And Why Wouldn’t Jesus Love Baseball?

Dear Anchoress points to Bruce Reyes-Chow, who asks the ever important question, WWJP?

Baseball, of course. He explains why:

      The Mascots // Angels, Padres and yeah, why do you think that the team fro, Tampa Bay are now known simple as The Devil Rays. – Jesus likes them.
      The Team // Baseball is a unique team team sport in that there are so many working parts that make up the team: starting pitchers, pinch hitters, closers, power hitters, base-stealers, etc and each player has a unique skill set. I dare say the 25 player roster has more diversity player to player than football’s 52 player squad – Jesus likes communities that bring all their gifts together for the common good.
      The Individual // In baseball, ones individual contributions and skills can both take over a game as well as be part of a team. Each person plays a particular role on the team, but if need be a player can carry a team for a game or two at a time pitching a shut-out, hitting a couple of home runs, making a game saving defensive play, etc. – While this can go wrong sometimes when a player tries to do too much, in the end Jesus liked Peter, he tried too much, but also carried the disciples through time of struggle.
      The Utility Player // Not everyone can be great at all things, maybe not even great at one thing, but many can be really good at a great many things. Utility players are a crucial part of a team’s 162 game season: outfield, infield, pitcher, catcher, you name it . . . there are a few folks who can do it all. Bert “Campy” Campaneris was the first to play all nine position in one game. – Paul, all things to all people.
      The Long Haul // Spring training followed by 162 games in a season allows a team to start with a clean slate each year while requiring them to think with the Big Picture in mind. – Hope and perseverance, hope and perseverance.
      The Nuance // While some think Baseball is boring to watch on TV or in person, the nuances of the game, if open to seeing them, make every pitch and every play an exercise in imagining the possibilities and seeing a glimpse of grace. – Sorry literalists, but I think Jesus likes a nuanced approach to scripture, faith and sports.

Let me interrupt here to interject most of the most beautiful things I have ever seen was in the early 2000’s when during a blazing hot day game at The Ted, Atlanta Braves pitcher Tom Glavine pitched himself out of a no outs, bases loaded mess. Methodically, patiently, perfectly executed. Jesus would have approved, I think.

Go read the rest of the outstanding post.

Double-Shot Burn-Out

The day job continues to be a simmering lava pit filled with alligators, sharks and jumping spiders. Who would have thought that a relatively straightforward application could bumfuzzle so many supposedly smart people at such a globally-acclaimed and supposedly super-smart institute of higher learning? Surely I’m surrounded by cylons.

Some random things that managed to spark through the sulfuric fog the past week:

– I have a new second favorite MLB team. The Texas Rangers drafted UGA Diamond Dawg, Johnathan Taylor. Back in March, Taylor was injured in a head-to-head collision with teammate Zach Cone. JT had been scouted for years by the Rangers, and they recognized his efforts with a draft pick. The Dawgs had a great run this season, going all the way to the final game of the NCAA Regionals. What a classy move by the Rangers organization.
Kyle Wingfield/AJC is looking past the usual campaign fuss and bother and seeing some interesting things about Tim Pawlenty.
– General Geekiness: Yesterday was IPv6 Day.
Pinin’ for the fjords.
– The RedState Gathering is open for registration. Be there, be square.
– 9+ minutes of Teh Awesome. Grand Rapids isn’t dead yet, they are feeling better. Thank you very much.
NCAA punk/crook/liar/cheat meets the same at The White House.

Many have asked why I haven’t chimed in on #Weinergate, since I’m such a manners maven. Honestly, if I wanted a dose middle-school boy humor, all I have to do is go home. Go read The Anchoress’ take on this whole debacle. She echos my sentiments. And now we find out his wife is pregnant. What a wonderful black cloud to hang over the announcement of new life. Mortifying, isn’t it?

It Would’ve Been a Trifecta, But There Was More Than Three

Friday was a busy, busy day.

The government didn’t shutdown after all. Dems blinked, but only nanoseconds before the GOP did. And we get to do all this again in September, when Congress has to pass a budget for 2012. What fun. Can’t wait.

After a shaky start, the Braves won their home opener against the Phillies. In a sweet ‘passing the torch’ moment before the game, former skipper Bobby Cox threw out the first pitch to Fredi Gonzalez, the new coach. Boy, does he have some big shoes to fill.

Elizabeth Scalia, The Anchoress, sent a belated bloggibirthday shout-out to yours truly. For newer readers, I claim Elizabeth as my Blog Mother, since her blog inspired me to start my own. Just do a search here, you’ll see.

The Masters… ahhh… The Masters. Besides being one of the most breath-taking places on Earth, Friday was a banner day for 24 year old Australian Jason Day. He shot a course record low for second day play of 64, 8 under par. And it’s his first Masters. We’ll have to keep an eye on this boy.

Ryo Ishikawa also made a bit of buzz in Augusta due to his pledge to donate all his 2011 tour winning to the Japanese earthquake/tsunami relief, along with 100K yen for each birdie he makes. Last year he was third on the Japanese money list, winning 151 million yen. He will be in Group 12 today, teeing off at 12:25.

I won’t even mention the sock. See, I don’t have a problem.

And finally, the last business day before the project I’ve worked on for over two years goes “live” came and went with little fanfare. By the end of next week, I may have most of my life back.

And W Doesn’t Throw Like a Girl

Just watched as George W. Bush, accompanied by his dad, George H.W. Bush threw out the first pitch for game 4 of the World Series. The crowd roared – didn’t hear a single boo.

What a great moment for baseball and America.

End of an Era


Last night, the Braves lost to the Giants and ended their post-season. It was the end of the Bobby Cox era. For Chipper Jones, Bobby is the only coach he’s ever played under. In the locker room last night, there wasn’t a dry eye.

Words cannot begin to express what he has done not only for the Braves, Atlanta, Georgia, the Southeast, but for the game in general. Don’t forget the hundreds of players he’s influenced and the coaches whose careers he nurtured. During last night’s broadcast, I believe I heard that nine of the current MLB head coaches served under Bobby at some point of their career. He’s been in the game since he for 51 years, since he was 18 years old.

Baseball, more so than any other modern sport except maybe golf, celebrates character. Back in the summer, The Anchoress (a big baseball fan) discussed this character building when she wrote on the James Joyce/Armando Galarraga “moment”,

The home-plate encounter between Galarraga and Joyce was one of those transcendent moments which happen more often in baseball than in any other sport, because baseball is much more than a game.

Baseball is the teacher of lessons in courage, perseverance and grace. It pits one man, batter or pitcher, against an entire team and says “show us your heart.” Then, as Bart Giamatti wrote, “it breaks your heart,” because it is designed to do so.

But baseball then mends the heart it has broken, and in the most magnificent ways, in ways that uplift players and fans, alike.

Because baseball has no replay, the “bad calls” are part of the game, and because they are, so is the paradoxical transcendent lightness that comes from a heavy moment being shrugged off and allowed to pass.

Watching the game with your kids, you can point to a player who has been robbed of a hit, or a homerun, or an out, or a stolen base, or a perfect game, and you can say to them, “that was tough. Life is not fair, but see how this player is handling it. He’s not letting it take him down or own him; he is going forward with the rest of the game, because he knows that this is just one moment. He’s not getting stuck in it, because he knows that maybe another time, another game, a bad call will actually go his way. Things even out, in the end.”

Such moments are good for baseball, and it is good for the nation. Humility in error (or in the face of unfairness) and manly good-will are things we no longer see in a world full of puffed-up egos. They are examples we need to see lived out before our eyes, more often.

Like Hank Aaron, Bobby Cox is woven into the fabric of the Braves and Atlanta, never to be forgotten. Godspeed Skipper – here’s to hoping you go after retirement like you went after umpires, in record-breaking fashion.

Awww, That’s Sweet

Bobby Cox and his plane, photo by ajc.com

Delta Air Lines and numerous Braves fans gave Bobby Cox a surprise sent-off for his last road trip as Braves manager, at least during the regular season. Delta even put his number on the 737.

Click here to see the rest of the pictures.

That dugout won’t look the same without him.

Charm School Invites in the Mail!

The collapse of polite society is at hand.

First and foremost, I share Stacy’s lament of the sad state of affairs in politics:

This is about trying to preserve some semblance of basic decency in politics. As a Southerner, I am particularly disturbed to think Nikki Haley’s enemies believe that the people of South Carolina would not only tolerate but endorse this kind of cruelty against her.

Is chivalry dead in South Carolina? Does no shred of honor remain?

Nikki Haley, GOP candidate for SC governor, gets the Palin treatment* in spades. First, they said she’d had numerous affairs. Then they questioned her heritage and religion, calling her a ‘raghead’ and a closet Christian. (For me, lumping her in with Obama is the largest insult of all.) Smear merchants, attack! I’m the biggest cheerleader around for free-speech, but dude, don’t go there. It makes you look both ignorant and racist. Even if you think you’re representing the folks back home, well, you may find your constituency is a little more sophisticated than you think. While lots of folks are calling for Sen. Jake Knotts’ head on a platter, or his resignation at the very least, I say let him stay in office. Let him “dance with the one that brung ‘im.” Allahpundit believes we may be close to rock bottom on this one, but wait. We have yet to hear Andrew Sullivan waxing poetic about her uterus, so there is more to come.

Helen Thomas, the 89 year old ideological tumor that sits on the front row of the White House press corp, gets a pass from her peers over her outrageous remarks this week.

Now she has said something so vile and vicious that defending her means that one accepts her antisemitism. Her parents were from Lebanon. Most of the press ignored her spewing of hatred and bigotry, giving a liberal commentator a pass that no conservative commentator would get.

[…] In the 1960s, she could never say such a thing and keep her job. She was 25 when Dachau was liberated. She knows better. She should have her press privileges lifted.

She won’t. Antisemitism is acceptable now among America’s elites and even encouraged.

From Potluck:

The daughter of Lebanese immigrants who has covered the administrations of 10 Presidents in a career spanning nearly 60 years made her controversial comments at a White House Jewish Heritage Celebration on May 27, 2010

The words? That “…Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” and “go back home to Poland, Germany, America and everywhere else.”

Oh my. Perhaps Helen should sit on the front row at Charm School.

Right beside her will be the aging, addled Beatle, “Sir” Paul McCartney. Is he still trying to make John like him, even from the grave? Jill has a collection of reactions, all wondering the same thing – where did his manners go? Was he so overcome by the Aura of The Won that he channeled Helen Thomas and blurted out the first thing that came into his mind? Absolutely classless. Val (at Michelle Malkin) really lets him have it. “Sir” Paul may still swoon at the sight of him, but he’s part of the shrinking “In Crowd.” To quote Nice Deb on McCartney’s downfall:

I was once a huge fan…but now, to quote Mr. Darcy: My good opinion once lost, is lost forever.

Too bad these folks will never meet James Joyce, MLB umpire. Now there is a real man who understands integrity.

* Palin treatment – Vicious, coordinated, (usually) fabricated, personal/political attacks against a female candidate. Bonus points if the candidate is attractive, successful, a mother and most of all, conservative. Extra bonus level if the polls have the candidate leading a liberal.

Cross-posted at Potluck

Dang, Where’s MY Promotion and Mulligans All ‘Round

Never mind some special election up in Massachusetts (see I can spell), the usually festive SEC football coach post-season merry-go-round is overshadowing small planets with it’s drama.

How does Lane Kiffin, midget loudmouth, after one lack-luster 7-6 year helming Tennessee (hey, that’s another long state name), merit the head coach position at USC? U. S. C.??? How, really? Dang it, I have a much better record than that, so I want my promotion, and I want it now.

Quote of the day (EDSBS):

Charles Barkley really did say on The NBA on TNT last night that Lane Kiffin must have pictures of famous people having sex with a monkey.

Those EDSBS boys, they always make me ruin my monitor. Maybe I should put them on some auto-billing system, like QVC.

[UPDATE: Bernie gets the second Quote o’the day on Kiffin:

But University of Tennessee and class are difficult to fit into the same sentence. I had to use a hammer myself just then. But a bucket full of hammers won’t fix the stupid up on Rocky Flop. Let them rant and rave about their coach leaving in the dark of night, trading the Rocky Mountain Oysters for the warm sea breezes. Let them stamp their feet and test the integrity of their suspenders.

A truckload of hammers ain’t gonna fix that much stupid. end UPDATE]

But back to politics… Speaking of funny, Obama is now going to head to Massachusetts (see I can spell better than a Democrat) to help out Martha Coakley’s tanking campaign. Oh goodie, the kiss of HopeNChange death! Gabriel at Ace’s:

By announcing that this election is a referendum on his policies, he’s made it possible for thousands of frustrated people in Massachusetts to absolve themselves of their mistake in November 2008. There are two groups of energized people in this race. Republicans are one, for obvious reasons. The second group are people who feel like they were misled by Candidate Obama in 2008. Obama just gave that group of people a do-over.

Let the mulligans begin!

UPDATE II: Curt Schilling responds to Coakley tarring him a “Yankees fan.” Truly this woman lives in an alternate universe. Sheesh!

Martha Coakley – Class Act

RSMcCain wins the caption contest: “A campaign aide to Martha Coakley has just shoved reporter John McCormack to the ground. Coakley sees it and . . . keeps walking.

Yes, the woman in the picture is Massachusetts AG, Martha Coakley, current Democratic candidate for the Senate seat vacated by the recently departed Edward Kennedy. “The People’s Seat.” The man doing the shoving is Michael Meehan, Obama apointee, sent by the panicked DNCC to “assist” her campaign with “messaging.” Heh. “Messaging.” Right. That’s quite a message, sport. While Meehan has since apologized, the damage is done. Coakley claimed to being “stalked,” but where is the evidence? Why did she consider a reporter a stalker? A reporter who wanted to ask legitimate questions about the lobbyist contributions to her campaign that very evening?

She is a candidate so tone-deaf, she even disses Fenway. A candidate so clueless she believes there are no more terrorists in Afghanistan.

Perhaps, like all sycophant underlings, she thinks that emulating The Boss will win her brownie points when she hits the Beltway and is assimilated.

Save America. Donate to Scott Brown’s campaign here.

POTUS Throws Like a Girl

Ok, that’s it. It’s over.

I purposely didn’t watch the All-Star tonight because I’d heard he was muscling his way into the announcer’s booth. Ever the narcissist, he can’t stand for the all the cameras to be pointed to him all the day. But loving baseball, I couldn’t resist just a little peek – boy was I sorry.

No wonder the Russians wouldn’t shake his hand – they can smell a sissy a mile away.

More discussion at Memeorandum.

Rainy Georgia Weekend Round-up

When you’re in a drought, which Georgia still is, any rain is welcome. But sometimes it rains so hard the ground can’t absorb it and it just runs down the storm drains. What good is that to my sad tomatoes?

Lake Lanier to get $8.3 million in stimulus funds. But will it be enough to fix the spigot the Corps of Engineers refuses to turn to let Lanier get to the same pool level as other Georgia lakes?

Speaking of gub’mint meddlin’, the Congress believes the BCS is down-right communist. Is Washington’s greed and avarice showing more than usual? These folks can’t handle a country’s economy, so that makes them experts on football?

Speaking of football, Georgia Southern is breaking into The Show. Most Dawgs have a soft spot for GSU, since our Erk left UGA for the head coaching job there and turned them into a powerhouse.

Speaking of former Athens inhabitants, the search for George Zinkhan continues. The airport is staked out today, hoping he’ll try to use his May 2 ticket to Amsterdam.

Speaking of UGA, The Diamond Dawgs will play Georgia Tech Tuesday, May 12 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10.

Speaking of inadequate insects, the buzz up north is that That Man is going to be able to pick his first Supreme Court justice. The scuttlebutt down here is that Judge Leah Sears is on the short list.

Speaking of Washington, this is marvee, just marvee. We’re in one of the counties that the WH has designated as a “High Intensity Drug Area.”

Speaking of WTF, I wonder this: Do we holler “racist” when you study what your ancestors did? I didn’t think so….

Saving the best for last: The Other McCain reports on one of the candidates for Georgia governor. Since the incumbent is a veterinarian, maybe he’ll finally be good for something. (Insert old Lewis Grizzard joke here (see #5).)

The Obligatory Baseball and Steroids Post

It’s February – Spring Training is just weeks away. Just like Groundhog Day, it is a baseball ritual for some star to apologize for his steroid use. This time it is the Yankee, Alex Rodriguez. (FYI – The Anchoress has never been overly fond of him.) People who don’t follow baseball will know him as Madonna’s latest boyfriend and the supposed cause of her latest divorce. That type of crowd wouldn’t understand what all the fuss is about.

Why A-Rod? Hadn’t baseball been tarnished enough by Barry? Was the lure of the record books for all time so great that you thought the drugs would enhance your performance just enough to get you there lickety-split? Did you think, like every little boy smoking cigarettes behind the woodshed, that you wouldn’t eventually get caught?

Rumor has it that Bud Selig wants to punish Bonds by stripping him of the home run record. Down here in Atlanta, it has been a hot subject. Most people wanted the record restored to its previous (and unmedicated) owner, Hank Aaron, but Hammerin’ Hank was gracious, as always. He says let the record stand. But once Bonds is convicted, let The Selig do what he must. In my heart, Hank Aaron will always be the Home Run King. (I was there the night he hit 715, breaking Babe Ruth’s record, but that is a story for another post, another day.)

In the meantime, let the boys of baseball, both big and small, remember this…

(Cartoon by <a href="http://projects.ajc.com/gallery/view/opinion/luckovichbaseball/">Mike Luckovich</a>/AJC)

(Cartoon by Mike Luckovich/AJC)

The Radio Booth in the Sky

In keeping with the attempt at “no politics” during retreat, today we remember Skip Carey. Skip was the Braves announcer for as long as I can remember. He passed away at his home last Sunday, August 3rd. Yesterday there was a memorial at Christ The King, filled with memories and funny stories. He had such a dry sense of humor. It was an inside joke for all Georgians – Skip got at least a dozen calls during each pre-game show asking him to explain the infield fly rule. Today is a public memorial at Turner Field. (The green lot opens at 9am, the service begins at 10.)

The son of Harry Carey, Hall of Fame announcer for the Chicago Cubs, Skip followed in dad’s very large footsteps. Now Skip’s sons both announce for the Braves. Chip does play-by-play for the Big Braves, and Josh calls the games for the Rome Braves (Class A).

The AJC photos of the funeral is a who’s who of past and present Braves favorites.

Like Larry (beloved Voice of the Georgia Bulldawgs), he had a distinctive style that can never be replaced. Just listen … the Sid Bream slide for the NL championship in ’92 (I was pregnant with Wee Highlander at the time – all that jumping and screaming – he was nearly early!!) … Braves win the World Series in 1995 … there are dozens more. Mark Arum at WSB has a eight-part series of memories. Keep the Kleenex close by.

Sign up here to retire #17 in Skip’s memory.

Summer nights will never be the same.

Keepers

Classic. How long before a horse’s head ends up in somebody’s bed?

It’s over. For now.

No Joy in UGAVille.

Burger Heaven.

Little Green Buddies.

In the CWS Waiting Room

Well, with the College World Series in a rain delay – first pitch now scheduled for 7:35 – time for a quick post. For those who have been under a rock for the last couple of days, the University of Georgia Baseball Team is one win away from winning the Championship. Don’t want to jinx them – baseball players are a incredibly superstitious lot – so I won’t talk about them anymore. For now. Go Dawgs!

Sports has its own breed of talking heads; just stat-spewing pundits with thicker necks. As part of the vamping, the tedious waiting for the TV gods to say the clouds have parted and it’s ok to play, the blabbers continue to blab about Imus. Must be a very slow news day. Blah Blah Blah.

Wait for the flying pigs…. weeee…. there they go. The NYT admits the surge was a success. And that President Bush was right. Watch out for those pieces of the sky falling.

Don’t try to figure out Obama’s energy plan du jour. You’ll get dizzy. Like all his other plans du jour.

Speaking of Obama, his High Anointed One and the Frocked Missus sat down for a one-on-one interview with none other than the blogosphere’s own Dr. Sanity.

Funny, funny Laurie is up to it again. Now she has a new internet business.

That’s why they call them “socialists”, dude.

The Game has started … more later!

Go Dawgs!

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