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Today, we are all Pond Scum

June 28, 2011

My goodness! While I was away for the weekend, the Cardinals ceded the entire St. Louis metro area to Canada, Frank McCourt filed official paperwork to compel Jackie Robinson and Walter O’Malley to barrel-roll in their graves, and the state of New York made former Mets pitcher and current TV analyst Ron Darling proud by legalizing same-sex marriage:

“I immediately called my wife as soon as I heard,” said Darling, who long ago made the city his adopted home and now works as a broadcaster for the team. “I’m joyous.  Excited.  I can’t wait to hear if my friends are going to take the plunge, and I’m anticipating going to many marriages.”

For Darling, the equation is simple: Why not recognize and celebrate any form of love between two people?

“I’m excited that all those who have the chance to love will now be able to do it publicly,” he said.

Darling acknowledges that baseball as a whole still has work to do on the acceptance front:

“….It is going to take one of the great players to come out.  At some point, one of our athletes is going to reveal that he is gay, and I think that will be a joyous moment—not only for gays and lesbians, but for all of us.”

No snark, Ron: Thanks for being one of the good guys. (Too bad your wisdom and compassion clearly didn’t rub off on your former teammate Roger McDowell.) And though most of baseball has remained silent on the big news out of the Empire State—never mind the anonymous Met who shruggingly explains that ballplayers are still “neanderthals” who can’t be expected to evolve, if indeed they even believe in evolution—we’re still seeing an uptick in support for the LGBT community in the baseball world:

  • The Giants and the Cubs have both released “It Gets Better” videos, with the Red Sox, Mariners, Twins, and Nationals slated to do so as well. Have a look; I especially like the shout-outs in Spanish in the Giants’ video, and the first-person testimony of team co-owner Laura Ricketts, herself a lesbian and an LGBT activist, in the Cubs’ film:
  • Back in Queens (hee!), even as the Mets are pulling a bit of a bush-league play by declining to work with the “It Gets Better” project and planning to create a more general anti-bullying video instead, outfielder Jason Bay has gone on the record to say that he’d be “glad” to participate in an LGBT-specific anti-bullying effort. (Note: The New York Daily News continues, mystifyingly, to use “homosexuals” as their noun of choice for the gay community. Who are they, Karen Walker?)
  • And I’d be remiss if I didn’t give credit to Craig Calcaterra, the lead blogger at NBC Sports’ HardBallTalk, for his ongoing and uncompromising LGBT advocacy. Check out this post, for example—notably, the fact that Craig edited his language rather than getting defensive when someone pointed out his inadvertent use of the word “choose” in reference to sexual orientation, and his hand-to-hand combat with a handful of bigots in the comments. (A sample: “I absolutely mean to denigrate people who would discriminate against others, whatever their motivation, be it religious or otherwise. No creed that promotes hatred, discrimination or a lack of respect for other human beings is worthy of my respect, be it genuine respect or respect out of some ill-defined sense of ‘tolerance.'” That’s what I’m talking about!)

I’m not expecting pitchers to start marrying catchers* on the diamond anytime soon, but progress is progress. As our hometown play-by-play announcer would say, let’s keep the line moving: See my next post for a handy round-up of online petitions asking other MLB teams to create “It Gets Better” videos!

* Yeah, I wrote that.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 28, 2011 5:00 pm

    I hand’t heard about that McDowell incident until now. Makes you think the motherfucker’s got some kind of organic brain dysfunction, to just lose all self control like that. Even if he thinks that way, he’s gotta know he can’t say shit like that to fans.

    And if he doesn’t have an organic brain disorder–and he really is just the biggest dumbest asshole to ever live–I bet he claims he has some kind of “medical problem” that caused him to tee off on those people.

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