Sunday, October 30, 2011

Religion And Politics And Baseball

Religion and politics top the two things people are to avoid discussing in public.  As social beings, humans have filled that void by discussing movies, sports, and the weather.  Now movies and sports may no longer be safe topics.

Apparently, movie zombies are a new form of both popular philosophy and religion.
We tell monster stories because we’re afraid of what we are and what we could become. Werewolf stories are inevitably about what happens when a man loses the battle to control his “natural” urges. Vampire stories (at least traditional ones) are about selfish beings who steal blood to prolong their lives, the precise opposite of Christ, who gave his blood willingly to provide the chance of eternal life for others. Zombies are all about a perverted resurrection… an eternal life that isn’t worth living, because it’s a type of continual death.
Baseball has long been considered a religion.  In the movie Bull Durham, Annie Savoy, played by Susan Sarandon, articulated her view
I believe in the Church of Baseball. I've tried all the major religions, and most of the minor ones. I've worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball. When I heard that, I gave Jesus a chance. But it just didn't work out between us. The Lord laid too much guilt on me. I prefer metaphysics to theology. You see, there's no guilt in baseball, and it's never boring... which makes it like sex. There's never been a ballplayer slept with me who didn't have the best year of his career. Making love is like hitting a baseball: you just gotta relax and concentrate. Besides, I'd never sleep with a player hitting under .250... not unless he had a lot of RBIs and was a great glove man up the middle. You see, there's a certain amount of life wisdom I give these boys. I can expand their minds. Sometimes when I've got a ballplayer alone, I'll just read Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman to him, and the guys are so sweet, they always stay and listen. 'Course, a guy'll listen to anything if he thinks it's foreplay. I make them feel confident, and they make me feel safe, and pretty. 'Course, what I give them lasts a lifetime; what they give me lasts 142 games. Sometimes it seems like a bad trade. But bad trades are part of baseball - now who can forget Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas, for God's sake? It's a long season and you gotta trust it. I've tried 'em all, I really have, and the only church that truly feeds the soul, day in, day out, is the Church of Baseball.
Baseball's most famous religious curse may have been the "Curse of the Bambino" that prevented the Red Sox from winning the World Series for 86 years.

Politics is a religion with its own curses.  Some contend that a George W. Bush curse will hamper Rick Perry's efforts to win the presidency: does America really want another former Texas governor in the White House?

I'm wondering if that political curse hasn't crossed religious lines from politics to baseball.  Bush formerly owned the Texas Rangers.  The Rangers have lost both the 2010 and 2011 World Series matchups.  This past week saw an improbable comeback in the 11th inning and a rain out that allowed St. Louis Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter to gain the extra day to short Game 7 on the minimum 3 days rest.

Given the doctrines of the Church of Baseball, these facts make it look more like a curse than a coincidence.

1 comment:

yanktonirishred said...

There simply is no purer religion than Baseball.