June 26, 2013

Hey, #Stlcards: No Jeebus on the mound, please

The mound at Busch Stadium, baptized/exorcised
Bill McClellan of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is absolutely right to raise some sort of cain over a cross and what looks like a Christian fish symbol regularly etched into the mound at Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals.

And, if Adam Wainwright really claims that "looping figure" is a numeral 6, in tribute to Stan Musial, he's full of crap. Be honest if you've got the fish-Jesus symbol, for doorknob's sake. Don't lie about it.  Because that's what that "loop" looks like, a lot more than a "6."

And, manager Mike Matheny, if you've requested or ordered the grounds crew to do that, you should also man up and be honest and forthright. Because I suspect it was you:
Rob Rains has written a book about team members and their faith. He quotes manager Mike Matheny, who brought up the subject of faith in one of his first team meetings last spring.

“I am not going to shove my faith down your throat, but when the opportunity presents itself, don’t expect me to walk away. This is who I am, and Jesus Christ is at the center of my life. It’s all that I am, every day, every decision that I make. I’m going to stand up and tell you what I believe is true.”
Beyond that, a lot of people who are Christians also believe that god doesn't give that big of a flying fuck about who wins or who loses a sports contest. Fortunately, due to the massively greater number of games, and less focus on any one game, we don't have to worry about the post-game Jesus celebrations nearly as much in baseball as in football.

And, Matheny is that Christian. He sent at least one of his kids (I don't know if he has more than one) to Westminster Christian Academy, a conservative Presbyterian high school.

(More here on the images, along with additional images. More here on the strongly Christian and clubhouse character background I'm not sure the team ever owned up to who was doing this. They did eventually remove them, which prompted national wingnut talking heads to spout off.)

And, don't give me the "Christians are persecuted" line over people like me, and McClellan, complaining. Because, even in the good old days of Ike, picket fences, racial segregation and anti-Catholic bias, players and groundskeepers didn't do that to mounds. And, speaking of anti-Catholic bias, are white evangelical Protestants ever "pushy" on evangelizing Latino Catholics, as Edward Mujica, Yadier Molina or Carlos Beltran might be? (I have no idea if the Cards have any Jewish players, and venture they don't have any Muslim ones, or irreligious ones. And, no, not all Latino ballplayers are Catholic. Certainly, Albert Pujols gives the impression of being some kind of evangelical Protestant; I'm just playing demographic percentages.)

Now, there's no legal reason the team can't do this. But, still, is it smart business? And what if a new Sandy Koufax were pitching against you? Or Ryan Braun noticed it and deliberately did a Star of David with his toe?

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