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Matt Garza has opinions on birth control

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The offseason can be hard on some players. Sure, if you’re a hunter or if you like to travel or if you’re super involved in charities or something your schedule is pretty full between November and early February. But what if you don’t have that stuff in your life? Then you’re just like the rest of us sad wretches, hanging out on the Internet all day, arguing with movie stars.

Well, not everyone hangs out on the Internet arguing with movie stars. But Brewers starter Matt Garza does.

The movie star is Jessica Chastain, who is not a fan of the direction policies with respect to birth control are heading:

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Garza took the opportunity to explain birth control to a woman, at least in the own special way a man with six children who had his first child when he was 18 can talk about how he understands birth control:

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There’s nothing wrong with abstinence if that’s what you’re into or if that’s what your religion teaches you to practice. It’s a free country.

But though abstinence may prevent one from getting pregnant, it is not a “contraceptive.” A “contraceptive” is a means of preventing pregnancy for those who are sexually active. Abstinence, then, is no more a contraceptive than “staying inside” is “sunscreen.” If you wanted to go to the beach and asked a friend for a sunscreen recommendation and he said “don’t go to the beach,” you’d say “uh, thanks” and then you’d ignore their advice on the matter at hand because they’re not interested in protection from UV rays, they’re interested in making sure people don’t go to the beach. Just as Garza here is not opining on contraception, he’s telling people they should not have sex.

Obviously I’m the last person to tell anyone to “stick to sports,” and I would not tell Matt Garza to stick to sports if he doesn’t want to. But really, it’d be a good idea to know what one is talking about when one moves outside the area of their expertise.

Angels’ Andrelton Simmons opts out of final 5 games

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shortstop Andrelton Simmons has opted out of the remainder of the Los Angeles Angels’ season.

The Angels announced the four-time Gold Glove-winning shortstop’s decision Tuesday before they faced the San Diego Padres.

Los Angeles (24-31) is still technically in the playoff race with five games left in the regular season, and Simmons clearly caught the Angels by surprise, although the club said it respected his decision.

The 31-year-old Simmons, who can be a free agent this winter, is finishing his fifth year with the Angels. After spraining his ankle in late July and missing 22 games, Simmons is currently batting .297 with 10 RBIs while playing his usual stellar defense, albeit with four errors in 30 games.

“At this time, I feel this is the best decision for me and my family,” Simmons said in a statement. “We don’t know what the future holds, but we would like to sincerely thank the Angels organization and Angels fans for welcoming and making us feel at home.”

Manager Joe Maddon acknowledged he was caught by surprise when general manager Billy Eppler told him about Simmons’ decision Monday night after Simmons went 1 for 4 with an RBI single in the Angels’ home finale. Maddon texted Simmons, but hadn’t heard back by Tuesday afternoon.

“I’ve really enjoyed this guy a lot,” Maddon said. “I’m a big fan. This guy is a good baseball player, and I’ve enjoyed the conversations, too. It’s just unfortunate. He’s really a big part of what we’re doing right now.”

Simmons is a favorite of Angels fans for his defensive wizardry, and owner Arte Moreno has described Simmons as perhaps his favorite player to watch on the roster. Simmons has batted .281 with 36 homers and 281 RBIs during his five seasons with Los Angeles, and he won the Gold Glove in 2017 and 2018.

“He’s a thinking kind of a player, and I’ve enjoyed him a lot,” Maddon said.

Simmons will be a free agent this winter, and the Angels have an obvious replacement for him in David Fletcher, who has a .374 on-base percentage while regularly hitting leadoff for the Angels during his breakout major league season. Fletcher has been playing second base since Simmons’ return from injury.

But the Angels haven’t publicly closed the door on Simmons’ return, and he could be given a qualifying offer. Maddon has repeatedly said he would like Simmons to return in 2021 if possible.

The Angels haven’t had a winning season during Simmons’ five years in Anaheim, although Simmons said last week he wasn’t discouraged by the lack of team success. Simmons played his first four major league seasons in Atlanta, and he hasn’t appeared in the postseason since 2013.

Simmons also said he hadn’t been involved in any recent contract talks with the Angels, but he had enjoyed playing for the club. When asked if he wanted to return to the Halos, Simmons said he would have to “plead the fifth.”