I have had numerous conversations with Jesus about my physical stature [5’7″] and my desire to play professional sports. To be perfectly honest, being a pastor is not my “dream job.” I feel called to be a pastor and find deep joy in my “calling.” My dream job: playing shortstop in Major League Baseball. I’d be happy with 3rd base but know I’d be relegated to 2nd base because of my mediocre arm. Since Jesus has ignored my pleas for a miracle, I’m left to play fantasy sports. Sad. Very sad.
But at least, I can talk sports. I’ve somewhat relinquished my obsession with sports and ESPN but still enjoy a good chat around sports. Baseball has been on my mind. How can it not be with so much stuff going on? Let’s throw down and talk baseball. Here are some topics:
Roger Clemens. He’s back – again. No one’s surprised. And to make things worse, he’s returning with the Yankees. Damn those Yankees. He’ll be turning 45 in August. Has won 7 Cy Youngs and on the most part, had an incredible half-year with the Houston Astros last year. I’d actually pay to see him pitch live again if given the chance. Question #1: Where does Clemens stack on the list of all time greatest pitchers? Easy top 5 and probably top 3, no?
The guy is getting a pro-rated contract of $28 million dollars. That comes out to about 4 mil/month. Goodness. Yet, he has a stipulation in his contract that doesn’t force him to travel with the Yankees on trips when he’s not pitching. For $28million, shouldn’t he be traveling with the team?
Barry Bonds. Get ready for the media barrage. It’s starting to roll and will get excessive as he approaches the Hank Aaron homerun record. He hit another one today and is 10 from the record. More and more conversations about Bonds and the race issue is also clouding this whole story. Bonds doesn’t have the most inviting personality and the media has reciprocated meanness with meanness. He’s not portrayed very well. Add the stuff about BALCO and steroids and the question has to be asked: Are you for or against him breaking the Hank Aaron record? We know how Aaron feels about it – he’s not showing up to the games to see his record broken. Another question: Where does Bonds rank on the list of Baseball hitters? Top 5, no? I’ve never seen Willie Mays play but he would be my #1, Ruth #2, and Bonds #3. Who’s your top 3?
Curt Schilling. Future Hall of Famer. Gutsy. Gamer. Outspoken – that’s good and bad. I was a little stunned that he spoke so vehemently against Barry Bonds this morning:
“I mean, he admitted that he used steroids,” Schilling said during his weekly appearance on sports radio WEEI’s “Dennis and Callahan” show. “I mean, there’s no gray area. He admitted to cheating on his wife, cheating on his taxes, and cheating on the game, so I think the reaction around the league, the game, being what it is, in the case of what people think. Hank Aaron not being there. The commissioner [Bud Selig] trying to figure out where to be. It’s sad.
“And I don’t care that he’s black, or green, or purple, or yellow, or whatever. It’s unfortunate … there’s good people and bad people. It’s unfortunate that it’s happening the way it’s happening.”
Actually, Bonds hasn’t admitted to anything. Lots of people think he used steroids but that’s besides the point. Did Schilling go too far? Regardless, Curt Schilling has one of the best blogs in baseball. Will Red Sox nation show up to defend him? Update: Schilling did issue an apology on his blog today.
The Seattle Mariners keep teasing me with .500 ball. Let’s get Felix back, let the young boys pitch in the Majors, get Morrow to start, say bye bye to Weaver and make one trade to get a solid #3 pitcher. And who knows what can happen? If someone has connections, I just want to field a few grounders on the infield at Safeco Field. Just once.
FWIW, the Boston Red Sox have a “Clergy Pass” – they allow pastors to enter games for free. I’ve heard that all pastors got in free a while ago [standing room only] but now only extend one pass per church. The Mariners need to do this if they want any chance [umm, hope] to return to their winning ways!