Baseball as a metaphor for the Christian Life

The first comment on this post makes an interesting analogy between baseball and our Christian struggle to be a saint:

Baseball might be like the spiritual life in more ways than one. The best hitters only get about 2-3 more hits per week than the average ones. And so as our mind perceives it, superstars look virtally indistiguishable from scrubs on any given day. I wonder if that is true in the spiritual life also where even saints fall into bad slumps and may only do marginally better than mediocre on most days. But in a baseball career these small differences perhaps translate into membership in the hall of fame versus near oblivion for the average. Do small incremental differences add up this way in the spiritual life too?

I think this is an interesting point, especially since we’re told in both our spiritual life to take things one day/game at a time, forget about yesterday and just focus on what we can do today. I’m reminded of Orel Hershiser’s comments in George Will’s Men at Work when he said (paraphrasing): “I strive for perfection to the degree it’s achievable. If I give up a hit, it’s the last hit I’m going to give up. If I give up a run, it’s the last run I’m going to give up. What’s past is past, I need to focus on what’s in front of me now.” In either baseball or our life, if we focus too much on our mistakes and failings in the past, we’re likely to fall pray to more in the future. Move on from the past and do the best we can in the future.

The second response makes a good reference to Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, whose feast day is today, by coincidence. Saint Therese (also known as the Little Flower) often spoke of her “Little Way,” where she strived to do little things out of love for God. Saint Francis de Sales encouraged people to do “the ordinary extraordinary well.” The same is true in baseball: it’s often true that baseball players trying to hit a home run swing through a pitch because they were trying to do something big, but home runs often come when they take their normal swing. Swinging for the fences leads to strikeouts, but “staying within yourself” leads to success. And so the great saints tell us about the spiritual life.

Baseball: is there anything it can’t teach us?

Senator Craig, how can we miss you if you won’t go away?

Craig to Stay in Office Pending Ruling

Sen. Larry Craig said Wednesday he will remain in office while a Minnesota judge considers his bid to withdraw a guilty plea, overturning the senator’s previous statements of intent to resign by Sunday.

The Idaho Republican said he will stay in office “for now,” but people close to him said he will remain until the judge rules. Hennepin County Judge Charles Porter said he probably won’t decide the matter until next month.

Just leave, already.

Why pro-lifer’s can’t support Giuliani even if he’s the GOP nominee

The Campaign Spot on National Review Online

“Once a pro-choice candidate is elected, the pro-choice forces within the Republican party will know that our votes are a given and that means we will have no real influence… The pro-life voters will be to Republicans what black voters have become to Democrats — a reliable constituency that must be humored but never taken seriously because their votes are guaranteed.”

We pro-lifers can’t allow ourselves to be treated the way Democrats treat the blacks: useful on Election Day, ignorable at other times. We have to show that we’re more than willing to walk away unless the right to life is defended by the Republican Party or we’ll walk down the road to irrelevancy.

It is always a sin to hate?

It’s generally accepted in Christianity that it is a sin to hate someone or something. A while back, I asked a priest who was hearing my confession, “Father, I know it’s a sin to hate, but is it really a sin to hate the Yankees?” He responded, “That’s a bit a of a gray area.”

So I propose the following list of things that it makes sense to believe fall into that same gray area:

  • The Yankees
  • Adam Eaton
  • Derek Jeter
  • The Dallas Cowboys
  • Cats
  • People who answer the phone “Yello?”
  • People who say “Supposebly”
  • Drivers who try to muscle their cars in front of you after you’ve been waiting in a long line they drive around
  • The Mets
  • Tim McCarver
  • Men who talk to other men in the men’s room
  • The Inventor of the necktie
  • People who don’t recognize that no one can hear the priest during Mass because their child is screaming so loudly

Quote-a-palooza

“Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men.” – John Adams

“Governments are not empowered to grant rights; governments can only limit, or extinguish rights. Governments can, however, bestow gifts upon its citizens. But in order to do so, governments must first take resources from those who have earned them, and redistribute those resources to others. Hillary-care, Obama-care, Edwards-care, and every other form of socialized medicine, is inherently fraught with fraud, abuse, and corruption… If the federal government is to be involved in health care, it should be looking toward encouraging, and providing incentives for private medical care that is determined between the patient and provider. The problem is complex, and cannot be solved by any government program. Health care is certainly one of the primary areas where the principles of freedom should be observed and advanced. Any candidate, or politician, who thinks government can solve the problem better than a free market, should be rejected.” – Henry Lamb

“This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves. … Plutarch warned, ‘The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.’ The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing.” – Ronald Reagan

“Most liberal media outlets reacted in similar fashion to [the recent] major Maryland Court of Appeals ruling, which upholds the state’s law defining marriage as one man-one woman. They presented it through the lavender lens of homosexual activism. CBS News’ Web site ran this headline: ‘Maryland Court Upholds Gay Marriage Ban.’ Calling the law a ‘gay marriage ban’ is as misleading as describing it as a ‘ban on polygamous marriage,’ or a ‘ban on incestuous marriage’ or perhaps a ‘ban on interspecies marriage.’ For the record, the Court in Conaway vs. Deane notes that neither the 1973 law nor the legislative debate at the time address ‘sexual orientation’ nor any ‘gay’ issue. All the law does is reiterate the fundamental nature of marriage for legal purposes. To liberal journalists, however, a law merely acknowledging the timeless definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is unacceptable. Such a law must be depicted only as a negative, as a ban rather than an affirmation.” – Robert Knight

“Congress passes many bills without reading them. Some are prepared so close to the vote that not even their sponsors really know what’s in them. That’s nothing. Now Congress can push through legislation no one reads even faster, lickety-split. It’s called ‘hotlining,’ and it was designed to get nitpicky business-y kinds of things done quickly. But recently the business has turned serious. Here’s what happens: The Senate Majority and Minority Leaders agree to pass a bill without a vote. They call all members of Congress on special hotlines installed in each office, giving a specified amount of time to object- sometimes as little as 15 minutes. If no objection is registered, the bill passes. In a four-day period this summer, of the 153 hotline calls made, 75 were legislative measures, 61 were nominations, and 17 were post-office-naming bills. A few of these bills authorized hundreds of millions of dollars in new spending. In a floor speech last year, Sen. Jeff Sessions from Alabama noted that these bills can be as long as 500 pages. Many staffs simply ignore the calls, he said, and ‘the Senator is deemed to have consented to the passage of some bill’ without ever been told diddly or squat. We’re not supposed to know how sausage is made. Welcome to hotlining. Don’t say ‘hot dog.’ Say ‘Yikes’.” – Paul Jacob