March 30, 2006

Turnabout is fair double-play: Two weeks ago, Blue Jays infielders Russ Adams and Aaron Hill went into the merchandising business, printing up Brokeback Mound t-shirts featuring new pitching partners Roy Halladay and A.J. Burnett. Of course, as is bound to happen when you poke fun at someone with ten times your salary, Adams and Hill soon found themselves getting married in an elaborate ceremony which featured a flyover proposal, catered reception, and a decorated SUV. [Toronto Star bugmenot]

posted by DrJohnEvans to baseball at 12:58 PM - 28 comments

I think this team really likes each other (cue yerfatma) - geniuinely. That was a big fear of mine with all the off-season changes. Seems to me that I shouldn't be worried at all about these guys gelling. And that is a world class prank. AJ's $55 million is already put to good use. I figure that had to cost at least $7000. They had DJs, custom tuxedos, a caterer and planes flying banners for the love of God. Awesome.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:08 PM on March 30, 2006

This is just too funny. I may even watch a baseball game this year.

posted by Folkways at 01:13 PM on March 30, 2006

"It's fun to be able to do it to guys that you like and have them enjoy it and have everybody enjoy it." Oh my!

posted by mick at 01:17 PM on March 30, 2006

From the article: "You can't mess with older guys that have a lot more money than you," Hill said.

posted by bperk at 01:19 PM on March 30, 2006

Damnit, I don't want to like the Jays, they're in the East. But its hard to not grin about stuff like this. Baseball needs more good stories like this, alot more of them.

posted by fenriq at 01:54 PM on March 30, 2006

"It's fun to be able to do it to guys that you like and have them enjoy it and have everybody enjoy it." Oh my! Does sound a bit like a party night in West Hollywood, doesn't it?

posted by commander cody at 02:03 PM on March 30, 2006

AJ's $55 million is already put to good use. On the DL?

posted by yerfatma at 02:36 PM on March 30, 2006

When did Toronto get a baseball team? I sure wish I had that budget for practical jokes.

posted by irunfromclones at 02:58 PM on March 30, 2006

I went to the Toronto Star's web site to find out about purchasing a copy of the photo that accompanied this story -- Aaron Hill's SUV festooned with balloons and streamers. I thought, "What a neat thing to try and get signed by all four players named in the story." The Star would like me to pay $37 -- plus shipping -- for one 8x10 print of said photo. Nice work, folks. Here's a way to reach out to your dwindling readership with some goodwill, and instead you gouge them.

posted by wfrazerjr at 03:19 PM on March 30, 2006

On the DL? .... Stop raining on my parade. I look forward to watching that lion of stamina, the unbreakable Josh Beckett, joining him soon.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:39 PM on March 30, 2006

Who was the maid of honor, Dennis Rodman? For creating this broke-bat mountain out of a molehill, we'll definitely say, "Not funny, boys." I don't think that it was in poor taste, like Griffin was saying in his article. Stuff like this breaks the ice and builds camaraderie. To hell with political correctness.

posted by wingnut4life at 03:39 PM on March 30, 2006

2 gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay for my liking

posted by Robb Dubbs at 03:41 PM on March 30, 2006

You know, they couldn't do this anywhere else. This is awesome that everyone concerned gets along well enough to make a prank like this work. They will laugh about this all year long, and from the way they all spoke, I suspect the prankery isn't over by a long stretch. Haters, please take one big step back.

posted by chicobangs at 03:46 PM on March 30, 2006

2 gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay for my liking I think someone doesn't get the joke.

posted by fabulon7 at 03:50 PM on March 30, 2006

"watch us turn two later tonight" Classic.

posted by loquax at 03:52 PM on March 30, 2006

For creating this broke-bat mountain out of a molehill, we'll definitely say, "Not funny, boys." That comment in the story made the reporter sound like a homophobe. Lighten up, Francis.

posted by rcade at 04:27 PM on March 30, 2006

Why write the story if you don't find it funny? I assume the writer put it in only to save letters to the Ombudsman, but it still sounds like he's running for student council.

posted by yerfatma at 07:13 PM on March 30, 2006

That comment in the story made the reporter sound like a homophobe. Lighten up, Francis. Agreed. The writer seemed a bit uptight about the whole thing. Yerfatma's got it right, too, I think. The first link is definitely more in the spirit of the gag than the second. This story reminded me of the FPP right before the WBC that told a story about the Canadian team playing hockey together. Win or lose, it seems the Canadian clubs get high marks in team chemistry. I wonder if the Yankees ever do stuff like this. I can just imagine the tabloid reaction to an A-Rod/Jeter broke-bat scenario.

posted by BullpenPro at 01:03 AM on March 31, 2006

so this is the reason for outragous ticket prices, parking and beer.

posted by kdrckrules at 07:53 AM on March 31, 2006

Dressing as a cheerleader - marrying each other in a mock ceremony? These sort of practical jokes are almost a monthly occurance in baseball. It has nothing to do with where the team plays or their chemistry. They all do it. Especially to players of lower status. It's part of the locker room mentality. The lack of humor is in how some jocks find it funny implying someone is gay. Too bad we didn't have Sportsfilter 60 years ago. I could see that post where some found it hilarious when a rookie is sent out to bat in blackface. Or the heart-warming stories of the players bonding by doing "war dances" around the "Injun" ballplayer.

posted by ?! at 08:29 AM on March 31, 2006

Dude, you need to lighten up.

posted by wingnut4life at 08:45 AM on March 31, 2006

That's one way to take it, ?!, but I like the fact that the players were willing to go along with the gag. I don't think baseball players 20 years ago would have allowed themselves to be portrayed as gay, even in jest.

posted by rcade at 09:21 AM on March 31, 2006

I didn't get the part where they were mocking homosexuality. In fact, what makes this remarkable was that the men on a pro sports team felt comfortable enough to organize this, and the two principals felt comfortable enough to be the grooms. ?!, Unless I'm missing something, this wasn't minstrelsy or mocking anyone. If that was the goal, then Adams and Hill would have been given dresses and been made to perform for the cameras. Far as I can tell, there was no malice or ignorance involved, intended or perceived in this prank at all, which is truly rare and kind of really fucking cool.

posted by chicobangs at 10:36 AM on March 31, 2006

wingnut: "Dude, you need to lighten up." Homie, I'm helium. rcade: You'll find that type of jock humor going back even longer than 20 years. What you don't find are most reporters considering it newsworthy. chicobangs: Well commented. Maybe you're not missing something, but just have a different viewpoint than I do. But we truly don't know the feelings of the men involved do we? We do know those environments are very condusive to "playing with the joke" or being considered a hard-ass or unfriendly. We also don't know if the team has a gay player who was offended, because, of course, he is not going to talk about that for fear of retribution. So he, or others offended, have to "grin and bear it." As an organization the Jays are one of the few teams to market to Gays. It's too bad the players can't be as foward-thinking.

posted by ?! at 12:19 PM on March 31, 2006

But we truly don't know the feelings of the men involved do we? Not completely, but we do know what the players involved have said to the press, none of which implies mockery, exploitation or any demeaning attitude at all. Which was a very pleasant surprise. And if the less accepting players are going along to get along on the tolerance tip, well, I don't see anything bad about that. Now, if I were to guess, I'd maybe venture that one (or more) of the more popular players may actually be gay, and while it might not be open knowledge, enough people have a clue that on top of pranking Hill and Adams, this was also their way of letting that player know everything was cool. Seriously, ?!. Where's the homophobia in this story? Except for the Star columnist (and I suspect the Sun, who would never get a story like this right in a million years), I just don't see it.

posted by chicobangs at 12:54 PM on March 31, 2006

chicobangs:"Seriously, ?!. Where's the homophobia in this story? .... I just don't see it." I guess it's just a matter of two people seeing the same thing, but having different points of view. I see the homophobia in baseball, sports and society. I see it in that story. It's fine if we don't agree. Thanks for keeping the discussion civil and not dismissive.

posted by ?! at 09:14 AM on April 01, 2006

I agree with your point of view 100%. Baseball and the world in general are imperfect places. I know it is a difficult thing to ask, but I will ask you to remember that baseball is a game made up of individuals. Don't condemn the game itself or question your passion for the game because of the ignorance or bigotry of the masses. There are a number of individuals who feel just as you and are fair-minded. This is right out of your first link, ?!. I am inferring from your dialogue that you read about the Blue Jays story with the "ignorance or bigotry of the masses" in mind, and perhaps made some leaps regarding the motives of these particular players. I think it is fair to call out the ignorance and bigotry that exists generally, but with regard to this particular situation I feel more evidence of insensitivity was required to convict. All-male congregations (fraternities, sports teams, social cliques) can lead to a group-dynamic that tilts toward homophobia, but that doesn't mean every all-male grouping you find has that mentality. As an aside, I was overjoyed to see in that same article a nod to the generosity of Al Leiter, disparaged in a previous thread. Good guy, that Al.

posted by BullpenPro at 11:42 AM on April 01, 2006

BullpenPro: I hope no one gets the impression that I believe every player to be homophobic. I truly believe that individuals fill the spectrum from enlightened to outright hatred. But, as a sub-group of society baseball has not risen to a level of understanding and acceptance. Gay players haven't had their Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese moment of acceptance. This quote from that article tells the sad story: "If someone wanted to come out, I would say to him: Lie,'' Funnell said. There's still too much homophobia in the sport, especially in the locker room, he adds. " Maybe there are enlightened players in the Jays dugout. But the team treating a gay wedding as a joke doesn't lead me to believe the enlightened players have a voice.

posted by ?! at 08:24 PM on April 01, 2006

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