If you like Triston Casas' painted nails on the field, the Red Sox have a souvenir for you. | Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to Talkin’ Gaysball, where Griffey Jr., Griffey Sr., Lofton, Caminiti, and Singleton are all Kenough.

For years during the Big Papi, Pedro, and Pedroia eras, the Boston Red Sox didn’t need to rely on promotions to sell out Fenway Park.

But now that the team’s mission has apparently shifted to “dump generational talents once they cost more than the owner’s superyacht,” the Sox need to come up with more creative ways to put fans in seats.

Fortunately, their marketing department has been up to the task. Every year, they’ve thrown a fantastic Pride Night with rainbow jersey giveaways, pregame LGBTQ socials, and ceremonies honoring the Hub’s drag community.

Scheduling a memorable Pride event is an excellent way to prove you’re not the Texas Rangers. But over the past two years, the Sox have also gone above and beyond to create a few promotions that strongly appeal to LGBTQ fans even when it isn’t June.

For instance, last season, the Red Sox capitalized on the summer’s biggest pop cultural phenomenon by hosting Barbie Night at the renamed “Kenway Park.”

For one evening, the home of the Sox was decked out in so much pink, it qualified as a Lizzo single. Wally the Green Monster rocked an “I Am Kenough” jersey, there was a pregame dance party featuring the movie soundtrack, and fans took home special Red Sox shirts in Barbie font.

It was a night where Fenway looked and sounded like Barbieland. And it took place in September. All in all, the event was an innovative way to let members of the LGBTQ community know that they would feel at home at the ballpark for more than just Pride.

Then for one of this year’s promotions, Boston outdid themselves.

During this past offseason, the Red Sox put together a video showing first baseman Triston Casas getting his nails painted by a manicurist and talking about his enthusiasm for taking the field with nail polish.

They’d also scheduled a bobblehead giveaway featuring Casas striking a yoga pose for this past Tuesday. Lo and behold, take a look at the nails on this beauty…

That is a bobblehead more secure in its masculinity than 98% of the people commenting underneath it.

What a phenomenal way to show organizational support for Casas and his flaunting of baseball’s stereotypical macho norms. Painted nails have become such an intrinsic part of Casas’ image that his bobblehead would look weird if it didn’t have them.

Rather than hide that part of their power hitting first baseman in fear of an ignorant backlash similar to what Caleb Williams has endured in the NFL, the Red Sox decided to embrace it.

As a gay fan who also painted my nails when I went to a game at Fenway last year, I feel seen — and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

The Red Sox promotions crew is doing more for the team’s image than the rest of the front office put together. Let’s hope that other teams take notice and that this “Pride outside of June” trend catches on elsewhere.

Pitching and Nothingness

This week, The Athletic’s Jayson Stark and Ken Rosenthal did a deep dive into the dearth of starting pitching throughout baseball, noting that three executives labeled this problem the game’s “existential crisis.”

I’m not sure about that. If Jean-Paul Sartre watched the first six weeks of this season, he’d conclude that Hell is the Cubs bullpen.

But I get what those guys mean. As a fan, baseball is better when you watch Logan Webb and Dylan Cease throw zeroes at each other inning after inning as opposed to the grand parade of 98 MPH bullpen randos that so many games have become.

Stark and Rosenthal brainstormed 12 proposed rules to tilt the game back in favor of the starter. Honestly, I don’t know if any of them would achieve the desired result better than these two changes I want to propose to baseball culture:

  1. The first development program that teaches pitchers how to effectively get through the third time through the order is going to make a boatload of money.
  2. With every team building its pitching staff around those bullpen randos, if some organization bucks the trend and finally starts putting value on innings pitched, they could revolutionize the game.

I will now return to my regularly scheduled yelling at clouds.

MLB Thirst Trap of the Week

It’s been 20 years since the Montreal Expos left town but despite that two decade-long drought, Quebec is still making incredible contributions to baseball.

Chiefest among them: Minnesota Twins second baseman Edouard Julien.

Hey Siri, what’s French for “swipe right?”
Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

If Montreal wants an expansion team, all they need to do is convince MLB execs to stare into those eyes and try to tell Edouard that they’re going to Salt Lake City instead. Not even Rob Manfred is that soulless.