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Game 60: Rays at Twins

And your journey through the AL East continues...

Saw this on Selby Avenue.
Body Not By Jake

Time: 7:10 Central

Weather: Partly sunny, first pitch 78°

Opponent’s SB site: DRays Bay

TV: That Apple thing John wrote about. Radio: That little box Gladden talks upon

Who wants to catch some Rays?

This is from a beers-of-the-month-club my brother signed me up for in January. I don’t think this brewery makes this beer anymore.

Third-year starter Drew Rasmussen, your latest product of the fabled Rays Pitching Prospect Factory, throws a mid-90s 4-seamer, low-90s cutter and a slider, all with about equal frequency. The cutter’s his most effective pitch. He’ll go against crowd favorite (if he isn’t, he should be) Devin Smeltzer and his tendency to avoid deep counts. YTD digits:

A recent story that caught my eye was this one by Marc Topkin about how the Rays had a Pride Night promotion last Saturday, featuring mini-flags and LGBTQ community members and rainbow decorations, standard promotional stuff. Part of this involved putting a little Rays rainbow logo on their caps and sleeves (following the Giants’ example).

Well, not all the players were down with this, declining to wear the logos, and reliever Jason Adam explained why:

I think a lot of guys decided that it’s just a lifestyle that maybe — not that they look down on anybody or think differently — it’s just that maybe we don’t want to encourage it if we believe in Jesus, who’s encouraged us to live a lifestyle that would abstain from that behavior, just like (Jesus) encourages me as a heterosexual male to abstain from sex outside of the confines of marriage. It’s no different.

It’s not judgmental. It’s not looking down. It’s just what we believe the lifestyle he’s encouraged us to live, for our good, not to withhold. But again, we love these men and women, we care about them, and we want them to feel safe and welcome here.

On the scale of Annoying Things Baseball Players Do, this one ranks pretty low – it’s probably more dippily ignorant than meanspirited. (Um, Adam, were you aware that lots of gay people are happily married and monogamous?) I’d write it up to youth, except Adam is 30.

Teams often have very fervent religious proselytizers in the dugout (it’s a common character in fictional baseball movies, along with the sexy bad boy, the meathead jock, nerdy egghead, etc.) Our old friend Torii Hunter expressed some fairly typical jockish attitudes during his playing days about having a theoretical gay teammate (it’s almost certain that Hunter did have gay teammates and never knew it).

Plus, no matter the intentions of Rays management, there’s long been a corporate maneuver known as “pinkwashing,” e.g., professing to be LGBTQ-friendly as a way of making the organization look human-friendly (want rainbow Marine bullets? You got em!) Considering what a moronic jerk Tampa Bay’s owner is, seeming human-friendly would be a mighty makeover indeed.

My personal annoyance with Adam’s statement, though, is theological: where did Jesus say people shouldn’t be gay, or have sex outside of marriage?

The Old Testament has much to say on the subject (adultery bad, gay bad, having sex with someone else’s slave bad, self-lovin’ bad for guys at least). The Jesus of the Gospels, not so much.

So, if Adam and some of his teammates want to believe anything other than married hetero lovin’ is Wrong, that’s their business…. But if they want to claim it’s because Jesus said so, I’d like to see chapter and verse.

(I’d also walk cautiously on telling teammates with girlfriends that they were Living In Sin.)

A counterbalance came from outfielder Kevin Kiermaier: “It’s one of those things, my parents taught me to love everyone as they are, go live your life, whatever your preferences are, go be you .... I can’t speak for everyone who’s in here, obviously, but this is a family-friendly environment here at a big-league ball field …. We just want everyone to feel welcomed and included and cheer us on. No matter what your views on anything are.”

In any case, it doesn’t seem to have affected the clubhouse, which is good. And let’s hope that Adam isn’t denying himself the opportunity to meet his one true soulmate by preemptively narrowing the field.

Today's Lineups

RAYS TWINS
Manuel Margot - DH Luis Arraez - 1B
Harold Ramirez - 1B Byron Buxton - DH
Yandy Diaz - 3B Carlos Correa - SS
Randy Arozarena - LF Max Kepler - RF
Gore Vidal Brujan - RF Jorge Polanco - 2B
Isaac Paredes - 2B Trevor Larnach - LF
Francisco Mejia - C Gary Sanchez - C
Taylor Walls - SS Gio Logic Urshela - 3B
Brett Phillips - CF Nick Gordon - CF
Drew Rasmussen - RHP Devin Smeltzer - LHP