Look, if I have to see fat hairy Bob and his wife Betty up on the jumbotron when they do the kiss cam thing, I had better not hear that ballpark security is out on the concourses trying to keep a couple of nice ladies who are in love from kissing one another. Wait, what? Oh, Minnesota …
Taylor Campione and Kelsi Culpepper — two lesbian women from Minneapolis — were recently scolded by a Target Field security guard for what they call a “brief kiss.” After seeing the quick peck on the lips, the guard told the women that “we don’t play grab ass here” and that they must “adhere to the 10 Commandments” while at the stadium.
The guard has been reprimanded and apologies issued, but Campione and Culpepper are going to pursue a discrimination complaint with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.
But you know what gets me more angry here than the whole homophobia angle? The 10 Commandments comment. Not because it brings religion into the ballpark, but because the Twins themselves are already violating them. Take the second commandment:
Thou shalt not make for yourself a carved image–any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.’
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you a carved image of the likeness of something that — depending on what you think of him — is either in heaven or beneath the earth:
And I won’t even go in to the serial violations about keeping the Sabbath holy. Unless you count a 1pm start against the White Sox “holy.” Which, frankly, it may be.
Yankees starter Luis Severino and Phillies starter Aaron Nola both signed contract extensions within the last week. Severino agreed to a four-year, $40 million contract with a 2023 club option. Nola inked a four-year, $45 million deal with a 2023 club option.
While the deals both represented significant raises and longer-term financial security for the right-handed duo, some feel like the players are selling themselves short. It has become a more common practice for players to agree to these types of deals in part due to how stagnant free agency has become. Get the money while you can.
Mets starter Noah Syndergaard is in a similar situation as Severino and Nola were. He and the Mets avoided arbitration last month, agreeing on a $6 million salary for the 2019 season. He has two more years of arbitration eligibility left. A contract extension with the Mets would presumably cover both of those years plus two or three years of what would be free agent years. As Tim Britton of The Athletic reports, however, Syndergaard plans to test free agency when the time comes.
Syndergaard said, “I trust my ability and the talent that I have. So I feel like I’m going to bet (on) myself in free agency and not do what they did. But if it’s fair for both sides and they approach me on it, then maybe we can talk.” He clarified that he would be open to a conversation about an extension, but the Mets thus far haven’t approached him about it. In his words, “There’s been no traction.”
Syndergaard, 26, has been one of baseball’s better starters since debuting in 2015. He owns a career 2.93 ERA with 573 strikeouts and 116 walks in 518 1/3 innings. Among pitchers to have logged at least 400 innings since 2015 and post a lower ERA are Clayton Kershaw (2.22), Jacob deGrom (2.66) and Max Scherzer (2.71). Syndergaard made only seven starts in 2017 yet still ranks seventh among pitchers in total strikeouts since 2015.
If Sydergaard doesn’t end up signing an extension, he will be entering free agency after the 2021 season. The collective bargaining agreement expires in December 2021 and a new one will likely be agreed upon around that time. Syndergaard will hopefully have better prospects entering free agency then than players do now.