Thursday, September 23, 2004

Pray to Play

We here in Los Angeles are facing a little religious issue.

See, the Dodgers are ... just barely ... leading the NL West.  Yes, kids, we're in the thick of a pennant race.  Although, overall, in the past week or so, the Dodgers have, um, well ... the lead that used to be 7 games is now a game and a half.  (And really, that it's actually 1 1/2 rather than just 1/2 is a matter for some celebration.)  So what I'm saying is:  it's kinda close.  The second place team is the San Francisco Giants.

We have this player named Shawn Green who is a person of the Jewish persuasion.  Friday night and Saturday day are Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, the Day of Atonement.  Friday night and Saturday day, the Dodgers play two games.  Against the Giants.  You see where I'm going with this.

Green is, apparently, a fairly observant dude.  Meaning that the last time he took off for Yom Kippur, he broke a 400+ games played streak.  He plans to sit out at least one, and maybe both, of the Giants' games.

This is getting a lot of press.  A lot of people calling in to radio call-in shows think Green ought to just play.  (A lot of Jewish people calling in to radio call-in shows think he ought not to.  Mostly because kids of this generation don't know who the hell Sandy Koufax was.)  I figure that it's Green's decision, and my opinion doesn't mean squat.

Although I would point out one thing to those who think he ought to play:  You obviously have no concept of Jewish guilt.  Just how well do you expect him to play when he's hearing his mother's voice in his ear saying, "What?  You think a game is more important than going to shul on Yom Kippur?  Did I raise my son to give up on the Day of Atonement just because his team is slumping?"  Professional baseball is not easy.  If your heart isn't in the game because you feel like you should be someplace else, you're not going to play very well.  I seriously doubt Green's bat is going to be on fire if he's standing there feeling like he's let down his family, his God, his faith, and the generation of Jewish kids to whom he may well be a role model as well as a sports hero.

Bottom line:  He shouldn't take off the games just to make a "Jewish role model" sort of point.  But if he genuinely believes he should be in temple, as he apparently does, there's really no point at all to having him be anywhere but there.

1 comment:

sweetmelissa4u said...

Hmm I'm not really a baseball fan, but I agree with you. People today just do not seem to stand up for what they believe in. Nor do they seem to care about being a role model to children. No one should be saying anything about Green taking religious time away, people around here still get Christmas off.