Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
2005-12-25 18:06
by Mark T.R. Donohue

I'm not a big Christmas guy. I'm an atheist, and fairly vigorously so, and have been irritating my younger sisters for several years now by referring to the 25th as "Loot Day." I was here going to celebrate the holiday by listing all of the baseball-related loot I received, but I want a few days to read my Bill Simmons and White Sox books and view the 2005 World Series DVD. Perhaps it will renew your faith in the power of the season (if not mine) to learn that another fine post subject presented itself completely by accident.

While watching the Bears game over at my aunt and uncle's house, I started rifling through a pack of baseball cards one of my cousins had received in his stocking. I paused when I saw the Rockies' name on one of the cards, and again when I saw that it was a Mike Esposito card. I feel strangely connected to Esposito. The one minor league game I attended last season, in Colorado Springs, was started by Mike Esposito. By sheer random chance, I was present for his major league debut at Coors in September. For this reason, I've picked him as a test case for potential free agent pitching acquisitions. If you're not better than Esposito -- and many guys aren't -- then you're probably a waste of money. I like the way the guy works -- he hasn't a single plus pitch in his repertoire, but he gets better results than more talented players through smarts and control. If he played somewhere not 7,000 feet above sea level, he might have a nice national rep by now. But it was his lot in life to end up in the Rockies system.

And to have somebody else's picture on his baseball card. 2005 Topps card number UH273 has Esposito's name on the front, and indeed his unassuming visage on the back, but there's a young (black) Kansas City Royal on the front of the card. I believe it's Ruben Gotay. Alas, poor Mike. Perhaps 2006 will present a better opportunity for making your mark on the world.

2005-12-25 19:59:52
1.   Schteeve
how can one be a vigorous athiest? That's like saying, I'm fiercely apathetic. Is that like some sort of religious nihilism? 'I don't believe in god/God/Goddess/Voodoo Man and neither should YOU.'

Doesn't sound too enlightened to me.

I love how people on all points of the religious spectrum shut their brains off when it comes time to talk about what they believe. Not saying you do that, just saying.

2005-12-25 20:27:38
2.   al bundy
^Wow, talk about reading way too much into a brief sentence that was there merely to give a brief perspective on the author's feelings about this time of year. By the way, a lot of religious people are complete morons and hypocrites. Not saying you are either of those, just saying.
2005-12-25 21:07:03
3.   Mark T.R. Donohue
Poor Mike Esposito. The curse lives. Now my funny anecdote about his error card will be completely overshadowed by silly religious debate.

By "vigorous atheist," I mean that I take my belief system fairly seriously. I've read a lot of books on either side of the debate, and I took three semesters of history of religion in college. I have a good idea about what I do and do not believe and why that's so. I'm not going to get into it any further than that, and I'm only commenting at all for clarification's sake.

I will say that deist or no, a very good way to really offend a serious-minded person is to imply that their credo is by definition incapable of providing deep engagement.

2005-12-25 23:13:30
4.   Xeifrank
God Bless You!
Merry CHRISTmas.

vr, Xeifrank

2005-12-26 14:41:43
5.   Schteeve
Dear Al Bundy, Please explain to me how I read anything into the statement. Also, I wasn't directing my comment at you, so I don't see how you can respond on Mark's behalf.
2005-12-26 19:45:15
6.   Voxter
How can you be a vigorous atheist? Well, I do it by not believing in G-d and cultivating a healthy distaste for any and all organized religions. I'm sure not every vigorous atheist (is "strident" a better word?) does it the same way, but that's how I do it.

Equating atheism with apathy in this sense is a fallacy. Atheism doesn't imply not caring for or about
G-d or religion, it means not believing in it. I'm about as firm in that belief as any brimstone-breathing Evangelical is in his belief that G-d is real and hates homosexuals. I can't claim to speak for Mark, but that's how it works for me.

2005-12-26 20:30:02
7.   joejoejoe
Tony D'Annunzio: Another Rob Roy, Bishop?

Bishop: You never ask a navy man if he'll have another drink, because it's nobody's goddamned business how much he's had already.

Judge Smails: Wrong, you're drinking too much your Excellency.

Bishop: Excellency, fiddlesticks, my name's Fred and I'm a man, same as you.

Judge Smails: You're not a man, you're a bishop, for God's sakes.

Bishop: There is no God...

2005-12-27 08:27:04
8.   JeffWeaver4God
As being from a family of non-christians who used to give gifts the last couple of years we did, we called it either "Capitalist Day" or "Rickey Day." Rickey Day, has a place in my cold pagan-socialist heart, though.
2005-12-27 09:39:49
9.   The Boar
I'm ardently Catholic, but I won't criticize or judge you for being atheist, Mike. However, as I'm also an ardent Cubs fan, and you seem to be a ChiSox fan, well....

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