitute a wonderful and pure measure of baseball strength any more than one game does. Most people who think about such things believe that even a five-game series is too short for that, and perhaps even a seven game series is. Put simply: that which makes a strong baseball team over the long haul and that which makes for a good playoff team can and often are very different things. Depth. Health. Stamina. It’s hard to test any of that in the playoffs.

There are certainly issues with the current playoff format, but you’re going to have issues with any format which changes the fundamental nature of the contest from a marathon to a sprint. Making the first few steps out of the starting blocks matter a tad more than just the first one isn’t gonna really change that.

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter were on the Braves’ Kiss Cam last night

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 9.36.06 AM
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Jimmy Carter is a rare bird:

And when he’s there he kisses his wife on the lips when they put him up on the Jumbotron:

 

I don’t care if he is History’s Greatest Monster. You gotta love Jimmy Carter.