Saturday, August 25, 2018

So what’s up with all the ballplayers spewing trash talk on Twitter?

It seems to be the latest trend, professional baseball players with Twitter accounts using them to express personal views loaded with homophobic or racial slurs.

Future star? Or tainted by Twitter?
We’re certainly not immune to this in Chicago – White Sox pitcher Michael Kopech went from making his major league debut Tuesday night and not embarrassing himself, to having to apologize on Thursday for the many slurs and taunts he expressed in his past.

BEFORE CUBS FANS start trying to lord it over the Sout’ Side ball club, consider that your team recently acquired a pitcher from the Washington Nationals – Daniel Murphy – whose Twitter account included an old rant against Billy Bean. He’s the one-time San Diego Padres ballplayer who, after he was done as a player, came out of the closet, so to speak, and admitted his own sexual orientation.

In fact, a quick look at an Internet search engine of any type will show you many links to stories about some ballplayer thinking something stupid on Twitter and feeling the need to apologize. Josh Hader of the Milwaukee Brewers literally had his homophobic Tweets discovered in the midst of this year’s All-Star Game played in Washington, D.C.

Perhaps that’s the positive part. Everybody is being apologetic about thinking these stupid thoughts. Nobody is really trying to make the argument that freedom of expression gives them every right to say or write such things.

Old thoughts following him around
But just what is it that motivated all these past trash thoughts?

IN THE CASE of Murphy, it is pointed out that his rant against Bean was from 2015. Where he admits he disapproves of Bean’s lifestyle. Although he now says he has “foster(ed) a really positive” relationship with Bean – who these days is now an advisor to the baseball Commissioner’s office on how to address matters of sexual orientation.

For what it’s worth, the Cubs actually consulted Bean just prior to making a trade with Washington for Murphy, and Bean says he wouldn’t want to see someone’s baseball “career” ruined for one stupid comment made in the past.
Which also is the key to comprehending Kopech (the guy whose first major league game lasted two innings, no runs given up and four of the six outs he achieved were done by strikeouts).
Seems willing to forgive

In saying on Thursday that he has gone into his Twitter account and scrubbed away all the stupid things he wrote, he concedes he said them, but that these were written back before he was a professional ballplayer.

IN SHORT, HE was a stupid high school kid who wasn’t fully mature. Hence, the references to racial slurs and description of other things he didn’t care for as being “so gay.”

The scary part is that I can remember back in my own junior high school days (12 and 13 years old), the standard insult that was supposedly as low as one could go in trashing something or someone else would be to call it “gay.”

Perhaps it is truthful that Kopech (who now is 22, and who pitched the bulk of this season for the Charlotte Knights ball club) has grown up. That he’s no longer a kid mentally, and that perhaps his emotional and mental age is catching up to his physical one.

Detracted attention from All-Star game
Because my own experiences as a reporter-type person in dealing with ballplayers is that, despite their physical skills, they are a tad retarded emotionally. Perhaps you need to remain a bit of a kid at heart if you’re going to play a child’s game well enough to earn a living at it.

OF COURSE, THE real reason that baseball is so eager for this trend to die out is that they realize gay people have money, and some of them are more than willing to spend it at the ballpark.

Come Sunday, the Cubs are having a LGBTQ Pride night at Wrigley Field. While the White Sox will have a similar night come Friday at Guaranteed Rate Field. A part of me is contemplating going to that ball game because Friday is my birthday.

Offering praise to Kopech
A rainbow-tinted crowd could be an intriguing site – particularly since some are so eager to put a right-wing stain on anything athletic. Could we get a fan reaction, either for or against, spurred on by the nonsense that all too often pervades our society.

While some of us will wish we could go back to the mindset of the one in which Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan felt compelled to watch Tuesday’s White Sox game on television – and came back raving about the skills Kopech could bring to Chicago?


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