Jesus On Baseball

Edited, but originally published February 22, 2009 (after the first A-Rod steroid scandal)
by Ryan

A recent heavenly conversation was overheard between Jesus and Alexander Cartwright (the inventor of baseball) about the A-Rod scandal.

Jesus Christ:  Hey Alex, back again, huh?  You've had a lot of prayer requests lately.

Alexander Cartwright:  Yeah, I know.  Rough times down there for my boys.  This bad publicity about A-Rod is...

JC:  I know all about it.

AC:  You do?  I wasn't sure if you cared about things like baseball.

JC:  Well sure.  I mean, I'm not up here fixing any victories, but I care about anything that helps lead my brothers and sisters to reach their full potential and become saints.

AC:  So you don't have a favorite team?

JC:  Actually I do, L.A.

AC:  Dodgers?

JC:  Angels.

AC:  Of course.  How about National League?

JC:  Gotta go back to my Padres... used to be the Cubs, but a guy can only take so much suffering, you know?

AC:  I hear ya.  My beloved MLB is sure suffering.  This steroid scandal is taking its toll.  When are my leaders going to wake up?  The owners and players are a bunch of fools sometimes.  First it was the Black Sox scandal.  Then the color barrier.  That stupid DH.  Pete Rose.  Now this!

JC:  Even so, you created a beautiful game Alex.

AC:  Thanks.

JC:  Its a microcosm of life really.  The perfect balance of intensity and serenity.  How did you know that a shortstop would have just enough grace to field a sharply hit grounder and throw to first in the nick of time?

AC:  Ha!  I wonder that myself.  Divine inspiration?

JC:  Yes Alex... actually, that was a rhetorical question.

AC:  Oh.

JC:  Anyway, it seems like your entrusted leaders don't realize the precious gift they've received and the duty they have to guard it.

AC:  Exactly!

JC:  They don't realize the damage they've done.  Now you are losing fans in record numbers.

AC:  Amen!

JC:  Basketball is gaining ground around the world...

AC:  Is that the game that guy from Kansas is always touting up here?

JC:  Yeah, I've schooled Pistol Pete a few times... it's not bad.

AC:  True, but it doesn't have quite the aesthetic beauty.

JC:  I know, especially today's version, but fans are also flocking to the violence of football.  The NFL is driven by out-of-control gambling, which is why my mom prefers the amateur version.

AC:  Your mom likes football?!

JC:  Yeah, go figure!  She used to often petition on behalf of this team that's named after her.  I did grant her requests because... well, she is my mother after all.  Anyway, it gets worse Alex.  You're even losing fans to this car racing stuff too.  I don't get the appeal of that at all!

AC:  Amen, brother.

JC:  It's a credit to you, you know.... that you created such a perfect game, that it has stood the test of time despite being run by a bunch of buffoons.

AC:  Wow, you sure seem to know a lot about my legacy's dilemma.

JC:  We have more in common than you realize, Alex.

AC:  We do?

JC:  Sure.  My organization has been going through this for much longer.

AC:  That's true.  Your Church has had some issues.

JC:  Issues alright! Inquisitions, selling indulgences, sex scandals, etc.  A few of my leaders have helped drive out more than a few members.  If you think your fans have a lot of options for America's Pastime, you should see the tens of thousands of organizations gathering in my name.  My body is one, not splintered like Sosa's corked bat.

AC:  Yes, I see the similarities.  So what do we do?

JC:  Well, encouraging our leaders to live exemplary is important, but the self-afflicted wounds are inevitable.  In both cases we've forgotten our story.  My Church feeds more hungry, shelters more homeless, educates more students, cares for more sick, and evangelizes more people than any other organization on earth has ever dreamed of doing.  Yet, the powerful American media paints a picture of my Church using the atrocities of 1% of my American priests.

AC:  I get it.  So we both need a new PR firm.

JC:  Something like that.  Many people think my Church was invented by some Roman pagans; they forget it was I who founded it.

AC:  I know how you feel!  That Abner Doubleday - the original "A-Fraud," - gets all the credit for inventing baseball!  ...But Commissioner Selig and the owners are a little slow to catch on to this stuff.  In fact, they even covered up the steroid use!

JC:  Oh, let me tell you.  I know all about the cover-up routine.  And my very first Commissioner learned the hard way too.  Three times he denied that he even knew me!  He eventually got it right, but I've had a handful of Commissioners do even worse.  Fortunately, I protected them from ever preaching what they practiced.  Why do you think I promised Pete and his successors unfailing help from my spirit and that the gates of hell would never destroy my Church?  How else do you think this organization could've thrived for 2,000 years?

AC:  2,000 years, wow!  I thought 140 was tough.  But I still don't understand what people expect.  I created a perfect game; I never said anything about the perfection of the people leading it.

JC:  Neither did I.  My sister Alice said it best:  The Church is at times censured for abusing her authority by "imposing" her dogmatic and moral teaching on her children, without consulting them!  But the next moment, her accusers criticize her for not using her authority to force her children to live according to the Gospel.  The fact is, I guaranteed there would be both wheat and weeds within my Church.

AC:  Yeah, I'd like to get my hands on a few weeds... A-Rod for starters!

JC:  But is it right for fans to leave Lasorda because of A-Rod?

AC:  That's right, it's not!  This cloud over baseball should not take away from the eternal truth and beauty of this game.  Fans shouldn't leave baseball.  That would be like leaving Peter because of Judas!

JC: leaving Clemente because of Rose!

AC: leaving JP2 because of Bernard Law?

JC: leaving Sandberg because of Sosa... Yes, we could go all day with this, but instead, let's get down to the business of unity and strength.  What was the prayer request you came with today?

AC:  Well, a fellow by the name of Costas asks for wisdom and guidance for all of baseball's leaders, and for all fans:  may they turn away from the perverse modern notion that half-naked dancing temptresses, noisy jumbo-trons, sensationalized video games, and gambling riches can fulfill the fundamental yearnings of the human heart and return to losing oneself in the simple beauty of a ballet-like double play while sharing a scorecard and true ballpark food in communion with their father.

JC:  Wow.  That sounds remarkably similar to the daily request I get from my current Commissioner, "Frank," as I like to call him... Nice chatting with you Alex, I'll see what I can do.

AC:  Thanks, brother.  I'm off to check out the game.

JC:  Spring training in Arizona?

AC:  No, the game up here.  You should see this tiny woman step into the batter's box.  She's not afraid of anything!  She's the only one who can hit Drysdale and Walter Johnson.  She claims she used to play cricket, but we all know she worked for you in Calcutta.  She's got all the fellas workin' the rosary beads in order to develop strong, quick hands like hers... Ruth, Gehrig, Hornsby, Foxx, Teddy Ballgame... heck, she's even got The Mick using the beads now that he's out of purgatory.

JC:  Well Alex, with prayers like that, I think baseball will get through this steroids thing just fine.

AC:  I hope so.... say, you haven't seen a guy by the name of Cobb up here, have you?

JC:  Don't know him.

AC:  Figured as much.

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