Friday! As is the custom, we assemble in the back of the Round Bus to crack wise about the sports news of the day. Sometimes we invite a guest, and this week’s guest is Nic Boshart. Nic works at The Walrus and Invisible Publishing and writes nothing except website blurbs and press releases. He enjoys sports and runs sometimes. He also goes on computers a lot.
This week, with Nic’s participation, we try to get to the bottom of homophobic commentary as baseball fashion statement, the Jays’ new AAA digs, the continuing NHL lockout (unavoidable), an Olympic snowboarder’s Nashville hijinks, and more. All aboard!
Jays SS Yunel Escobar wears a homophobic slur onto the field — what’s the appropriate reaction?
Spry — The appropriate reaction was not the one the Jays made. Three game suspension, with salary going to charity? That is some bullshit. If any Rogers employee walked into work with “faggot” written on his face he’d be fired on the spot. But because Escobar is a mediocre shortstop who lacks hustle the same way I lack gainful employment, the way we both lack commitment, he gets a slap on the wrist? Rogers should be ashamed, and the Jays should be ashamed if Escobar ever walks out onto a baseball field again with a Jays uniform on.
The lesson here for the thousands of Rogers employees in Canada is, if you want an unpaid three day weekend, just write homophobic or racist shit on your face with a sharpie, and come back ready to go on Monday!
Oh, and Escobar played the “I have friends who are gay” card? What, was he defending himself in 1985? The whole situation would be laughable, if it wasn’t yet another embarrassment in an already embarrassing Jays season.
Oh, and he actually said his decorator and hairdresser were gay. Maybe it’s a bit. Maybe it’s like the Joaquin Phoenix movie. Maybe the joke’s on us.
Boshart — Jesus christ on a cross, yes it is a bad thing, but where were his teammates on this? Sure, one shithead puts some dumb words on his face, but then is completely thrown under the bus by his team!
The real lesson here is baseball, like most major league sports, is a hotbed of homophobia and sexism. I love baseball, but this episode is merely a symptom of the larger problems in major league sports. No women are allowed to play this sport (and if you think there’s never been a woman who could play utility for KC or some other midwest crap bag, you’re fooling yourself) and there are what, zero out baseball players?
So hate on Escobar all you want, but it’s like hating on a cat because he likes to poop in the ferns. I also think he’s pretty dumb.
Ibeas — I don’t think there’s anything I can add to this discussion. OH WAIT YES I CAN.
Orti — I, for one, never knew Escobar was gay. These things are a player’s business. I just think it’s sad that he was gay-bashed and some hateful people held him down and wrote that on his face. His teammates are probably to blame.
Spry — And what of his teammates? Nobody saw that written on his face? Where was Omar Vizquel during all this?
This makes me so sad for everything.
Boshart — Vizquel! Ha, remember when he was asked to name the best shortstops in the game. Notice who was missing? Vizquel sees the pouty, middling player for who he is.
Forbes — Oh, Yunel. It’s vastly preferable when athletes keep their sheltered, small-minded, backward, ignorant views to themselves. Yunel did a bad, bad thing, the Jays under-punished, but the silver lining is that in all likelihood the man won’t be back next year. Bring on Hechevarria.
The NHL lockout is almost a week old with no signs of a thaw — what are fans to do?
Forbes — Read to your kids. Play street hockey. Support minor sports. Volunteer. Read a novel. Read The Barnstormer. Rekindle your romance. Write poetry. Finish your renovations. And when they finally do settle all this, ignore them. Not forever, but for a while, as per our suggestion.
Spry — I plan on focusing all of my excess time on pursuing a meaningful relationship, either with with the girl who won’t return my phone calls, or US Olympic gold medal soccer player, Kelley O’Hara. Who also won’t return my correspondence.
And read a goddamn book. Nic, you work in books and words and such? Are books still available to the general public, or do we all have to wait for the movie to come out these days?
Boshart — Books? I work in the internets, actively trying to destroy the form we call the book. That said, I will quote a little book called “The Sportswriter,” or rather paraphrase. One night I was watching a fight and a hockey game broke out. God, I hate hockey. I know that makes me a communist of some sort, but have recently found an appreciation for the Tragically Hip, so maybe we can meet in the middle? All I know is the TV shows Sydney Crosby every day on the news looking sad, so it’s not that much different for me than last year except he’s not drooling and peeing in a bag. Maybe.
But seriously, dude won the Olympics for his country on home turf and the championships in the same year and then some wanker hits him in the head and ruins his life. Dude gets a suspension for what, a week? Fuck hockey.
Ibeas — Get extremely angry. Talk about the greed of the owners and players. Proclaim that you are done with the lot of them. Then, when the season begins again, chain yourself to the TV and buy a jersey or three and forget this ever happened.
Orti — Two words: Newcastle United. Newcastle is off to a solid start, I guess the best they could do considering the injuries their star players have incurred while on international leave. Chiek Tiote will be back soon to solid up the D and I am very excited about that since his highlight reel is basically a resume of red cards and vicious tackles. The closest thing to a hate crime occurred last week when star striker, Demba Ba did not start. When he was subbed into the game he scored two goals which means coach Alan Pardew – who started the season off by shoving a ref and getting suspended – is either a genius or an idiot. The fact that Jonas Guitterez cut his Samson-like black locks leaves the season wide open to interpretation.
Spry — That’s soccer, am I right, Orti? Y’all should follow along with The Barnstormer’s on-staff locked-out NHLer, Cheap Throat, as well.
The Blue Jays are leaving Las Vegas — their new AAA affiliate is the Buffalo Bisons. Fewer slots and all-you-can-eat buffets, but shorter travel times.
Spry — Vegas was a horrible place for the Jays’ AAA team. Probably cost them a win or two this season. The PCL is a hitters league, and Vegas’ Cashman Field is a hitters park, which breeds hitters with false confidence, and pitchers with none. Also, players will be trying way harder to make the big club, because nobody wants to live in Buffalo. Unless you have a chicken wing fetish. Orti?
Forbes — This is great news. Vegas was only a matter of necessity, as when the Jays ended their long relationship with Syracuse a few years back, there was nobody else available. The PCL is a bad fit for Toronto for many reasons — distance, screwy numbers, etc. The International League is a much better fit, and Upstate New York is absolutely ideal.
Let me also go on record as stating that I love Buffalo. A character city. Great taverns, good ballpark, and perfect proximity to Toronto. A Bisons game at The Coke (do they call it that? they should) might be a more enjoyable outing than a Jays game at the Cable Box (I call it that, when I’m not still calling it SkyDome). I foresee many future Barnstormer staff meetings there. Opening Day 2013!
Boshart — Fried ham sandwiches. A craft beer stand. Tickets max out at 30 bucks. What’s not to love? Coca Cola Park is a beautiful, outdoor stadium. All around a perfect day of baseball.
Ibeas — Regular trips to Buffalo will make me a much more attractive catch for the thrifty lady.
Orti — Do you hear that? It’s Bisons fans chanting Leafs Suck at baseball games.
Spry — That’s just the echo of your conscience.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano has his players rush Eli Manning on a kneel-down play at the end of the game, infuriating Giants’ coach Tom Coughlin. Did the Bucs violate an unwritten rule, or were they right to play until the final gun?
Orti — Right now all I can think about is how Alan Pardew’s decision not to start Demba Ba against Everton might have cost him the loyalty of the Senegalese striker.
Spry — Someone need to give Tom Coughlin a hug. Dude perpetually looks like he’s one bad set of downs away from a stroke.
Forbes — Take it easy there, Schiano. Everyone gets the message you’re trying to send, but if your defence had bothered to take the field in the 4th quarter, a stunt like this wouldn’t have been necessary.
Boshart — Ha, take that, golden boy. GO PATS! Receivers won the Superbowl, Brady was robbed by his own team, so any shot at Eli is okay by me. Man, there are a lot of great stories in the NFL this year. RG3 is going to be huge, and he’s playing for Dan “Worst Person Alive” Snyder! Tebow on the Jets, the Oakland Raiders of the East!
Ibeas — This strikes me as similar to, if not on the same level, as guys bunting in the 9th inning of a no-hitter. Yes, it’s legal, but everyone knows it won’t win you the game, and maybe in your head you think you’re setting a tone of intensity, but really you’re just being a petty little suck. Stop that.
Gold medal snowboarder Shaun White arrested for public intoxication and vandalism in Nashville
Orti — File this one under newly minted kid makes ass of self and see if there’s room on the fourth floor of the archives.
Spry — Shaun White was funny in Friends with Benefits. You guys seen that movie? Pretty good. Y’all think Kelley O’Hara digs romcoms?
Boshart — So the Carrot Top of snowboarding was up to some zany, drunk antics? Tickle me unsurprised! I can’t believe they arrested him. Again, cat pooping in the ferns. According to an article in the Toronto Sun, he was at a wedding of one of the members of the Black Keys.
Forbes — Anyone who knows me knows I hate to paint with a broad brush, but is there a single human being who’s really surprised by this? That a snowboarder would do something nutty and substance-fuelled? It’s like when Ross Rebagliati tested positive for marijuana and the whole world shrugged its shoulders.
Ibeas — Boshart beat me to the punch. Dude looks like Carrot Top. And unlike Forbes, I’m happy to paint with a broad brush, because I’m fairly certain most boarders would agree with me: mind-altering substances go hand-in-hand with hurling yourself down a mountain on a single fibreglass plank. It’s just science.
The Final Word
Forbes — You know what’s awesome about autumn? Digging out your plaid flannel shirts and finding out which ones match all the new ballcaps you bought over the summer. Just me?
Ibeas — I can’t wait until the Raptors season begins anew, so I can vent my futile rage at something other than Mayor Ford or a certain e-tailer I won’t name lest it sends its ninjas after me.
Orti — A scab is a term usually reserved for people who cross picket lines of striking workers. what’s the opposite of that? Like when a player negotiating a wage fucks off to another country to take the job of another player until his shit at home is settled? Reverse scab? Neo-scab? reverse uber-scab?
Spry — I have issues with flank steak.
Boshart — All my losers are wrapping up shameful seasons, but thankfully both the Jays and TFC were done fairly early in the season, so I’ve been well prepared. I’m extremely excited about the hockey strike, I hope it lasts forever. How come we’re not seeing the union outrage directed at hockey players? Where’s our Toronto city council on this one? At any rate, Bisons’ opening day is April 4 and tickets go on sale October 1st. And you can rent a party room.