Jeremy Affeldt: “I had homophobia, and now I don’t”

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Jeremy Affeldt was interviewed about his new book. Which, it seems, reveals the deeply Christian Affeldt to have experienced a transformation on the matter of homosexuality:

When Jeremy Affeldt came to the Bay Area as an opposing player, he refused to leave his hotel room aside from going to and from the ballpark. He was admittedly homophobic … “I didn’t leave my hotel room when we came to play the Giants or A’s. I didn’t want to go out or see anyone … There’s a chapter in there of me coming to San Francisco and being hesitant because I had homophobia, and now I don’t,” he said. “I see more San Francisco as a city of love and a city of passion and compassion. It’s unbelievable this city. To see that and to have my heart change as a city I didn’t ever want to come to, to a city that I’m so thankful I’m going to be part of for a long time, it talks about that. For me, it was an awesome deal.”

The explanation is pretty simple: he met gay people who were human beings, not cartoonish “abominations.” He realized that the Bible he reads says a lot more about loving thy neighbor than it does about condemning things which scare some people. He used his brain and his heart and realized that being a Christian is not incompatible with accepting others as they are. Quite the opposite, actually.

I’ve not read Affeldt’s book, but from what I have seen of it, he sounds like a thoughtful and interesting guy. I’m glad he’s getting some attention for it.

Shawn Tolleson retires from baseball

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Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that reliever Shawn Tolleson is retiring from baseball. The right-hander experienced a setback in his recovery from Tommy John surgery last week.

Tolleson, who turns 31 years old on Saturday, last pitched in the majors in 2016. He had two very good years out of the bullpen for the Rangers in 2014-15, posting an aggregate 2.88 ERA with 145 strikeouts and 45 walks across 144 innings.

Tolleson signed a one-year deal with the Rays in January 2017 before undergoing Tommy John surgery several months later. The Rangers inked him to a minor league contract in December 2017, but he wasn’t able to work his way back.