Craig Calcaterra

Chicago White Sox catcher Dioner Navarro is introduced during the team's annual fan convention in Chicago, Ill., Friday, Jan. 29, 2016. (Joe Lewnard/Daily Herald via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGAZINES OUT
Associated Press

Dioner Navarro: “This pig is going to live like a fricking princess in my house”


Yoenis Cespedes bought a $7,000 hog and sent it to a butcher, raising the ire of PETA and causing everyone else to fantasize about ribs and pulled pork. Dioner Navarro of the White Sox, however, wanted people to know that his relationship with pigs is considerably different.

Navarro tells Dan Hayes of that he got a micro pig named Sassy for his wife. And it’s in no danger of going off to the micro butcher. “This pig is going to live like a fricking princess in my house,” he said. Navarro, his wife and kids know from treating animals well. Hayes reports that they have a French bulldog, a bearded dragon, a Nigerian Uromastyx, a chinchilla and a cat.

I approve of the cat. The rest sound like a lot of work, but whatever floats your boat.

Six months after coming out, David Denson has received total support from the Brewers

David Denson

Last August David Denson, a first baseman and corner outfielder in the Brewers organization became the first openly gay player in MLB-affiliated ball. Yesterday Scott Miller of Bleacher Report wrote a story catching up with Denson. It’s a good read.*

The best part: Denson has received total acceptance from the Brewers, his friends and his teammates. It’s a story which illustrates just how people feel about those who are different from them when they actually, you know, know someone who is different than them as opposed to when thinking about those differences only in the abstract. I’d assume that some ballplayers, in their heart of hearts, are wary of having a gay teammate. But once they actually have a gay teammate it seems obvious that it’s not an issue for anyone. It shows that there are about a zillion more important things that go into a relationship with teammate than his sexual orientation.

The only regrettable note in the story is that Denson’s relationship with his father has apparently been complicated since he came out. It has to do with his father’s religious beliefs and it’s explained pretty fairly in the article. It was notable to me, however, that then-Brewers GM Doug Melvin personally reached out to Denson’s father to assure him that the Denson’s career would in no way be negatively impacted due to his coming out. Which may not have ever been a thought that crossed the Brewers’ collective mind but which Melvin worried was something that Denson’s father was himself worried about. I think that it speaks volumes about Melvin’s thoughtfulness and empathy for both both Denson and his father, who obviously see the world differently, that he made that effort.

There’s no telling if Denson’s baseball career will go as far as he wants it to, but if he doesn’t end up reaching the majors it’s good to know that it won’t be because his club and his teammates aren’t accepting of him.

UPDATE: The original version of this article linked to the New York Daily News. It seems, however, that the Daily News’ story was based primarily upon Miller’s story in Bleacher Report, using its quotes and building around it and I had missed that on first read. While we here at HBT are obviously not averse to aggregation — and while the Daily News did link to and credit the Bleacher Report story — we prefer to post links to original reporting. Especially when, as is the case with Miller’s story, that reporting is much more substantial. Apologies to Bleacher Report and Miller for not paying closer attention to this earlier. 

The Brewers will hold a Hank the Dog Conspiracy Theory press conference tomorrow


Last week we linked to a compelling and gripping story about a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of the . . . well, not the government or anything, but the Milwaukee Brewers. Which is basically the same thing.

The theory: that their beloved unofficial mascot Hank the Dog, who wandered as a stray into their spring training complex in Phoenix two years ago and quickly won the hearts of Brewers fans everywhere, has been replaced. Maybe he’s even dead! It’s not clear, but the Brew Crew Ball blog gave us all of the information that it could find on this sinister (alleged) plot and vowed to get to the bottom of it even if it meant their deaths.

Well, maybe not that far, but they were totally going to get to the bottom of it.

Now, under the intense pressure that only the most intrepid and committed stay-at-home baseball bloggers can bring to bear, the Brewers have cracked:

If this goes like most conspiracies go everyone in a position to know The Truth about all of this will be dead or disappeared by morning. But we have to give credit to the Brewers for at least going through the motions here, right? Maybe we’ll actually get some answers tomorrow.

Until then, we’ll be contending with people who think this is all nonsense and that having fun with such things is beneath them:

In other news, that reporter’s own newspaper has a dedicated URL page in which its numerous Hank the Dog stories are stored. Maybe only credentialed members of the Serious Sporting Press are allowed to have fun with stray dogs that turn into mascots. Maybe there’s an unwritten rule of baseball I’m missing which states that it’s impermissible to have some harmless fun at the outset of a season in which your team is probably gonna lose 96 games. Who knows?

In any event, we will update you once the Brewers come clean and admit that Hank has been kidnapped by nihilists or that he had to go back to his home planet which needs him or that the Trilateral Commission, in conjunction with the Reverse Vampires, have actually just induced a mass hallucination on us all via water fluoridation or what have you.