Posts belonging to Category Sports

Around the Web – 8/8/2008


It’s Not About Baseball (2)

A couple weeks ago I posted about baseball player Josh Hamilton’s Christian testimony in a post called, It’s Not About Baseball. This week I learned about Fernando Tatis of the New York Mets who returned to baseball in order to help his community build a church.

Fernando Tatis’ return to major league baseball after a two-year absence had little to do with his desire to play the game, the New York Mets left fielder said Monday. It had mostly to do with his desire to build a church.

“In my town [San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic], we needed to buy land to build a church,” he explained … “And I said to my family, the only way that we can buy the land is if I come back to baseball and make the money to buy the land to build the church for our town.”

Now, he’s the Mets’ starting left fielder for a playoff contender. And the church his community wanted to build opened its doors three months ago. “You put something in your mind and when you see the reality, and when you see the church is so beautiful, so big … it‘s amazing,” Tatis said.

See related post:  It’s Not About Baseball

It’s Not About Baseball

Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers set a first round record in the Home Run Derby Monday night with 28 home runs. Josh recently returned to baseball after five years of drug addiction that nearly took his life. He credits God and Christ in helping him overcome his addiction. Here is the video from the Derby:

(Video length: 5:04)

And here is Josh’s testimony printed in ESPN last year around this time.

How am I here? I can only shrug and say, “It’s a God thing.” It’s the only possible explanation. There’s a reason my prayers weren’t answered during those dark, messed-up nights I spent scared out of my mind. There’s a reason I have this blessed and unexpected opportunity to play baseball and tell people my story …

Every day I’m reminded that my story is bigger than me. It never fails. Every time I go to the ballpark, I talk to people who are either battling addictions themselves or trying to help someone else who is … A father will tell me about his son while I’m signing autographs. A mother will wait outside the players’ parking lot to tell me about her daughter. They know where I’ve been. They look to me because I’m proof that hope is never lost.

They remind me that this isn’t really about baseball … I’ve been called the biggest surprise in baseball this year, and I can’t argue with that. If you think about it, how many people have gone from being a crack addict to succeeding at anything, especially something as demanding as major league baseball?…

This may sound crazy, but I wouldn’t change a thing about my path to the big leagues … You’re probably thinking, Bad decisions and addiction almost cost him his life, and he wouldn’t change anything? But if I hadn’t gone through all the hard times, this whole story would be just about baseball. If I’d made the big leagues at 21 and made my first All-Star team at 23 and done all the things expected of me, I would be a big-time baseball player, and that’s it.

Baseball is third in my life right now, behind my relationship with God and my family. Without the first two, baseball isn’t even in the picture. Believe me, I know.

See related post:  It’s Not About Baseball (2)

Nadal and Federer – Humility and Grace

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal | 2008 Men’s Wimbledon Final

John MacEnroe called it, “The greatest match I’ve ever seen.” I agree. Rafael Nadal’s 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (8), 9-7 win over Roger Federer in the 2008 Men’s Wimbledon Finals on Sunday will go down as one of the best tennis matches in history. Nadal and Federer played the highest quality tennis for nearly five hours as they both fought for victory in the closely matched contest.

I was also impressed with each player’s comments immediately following the game. When asked to share his thoughts on the match, Federer responded: “Yeah, I tried everything. Got a little late and everything, but look, Raf is a deserving champ, and he just played fantastic today.” And when asked what it was like beating Federer on center court in one of the greatest finals ever, Nadal was quick to credit Roger: “He’s still number one. He’s still the best. He’s still five times champion here, and right now I have one.”

Graceful losers and humble winners are hard to come by these days, but Federer showed a lot of grace after the most difficult loss of his career, and Nadal showed a lot of humility after the most important win of his career. Both of these guys have a lot of class, and I can’t think of two tennis players I would rather see at numbers one and two in the world right now.

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Boston Celtics 2008 Victory Parade

Boston Celtics 2008 Victory Parade | 2008 NBA Championship

Check out the great pictures of the Celtics Victory Parade yesterday over at The Big Picture: 2008 NBA Champs – Celtics Rolling Rally. It doesn’t look like anyone in Boston went to work on Thursday.

See related post: Celtics-Lakers: Let the Finals Begin!

Baseball and Building Godly Character

As a father of three boys, I really enjoyed Randy Stinson’s recent series of posts on Baseball, Biblical Masculinity and Godly Character. Here are eleven ways Randy uses the game of baseball in the lives of his two sons to build Christian character and cultivate biblical masculinity.

      1. Play Ball:  Umpires and Understanding Authority
      2. Take One for the Team:  Self-Sacrifice and Toughness
      3. Slide!  Obedience to Authority Baseball and baseball bat
      4. You’re Out!  Unfairness
      5. Strike 3!  Failure
      6. When You Can’t Find the Plate:  Humility
      7. Keep a Short Memory:  Resilience
      8. Winners and Losers:  Grace, Mercy and Honor
      9. Thanks Coach: Gratitude
    10. Shake it Off! Leadership and Encouragement
    11. Father, Where Art Thou? The Decline of Baseball

Those are just the bullet points. You will want to read the whole series to get the explanations for each. Here are the links:  Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4

Celtics-Lakers: Let the Finals Begin!

    Boston Celtics Logo     Los Angeles Lakers Logo

Update: Click here for the Celtics-Lakers 2010 Finals.

The Celtics-Lakers 2008 Finals begin tonight. The Celtics and the Lakers are the two most successful basketball teams in NBA history. There have been a total of 61 NBA Finals. The Celtics and Lakers have won nearly half of them with the Celtics winning 16 and the Lakers 14. (The Chicago Bulls are the next closest team with “only” 6 championships.)

The Celtics and Lakers have met each other 10 times in the finals, the last time in 1987. The Celtics won the first 8 contests, and the Lakers won the last 2. The Lakers are looking to edge closer to Boston’s 16 championships, and the Celtics are looking to win their first championship since 1986 (over the Houston Rockets). As a long-time Boston Celtics fan, I am really looking forward to this one. This should be a great series.

UPDATE: The Celtics have now won their 17th NBA Championship. They are now 9-2 against the Lakers in Championship series. Here is a table showing all the Celtics-Lakers finals match-ups:

        Year             Champion         Opponent             Result        
2008 Celtics Lakers 4-2
1987 Lakers Celtics 4-2
1985 Lakers Celtics 4-2
1984 Celtics Lakers 4-3
1969 Celtics Lakers 4-3
1968 Celtics Lakers 4-2
1966 Celtics Lakers 4-3
1965 Celtics Lakers 4-1
1963 Celtics Lakers 4-2
1962 Celtics Lakers 4-3
1959 Celtics Lakers 4-0

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Sox Win Season Opener

Boston Red Sox - Manny Ramirez after hitting a game-winning two run double against the Oakland Athletics in the 10th inning of their season opening game in Tokyo.

The Boston Red Sox won their season opening game yesterday, defeating the Oakland Athletics 6-5 in extra innings. The game was played in Japan at the Tokyo Dome. Boston caught up and tied the game in the ninth inning, and then won in the tenth with a two-run double off the center field fence by Manny Ramirez. It was Manny’s second two-run double of the game. So the Sox start off their 2008 season 1-0. Go Sox!

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Video Quick Takes – 3/1/2008

Extreme sports edition.

Daredevil Robbie Madison jumps 322 feet (the length of a football field) to
set a new motorcycle distance jumping world record on New Years Eve.

(Video length: 0:35)

HT: Neatorama

Every basketball player dreams of hitting the game winning shot at
the buzzer. How about doing it from the full length of the court?

(Video length: 0:44)

HT: Presurfer

Mike Parsons rides a 66-foot-high wave at the Jaws Maui Tow-In
World Surfing Championship.

(Video length: 1:29)

HT: Christ is Deeper Still

Subway Fresh Moment Referee Commercial

“An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.” (Proverbs 24:26)

Okay, this TV ad featuring an honest referee is my new favorite football commercial, at least until the Super Bowl gets here! This is part of Subway’s “Fresh Moment” advertising campaign. And you have to admit, such honesty really is refreshing!

(Video length: 0:30)


“I totally blew that call. In fact, I wasn’t even close. But don’t worry. I’ll penalize the other team … for no good reason … in the second half … to even things up.”

Go Sox! Congratulations, Mike Lowell!

Boston Red SoxWell, the Red Sox did it again! They came back from a deficit in the ALCS to win the pennant and then went on to sweep the World Series.

A minute that used to recur like a comet, once 86 years or so and missed by generations of Sox fans, is now beginning to feel like a birthright. For the second time in four seasons, the Red Sox are World Series champions, Francona and the rest of the Sox dugout borne onto Coors Field last night by the same wave of euphoria that struck in 2004 …

The Sox join the Yankees as the only American League teams to sweep in successive Series appearances, and the third team overall, Cincinnati doing it in 1976 and 1990. The Sox became the 20th team in 103 years of World Series play to win by sweep.

Mike Lowell - Boston Red SoxBut, as excited as I am about the Red Sox winning the series, I am really happy for Red Sox third-baseman Mike Lowell. Lowell was named the Series MVP after batting .400 (6 for 15) with six runs and four RBIs.

I have been following Mike Lowell since his Florida Marlins days (when the 2003 Marlins also won the World Series and Josh Beckett received the MVP). Lowell is a hard-working, down-to-earth, rock-steady player who often doesn’t get enough credit for his game, and it was nice to see him get recognized with the MVP last night. His future with Boston is up in the air right now, but I hope the Red Sox do what they need to in order to keep him on the team. He is a great player, and I would hate to see him go.

Go Sox! And congratulations, Mike Lowell!

Related post: Go Soox!

Go Soox!

Boston Red SoxSory for al the typoes and speling erors, but I em sufring fom slepe depervation along wit te ressed of peple hear in Masachussets and probly wil bee untill the werld serees is over. Go Soox!

(BOSTON/AP – The Boston Red Sox routed Colorado 13-1 to take the World Series opener. Josh Beckett struck out nine in his seven innings and the Red Sox set a World Series record with eight doubles and nine extra base hits in their 17-hit attack. Eleven of their runs came with two outs.)

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