I've written three Fanposts on this here website, and they've all been, to varying degrees, about growing up. From coming to grips with the disappointment of my childhood favorite team, to literally turning thirty, to reinventing myself as an adult, I've made my rite of passage your business. I am appreciative of you reading, and hopefully you've laughed at a few of my attempts at low-brow humor.
Part of my maturation process I have not addressed in my interwebs ramblings thus far is my diminishing ability to "look the other way." While telling you about the holes in my underwear, I have neglected to tell you that I try not to consume most commercial chocolate brands because of their perpetuation with modern day slavery. I divulged to you that I don't know how to use a semicolon, but I refrained from the admission that I have stopped watching football because I can't watch knowing about the likelihood of CTE. I'm finding it hard to justify ordering things from Amazon when it's will documented how poorly they treat their employees. It's difficult for me to expect respect from my gay friends if I also make Chick-Fil-A a part of my monthly diet. Chick-Fil-A, Amazon, football, and chocolate are among the things that used to make me happy that no longer do because of their implications on things larger than myself. Yes, I am one of *those* guys. Unapologetically so, as well. And as this slow ride through life takes place, I am finding it increasingly difficult to separate the "thing" from the "impact". I am finding it harder and harder to look the other way in the face of ethical wrongdoing.
Unfortunately, the opening paragraphs of this blog intersected with my favorite baseball team this past week. My emotions were sent into that certain sort of tailspin that only an unhealthy obsession with a sports team can bring. First, despair, as I watched the news that Gerrit Cole had signed with the Yankees scroll across my Twitter timeline. Then, jubilation, as my favorite team got The Suit and landed Anthony Rendon, pairing Mike Trout with one of the ten best players in the league. Finally, disgust, as Rendon said this, which, to my eyes, expresses his allegiance to Donald Trump as president of the United States.
We live in an age where, while equipped with a smartphone, information is boundless, instantaneous, and tangible. With a simple Google query, one can find out that Donald Trump, as president of the United States has oversaw the systematic detainment of immigrants in concentration camps, the refusal to allow refugees to seek sanctuary in the United States, and has emboldened white supremacist organizations to rise to power once again. These, among many others, are all simple, basic, Googlable facts that exist and are real regardless of what worm-brained Sean Hannity spoon feeds into Fox News viewers’ mouths. By wanting to play golf with Trump, Anthony Rendon either supports these widely known efforts in a full-blown MAGA laden mindset, or he tolerates literal human rights violations just enough to buddy around with him. Either way, Anthony Rendon can go fuck himself.
The civility police on the internet and in real life will all band together like Captain Planet and the Whiny Planeteers with one common retort to any type of criticism of one’s political viewpoints: "it’s just an opinion. You have yours, and he has his. Your opinions aren’t any better than his." While I understand we were all indoctrinated in this idea that all opinions are of equal value, when the impact of your opinion deports my friends, your opinions are no longer *just* opinions. When you share opinions with Donald Trump, or apparently Anthony Rendon, your opinions are the launching point for my friends to become victims of violence. When your opinions are lauded by the worst people in the world, your opinions are the linchpins for my friends to be killed. When the Venn diagram of your opinions and Donald Trump’s are a single circle, you can go fuck yourself.
So yes, as a matter of fact, my opinions are better than Anthony Rendon’s. And I sincerely hope yours are, too. If it is true, in fact, that Anthony Rendon does support the guy who locks babies in cages, restricts migrants from getting vaccines, and ruthlessly sends people fleeing violence back to their home countries to die, then I have no doubt in my mind that yours are. I cannot look away from these atrocities being committed at the direction and to the enjoyment of this damp-diapered President. Anthony Rendon can. Anthony Rendon can go fuck himself.
Anthony Rendon is not alone in the sport, as it is apparent that, at the very least, Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman, Kurt Suzuki, Ryan Madson, Dillon Gee, Jake Arrieta and Trevor Bauer all share this same affinity for fascism. I have no doubt that, in a sport that is widely comprised of rich white dudes, many more closet Nazis exist between the lines and in dugouts across the league. The presence of many does not make the revelation of one hurt less, however. Every time a player becomes a Trump apologist, it is akin to having the wind knocked out of you with a punch to the gut. It is gross, it is unjustifiable, and it is irredeemable. Every single last one of them can go fuck themselves.
While the hypnosis that is Sports Fandom will not permit me to walk away from my Angels avidity, I cannot look away from the fact that Rendon is friendly, sympathetic, or even tolerant with the alt-right. I want to live in the world where Nazis are punched, bullied, and ridiculed until they return back to the depths of Hell they surfaced from---not the world where they are golfed with. I am not an Anthony Rendon fan, and I won’t be rooting for him even if he is on my favorite team. While it sure feels innately uncomfortable to tell you how to handle Rendon’s tenure with the Angels, it feels extremely uncontroversial to advise you that rooting for a guy who enjoys babies being put in concentration camps will not be an opinion that ages well. I am encouraging you to welcome Anthony Rendon to Anaheim with a resounding chorus of "Go fuck yourself."
I keep wanting to amend this blog by posturing back towards the middle and prefacing the publishing of this with the phrase "This may be an overreaction." But, a topic sentence needs supporting details, and I cannot for the life of me figure out what I am overreacting to. Donald Trump is ushering in a new regime of fascism that victimizes the most vulnerable people in our society---and Anthony Rendon has decided to pick up a 9-iron with that guy, smoke cigars, and shoot the shit like the good ol’ Texan boy image he cowers behind as justification. I am not overreacting when I say that he and his 9-iron can go fuck themselves.
As is readily apparent by now, I am not a political blogger nor do I aspire to be one. These are not profound nor well-organized thoughts. There are countless other reasons Rendon’s empathies are dangerous that have been scholarly litigated and analyzed. This is just raw disgust manifesting itself in the form of a word vomit on your screen. I understand this. Furthermore, as I hover over the submit button to publish this blog, undoubtedly unleashing the MAGA cult and centrist do-gooders on my Twitter mentions and in the comments section below, I realize I may be publishing the last article the editors of Halos Heaven will allow me to publish. It is in this resignation to the end that I am comfortable knowing that, even if I get run-off an Angels website, I am not friendly with Donald Trump or anybody who supports him. You know who is friendly with him though? Anthony Rendon is--and he can, and I cannot stress this enough, go fuck himself.