This totally slipped my mind until Friend-of-HardballTalk and Tater Trot Tracker impresario Larry Granillo tweeted about it a few minutes ago. And it’s super important, too.
Newest Tampa Bay Ray Matt Duffy loves cats. Indeed, he’s got a huge, huge cat that he very clearly adores. And it’s not just run-of-the-mill cat person stuff. His cat, Skeeter, has its own Instagram account and Twitter account. It’s a level of cat fancying that even puts a hardcore cat junkie like me to shame. My cats wish someone loved them as much as Matt Duffy loves Skeeter. We all do, really.
For their part, the Rays have rolled out the red carpet for both Duffy and Skeeter:
That’s wonderful, right? WRONG!
Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier hates cats. Which is his prerogative, of course — cats are jerks — but it goes beyond that. He thinks less of people who own cats and views their ownership of cats as a sign of inferiority or femininity or weakness or a point, in and of itself, to be mocked. He specifically said that no one listens to people who take pride in their friendship with their feline companions! He may even fear cat owners on some primal level. After all he has, in the past, blocked cat owners on social media simply because they are cat owners who make note of it on social media!
All of that said, I feel like Kiermaier and Duffy will still get along. They’re ballplayers with a lot in common and, as of now, are teammates. Assuming they do get along, of course, we’ll know that Kiermaier’s real problem is not with cat owners. But with taking what he imagined to be criticism from someone he doesn’t know, thereby causing him to lash out in a childlike fashion.
And that’s way better, right?
UPDATE: Oh. I see how it is.
Today the Angels introduced their newest big star, Anthony Rendon, who just signed a seven-year, $245 million contract to play in Orange County.
And it is Orange County, not Los Angeles, Rendon stressed at the press conference. When asked about the Dodgers, who had also been reported to be courting him, Rendon said he preferred the Angels because, “the Hollywood lifestyle . . . didn’t seem like it would be a fit for us as a family.”
What “the Hollywood Lifestyle” means in that context could mean a lot of things I suppose. It could be about the greater media scrutiny Dodgers players are under compared to Angels players. It could mean that he’d simply prefer to live in Newport Beach than, I dunno, wherever Dodgers players live. Pasadena? Pasadena is more convenient to Dodger Stadium than the beach. Who knows. They never did let Yasiel Puig get that helicopter he wanted, so traffic could’ve been a consideration.
But maybe it’s a subtle allusion to political/cultural stuff. Orange County has trended to the left in some recent elections but it is, historically speaking, a conservative stronghold in Southern California. And, based on something else he said in his press conference, Rendon seems to be pretty conscious of geographical/political matters:
A shoutout to the notion of Texas being Trump country and an askance glance at “the Hollywood Lifestyle” of Los Angeles all in the same press conference. That’s a lot of culture war ground covered in one press conference. So much so that I can’t decide if I should warn Rendon that both Texas and Orange County are trending leftward or if I should tell him to stick to sports.