TORONTO > Baseball
Michael, 18, started four years at shortstop for the Royal York Elites club team, finishing his career with a .229 batting average, 7 home runs and 19 RBI out of the cleanup spot. He also committed only 97 errors. All are Canadian national prep records.
Texas Rangers team chaplain Rev. Roger Ryland was pulled aside by another player today who asked if anything in the Bible specifically forbids the use of steroids or other illegal performance enhancing drugs.
"It's the question I get asked more than anything else," said Rev. Ryland. "More than eternity, more than about salvation, more than about God's message of love. Second most is questions about three-ways."
And as all great spiritual leaders can do, Rev. Ryland is able to provide comfort to his flock.
"I tell them that the word 'steroids' is not in the Bible, nor is the terms 'PEDs,'" he said. "I also mention that doesn't necessarily mean it's okay to take them. Although I don't harp on that too much because the team would probably fire me."
Texas Rangers president Nolan Ryan says the role of a chaplain is very important and clearly defined on a team.
"The point of a team is to win. So all chaplains, Rev. Ryland included, are required to work towards that goal as their top priority," he said. "That means we don't need him telling people God doesn't want them to take steroids. What's next? Telling them not to steal signs? Steal bases? It's a slipper slope."
The Rangers are no different than any other sports teams that way. Team chaplains throughout all four major sports are instructed to keep players away from crimes such as murder, armed robbery and rape that could get them suspended and leave the team in a bind.
"This is not the true message of Jesus," said Rev. Ryland. "And it's not how I necessarily saw my career in the ministry going funneling million dollar athletes towards steroids and away from violent crime. I have struggled to reconcile that with my heart and with my God. But I get free tickets to every home game. And that's awesome."
Pete Rose may hold baseball's all-time hits record with 4,256, but The Hit King does not hold the record for MOST IMPORTANT HITS in baseball history, as none of Rose's hits came with the New York Yankees. That record belongs to Lou Gehrig with 2,721. And now Derek Jeter, too.
Each of Gehrig and Jeter's hits came as members of the New York Yankees, thereby making all of their hits far more relevant than anybody else's hits.
"Jeter and Gehrig may only have 2,721, but each of their hits should really count double because they came on the big stage of Yankee Stadium. Imagine the pressure," said Yankees season ticket holder Bob Merloni. "And I don't know who Pete Rose played for, but I know it wasn't the New York Yankees the greatest sports franchise ever. So that kind of puts a black mark on his great career, you know?"
Merloni said that baseball should really cut Rose's hits by half and double the total by Gehrig and Jeter, putting them ahead of Rose by 3,600 hits instead of behind by 1,500.
"Do this, Bud Selig. Make it happen," he said. "Your credibility is at stake."
Mark Roth, a Yankees season ticket holder who says he has been going to games with his father since before he can remember, admits frustration in explaining the importance of Jeter's accomplishment to others.
"I have friends who aren't Yankee fans who don't get all the media coverage this is getting compared to the coverage of team records for other teams. They're like: 'He doesn't even have 3,000 hits,'" says Roth. "What can you say to that ignorance? All you can really say is: 'Umm, it's the Yankees, guy. So it's better. What are you not understanding?' I mean, this isn't a team record for the Cardinals or the Pirates or the Phillies or the Orioles or some team like that. What good players have those teams ever had?"
Merloni hopes the media attention Jeter is receiving paves the way for some of his current and former teammates to receive the recognition they are due, too.
"Do you see some of the people they are putting in the Hall of Fame nowadays?" he said. "How are these losers getting into Cooperstown and not all-time greats like Paul O'Neill, John Wetteland and Scott Brosius? It's a travesty."
Picture WWF MLB
TWO MUST ENTER ONE MUST LEAVE!
Curt Schilling says he has interest in running for the vacant U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts.
Here are the former pitcher’s positions on the major issues of the day.
Health Care: “Government-run health care is bad for our country. I believe most any physical ailment can be fixed with a nice, thick, absorptive sock.”
Economy: “I believe in the free market and that the government should not interfere. It would be great if teachers and fire fighters and police officers got paid more. But that’s not how the system works. You don’t get compensated solely for what you contribute to society. For example, the free market allowed me to make a whole buttload of money for being a pitcher. Score!”
Defense: “The stuff I can do in World Of Warcraft is friggin’ sweet. We should do that. Suck on these fireballs, Bin Laden!”
Legalization Of Drugs: “I am against the use of illegal drugs. But this is not really the area of my expertise. As I told Congress, I have never seen anyone take illegal drugs, especially not during my playing career. (LOL!)”
Environment: “I’ll tell you what was a great environment: Yankee Stadium, Game 7, 2004 ALCS. That place was totally quiet. It was AWESOME! If we could recreate that environment everywhere, the world would be a better place. But not via cap-and-trade.”
Gay Marriage: “I am against it. I don’t think gay people exist, to be honest. I played major league baseball for 20 years with a lot of fit, good-looking guys. And not one of them said they were gay. Out of thousands of players! So if none of them are gay, no one else is either.”
Education: “More needs to be done. The younger generation is falling behind. I’ve seen it myself. Do you know that many rookie pitchers today don’t know you want to throw a slider outside of the zone if you go up 0-2 on a hitter? That’s f—king sad, man. They know that in Japan, I bet.”
Foreign Policy: “Don’t pay $50 million to have lunch with Daisuke Matsuzaka. He’s not worth it. Beyond that, I want to focus more on domestic issues. Although I would like to lift any existing tariffs on foreign hair gels.”
Technology/Infrastructure: “I support major investments into upgrading our existing technological infrastructure. I get so pissed when my Internet connection goes down or gets slow when I’m blogging or playing video games online. Just last week, I was about to cut this guy’s head off, and my internet connection went down. I won’t let that happen again as senator. That is my solemn vow to the people of Massachusetts.”
News Dear No-Hitter ...
Dear No-Hitter –
I have to say that I am a bit confused. I was flirting with you all night long. I thought we had something.
First inning, second inning, third inning, fourth, fifth, sixth. The tension was building. Something was happening between us. I felt it. And unless I misremember, I know you had to feel it, too. We weren’t just flirting anymore. We were about to do it.
At least I thought so.
I mean, look – I knew it wasn’t going to be perfect. I’m not naïve. My bumbling wing man Jerry Hairston, Jr. assured that, am I right? But even after he butted in, I still thought we could have some fun, no-hitter. It was still there for us. I still wanted you. Probably even more than before.
I wanted you so bad. Pardon my French, but I wanted to f—k you, no-hitter.
But then you go all of a sudden and let Nick Markakis get to first base with you??? Like the whole night, all of our flirting, meant nothing?!?
What was that about?
I feel used, no-hitter. I do. I know it might sound stupid. But I felt like you used me. I feel like you used me to get yourself some attention because I am a New York Yankee. And then you just went and left with some Baltimore Oriole.
You’re a whore, no-hitter. There. I said it. YOU ARE A WHORE.
I’m never flirting with you again.
I Can't Love Anymore,
Coming off a month in which David Ortiz showed signs of breaking out of a season-long slump, opposing fielders say they will no longer lay down on the field when the aging slugger is at the plate.
"It was nice while it lasted," said Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. "You'd get to sit down and relax on the field four or five times a game when you played Boston. Then, after Big Papi finished striking out, you could just hop back up, all refreshed and ready to go for the rest of the game."
Ortiz says he is excited about his improved play.
"I've had a tough season and it was a great motivator for me as an accomplished player when I would be at the plate and look out over the field and see all the opposing fielders laying down or going into the locker room to get a drink," he said. "It made me work harder than I ever have even harder than back when I was extremely energized due to accidentally being on steroids."
Ortiz had 7 home runs and 18 RBI in August, his third consecutive month with at least those numbers in each category after totaling only 1 home run and 18 RBI in April and May combined. But his improved power numbers haven't convinced every opponent to get up off the ground when facing him.
"Have you seen his batting average? His average isn't budging from .220," said Rays shortstop Jason Bartlett. "I still see no reason I should have to stand up. He's either going to hit a home run over my head or strikeout. I'm not involved with either of those. The third option is he hits a pop-up. And the pitcher can get that. I'm grabbing a quick nap. Wake me when Jason Bay gets up."
At a hastily arranged press conference this afternoon at the White House, President Barack Obama announced San Francisco Giants ace Tim Lincecum will head up a brand new executive branch of the federal government: The Department of White Sox Pitching.
“Tim brings great leadership qualities to this important post,” said the president. “Primarily his mid-90s fastball and his devastating curve.”
The president says he realized the need to federalize the White Sox pitching staff after seeing them implode this weekend against the Yankees.
“At this important point in the season, with so much to lose, I can’t sit by and let the White Sox fall completely out of the playoff race,” Obama said. “It is in the best interests of the nation that we have a competitive final month of the season.”
Lincecum will leave his job with the Giants and begin pitching with the White Sox immediately.
“It was a tough decision. I wanted to win with the Giants,” said the reigning NL Cy Young award winner. “But the president insisted I would be providing a great service –- and if not to the nation, then to him.”
The creation of the new executive branch that will support White Sox pitching has been met with great opposition by Republicans –- as well as from some Democrats who are Cubs, Tigers, and Giants fans. But sources within the White House say that even if Lincecum is stripped of his powers, such a move wouldn’t come until well after October, which would be long past the department's policies would make their desired impact.
“Now that Secretary Lincecum is in place, I look forward to him filling his staff with some great public servants,” said the president. “I have developed a list of potential candidates that includes Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Zach Greinke and others.”