Happy New Year, everyone. I hope all of you had a wonderful (insert holiday you celebrate in late December). Myself, I’ve had a rough couple weeks. I strained or ripped a muscle in my lower back causing some extreme discomfort and pain for almost a month. Getting older sucks, my twenty-something year old friends out there. You’ll see in your thirties. Then, a week before Christmas, one of my closest friends went into cardiac arrest and we’re still not sure she’s going to survive. That’s been really hard to deal with. I had to spend hundreds of dollars that I shouldn’t have been spending on my ungrateful son in the yearly holiday tradition of trying to buy his love. And Christmas morning, I woke up to find myself being attacked by what I believe to be SARS or bird flu that lasted until late yesterday. December is the worst.
So yes, the launching of TigerSnark hit an unexpected snag the past couple weeks. But before we get back into the groove, I wanted to touch on this Torii Hunter thing. If you missed it, Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times quoted Hunter on the subject of how he would feel to have a gay teammate. Torii’s alleged response was, “For me, as a Christian … I will be uncomfortable because in all my teachings and all my learning, biblically, it’s not right. It will be difficult and uncomfortable.”
Hunter has since released the predictable follow up statement that he was misquoted. “I’m very disappointed in Kevin Baxter’s article in which my quotes and feelings have been misrepresented. He took two completely separate quotes and made them into one quote that does not express how I feel as a Christian or a human being. I have love and respect for all human beings regardless of race, color or sexual orientation. I am not perfect and try hard to live the best life I can and treat all people with respect. If you know me you know that I am not anti-anything and to be portrayed as anti-gay in this article is hurtful and just not true.”
Whatever. I couldn’t possibly care less what Torii Hunter thinks about gays, race, the TV show “Mad Men”, Britney Spears, or anything else. I just don’t think it’s important. All I care about is his performance on the baseball field. Is that wrong? Craig Calcaterra, a writer at NBC Hardball Talk who I greatly respect, thinks that Hunter’s quotes are quite important and Craig makes some good points in his article on it. But I still don’t think it matters for one simple reason.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO LIKE YOUR CO-WORKERS TO STILL DO YOUR JOB EFFECTIVELY.
Let’s say Alex Avila and Rick Porcello fall in love and announce it to the world. Adorable. Now if Torii Hunter does happen to have a problem with homosexuals, does anyone with half a brain think Hunter will not still try his best on the baseball diamond? Will he refuse to catch fly balls hit to him with Porcello on the mound? Will he stubbornly choose not to applaud Avila after a home run? Of course not. He is a professional, and well paid to do his job. Granted though, he might not be as likely to give Alex a celebratory slap on the ass afterwards.
I work in a profession where it is imperative that everyone working the same shift must work together to get things done. And guess what? Many of the workers don’t like each other. It might be because one has a problem with another’s race. It may be because one doesn’t like another’s sexual preference. It may be because that one girl is a stuck up bitch and she rubs everyone the wrong way. But you know what? They still do their jobs and work together. It’s their job to do so. And it’s my job do make sure this happens.
I promoted a guy to management a couple years ago that happened to be gay. And I can think of one particular girl that didn’t like him for the sole reason of his homosexuality. Like Hunter, she was very religious and frowned upon gays for that reason. But despite not being BFF’s for life, they were able to put that aside and still do their jobs. This happens every day in almost every profession out there, I imagine. Lots of white folks don’t like blacks. The same is true of blacks with whites. Gays. Jews. People like to hate each other for dumb reasons. It’s sad, but I think it’s just human nature, unfortunately. But we all still have to work together in peace if we want to keep our jobs and get things done.
I’m no different. There’s, in fact, a group of people out there that I cannot stand. Guilty as charged, your honor. I think they’re dumb animals. I think they’re the product of inbreeding going back centuries. The sight of them, their foul odor, and the sounds they make disgust me to no end. But I’m forced to work with them. I’m forced to deal with them while conducting business. I don’t like it, but I do it. I am, of course, speaking of the group of individuals known as Pittsburgh Steelers fans. Filthy creatures.
Now we’ve seen this stuff in Detroit before, quite recently. Whether it’s been Gary Sheffield (Hispanics), Delmon Young (Jews), or Brandon Inge fans (anyone not white), the Detroit baseball scene has seen its share of unnecessary dislike of certain groups. And it is silly. But none of it matters. All that matters is what happens on the baseball field. Does the player produce? If so, great. I could give two tugs of a dead dog’s dick whether the other players like him or if he hates Chinese people. I don’t look to my favorite baseball team’s right fielder when deciding how I view society. Anyone that does is a buffoon.
Is Torii Hunter uncomfortable around gay people? Probably. Sadly, it’s apparently what he was raised to believe. Many hardcore Christians out there agree. And you’d be ignorant to think that he’s the only player in the Tigers clubhouse that feels that way. But it doesn’t matter. It’s just how he or they may or may not personally feel.
Do I agree with that particular philosophy? No. I think it is silly. Yes, I wish we lived in a world where folks didn’t hate people based on their race, religion, or sexuality. But to think that will ever truly happen is just as silly. People suck, sometimes. And it’s Jim Leyland’s job to make sure that these guys put their personal feelings aside and do their jobs.
Torii Hunter is good at baseball. That’s all I care about. Anything else is just pointless nonsense.
Besides, if he could get along peacefully with Jered Weaver, he can probably do so with anyone. That guy’s an ass.