Thursday, September 16, 2010

Much ado...

about baseball today. I like sports. I grew up playing football (soccer) in the park close to my grandmother's house, in the parking lot inside our apartment building (it was U-shaped). I swam a little as a little kid. I played basketball with dedication for years. Occasionally I played a bit of volleyball, table tennis, football (American). I watched a lot of sports at various times in my life, though I find myself watching considerably less these days (the Cincinnati - NC State game in the background notwithstanding).

In any case, I like sports and, occasionally, I even listen to sports radio in the car. Since I live in the Tampa Bay area, the hot topic of conversation today was Derek Jeter's faking of having been hit by a pitch. Most people - including the opposing manager - did not take much offense: he was trying to do his job, win, get on base. In other words, it's part of the game. People even praised Jeter's presence of mind to react so quickly.

I tend to live in a different world, in certain respects. I was the goalkeeper who, up 2-1 with time running out, would actually put the ball back in play quickly off a goal kick. I was also the player who, in a basketball game, went up for a block and got nothing but wrist. The refs didn't blow a foul, but I got the rebound and simply placed the ball out of bounds. Perhaps that sort of attitude explains why I am a priest, rather than a professional athlete...

I don't expect professional athletes to be role models and I don't expect a public outcry over such incidents. But with this particular incident having gotten so much publicity and so much of the public opinion seeming to be in favor of the exhibited behavior, I had reason to pause for a bit.

Enough of a pause. There's a lot of work to be done.