October 29, 2007

A Yankees Fan Who's Glad the Red Sox Won

I am a New York Yankees fan and have been one all my life. I grew up in New York and now live in Massachusetts, a place where that admission is akin to walking up to a biker bar and kicking over the row of motorcycles out front. Nevertheless, professional sports is solidly at the bottom of my list of things that are important in life. Sports, including baseball, generally has very little impact on my life or the lives of anyone I care about in the least. Still, I'm a Yankees fan. This year, I'm a Yankees fan who's glad that the Red Sox have won the World Series.

Why this bit of baseball blasphemy? Because the alternative was the Colorado Rockies, and that team stood against something that I do consider important: reason. They've been the self-designated Official Team of Jesus for some time now. If you want to get me to not like you, tell me that God's on your side. Check out this article from Time:

Does Jesus Wear Purple Pinstripes?

There's only one baseball team with a full-time chaplain on the payroll. Only one whose team executives are known to hold prayer conferences over the phone. This season they even had a "Faith Day" for fans, featuring Christian bands and players professing their love of the Lord.

They're your Colorado Rockies: National League pennant winners, and World champs when it comes to mixing baseball and God.

A May 2006 story in USA Today first detailed the Christian imprint on the Rockies, whose 21-1 run on the way to the World Series brought a historic high to Colorado. "I don't want to offend anyone," Rockies chairman and CEO Charlie Monfort said at the time, "but I think character-wise we're stronger than anyone in baseball. Christians, and what they've endured, are some of the strongest people in baseball. I believe God sends signs; we're seeing those."

...the Rockies stand out for openly touting Christian values — as they define it, strong character and a moral compass — as a guiding organizational philosophy off the field. Club president Keli McGregor has gone so far as to say that God is "using [The Rockies] in a powerful way."

...In 2005 and 2006, the Rockies had a "Christian Family Day" at Coors Field. This season the Rockies renamed the promotion "Faith Day," though there weren't many rabbis or imams at the park. "To do that to appease other religions is hypocritical to say the least," says [Pastor George] McHendry, who helped organize the event. "It was truly a Christian day."
Given a choice between the arch-rivals of the New York Yankees and the arch-rivals of reason and tolerance, I'll take the Red Sox every time.

If I were part of the oh-so-righteous Rockies organization, I'd be asking myself some serious questions about why Jesus decided to give the championship to the Red Sox in a four game sweep. Of course, the fundamentalist idiots who run the team will no doubt come up with some sort of justification that doesn't include the possibility that all the praying and faith and Christian Faith Days don't have anything to do with winning baseball games. It's probably easier for people like these to believe that the Red Sox sold their souls to Satan or are possessed by demons or some such thing. I'd be very surprised to see a glimmer of reason intrude on the thoughts of the true believers in purple pinstripes.

So congratulations to the Red Sox on winning the World Series this year. And as for the Rockies, let me paraphrase Cathy Griffin for a moment. Suck it, Rockies. The Red Sox are your god now.

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