Monday, June 05, 2006

Abandoned by Jesus, Colorado Rockies turn to Satan

Last week I read a rather startling story in the sports section of USA Today. It was written by Bob Nightengale and carried the headline, "Rockies seek success on two levels"

It began like this:

No copies of Playboy or Penthouse are in the clubhouse of baseball's Colorado Rockies. There's not even a Maxim. The only reading materials are daily newspapers, sports and car magazines and the Bible. Music filled with obscenities, wildly popular with youth today and in many other clubhouses, is not played. A player will curse occasionally but usually in hushed tones. Quotes from Scripture are posted in the weight room. Chapel service is packed on Sundays. Prayer and fellowship groups each Tuesday are well-attended. It's not unusual for the front office executives to pray together.

Behind the scenes, they quietly have become an organization guided by Christianity — open to other religious beliefs but embracing a Christian-based code of conduct they believe will bring them focus and success.

Well, it depends on how you define success. When the story appeared, the team's record was 27-27, and they were in fourth place (out of five) in the National League West division. The Rockies have had one winning season since 1998. However, they had a brief early-season first-place sabbatical in a very mediocre division, which deluded them into thinking they were contenders.

"We had to go to hell and back to know where the Holy Grail is. We went through a tough time and took a lot of arrows," says Rockies chairman and CEO Charlie Monfort, one of the original owners.

So we finally know where the Holy Grail is! Somewhere between Hell and back.

Monfort did, too. He says that after years of partying, including 18 months' probation for driving while impaired, he became a Christian three years ago. It influenced how he wanted to run the club, he says.

Don't you love these born again types? The first thing they do when they need to rehab their public image is declare their allegiance to Jesus, which allows them to roll back the moral odometer to zero. Then they can't wait to punish the other sinners.

"We started to go after character six or seven years ago, but we didn't follow that like we should have," he says.

No, since now ex-Rockies pitcher Denny Neagle was arrested for soliciting prostitution.

"I don't want to offend anyone, but I think character-wise we're stronger than anyone in baseball. Christians, and what they've endured, are some of the strongest people in baseball. I believe God sends signs, and we're seeing those."

So God's giving the Rockies' signs. What kind of signs would He call for? Well, lots of sacrifices. Preferably bloody. And he'd cut back on the running game, because everybody knows Thou shalt not steal.

I guess he'd be calling the pitches, too. And what Rockies hurler is going to shake off the Lord when he calls for a 3-0 fastball down the middle to Barry Bonds?

Nontheless, the Lord works in mysterious ways. Ever since the USA Today article appeared, the Rockies have been on a bender, getting swept by a bunch of Central Casting ballplayers masquerading as the Marlins over the weekend and getting spanked by the woebegone Pirates earlier tonight.

This led me to wonder how long Colorado can keep the faith. I can see the season unfolding like this:

June 15: In the midst of a 20-game losing streak, manager Clint Hurdle tells USA Today, "God is testing us. He has big plans for us."

July 1: Losing streak reaches 38 games. The team has taken to holding prayer meetings during games -- while the ball is in play. General Manager Dan O'Dowd announces that the Lord has told him to fire Hurdle as manager and replace him with Pastor Jerry McMoney.

July 20: Colorado has lost 60 in a row. They're the laughing stock of baseball, and ESPN creates an entire daily show of highlights of the Rockies' ineptitude. CEO Monfort bans Bibles in the clubhouse, and the new manager fines players for "not cussing enough."

August 2: After their seventy-second straight loss, the Rockies issue a statement saying that, "After much consideration, we have decided to opt out of our agreement with Jesus, and we have signed a multi-year pact with Satan." They sell the naming rights to Coors Field to the Devil, who renames it Inferno Park. They sweep a doubleheader from the Cardinals.

August 18: Riding an 18-game winning streak, the Rockies players admit that their season turned around after they started indulging in "Satanic stuff." This includes celebrating a Black Mass before each game and substituting a human sacrifice for the post-game spread.

September 3: The Rockies have now won 33 straight, and every game is a sellout. They sport creepy new uniforms -- black shrouds with the number "666" emblazoned on the back -- and engage in sinister behavior, such as only playing in night games, and pointing down to Hell and hissing, "Hail Satan!" whenever they hit a home run or strike out an opposing batter.

September 19: As the team approaches first place, it goes over the edge. Rockies starter Jason Jennings deliberately beans Ken Griffey Jr., then eats his brain on the field.

September 29: After 10 days of agonizing deliberation, Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig bans "ghouls, zombies, vampires, devil-worshippers, anyone whom the Commissioner declares to be undead, and Barry Bonds." Any player caught sucking another player's blood will be fined $20,000 and suspended for ten games. A second offense carries a $40,000 fine, and a twenty-game suspension. The Rockies -- joined by New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner -- immediately appeal the ruling. Selig agrees to delay the implementation of the penalties and appoints a blue-ribbon panel to study the issue of Satanic worship in the clubhouse and issue a report no later than 2015.

October 1: The Rockies win the pennant! Praise the Evil One!

November 1: The Rockies beat the Yankees in the first all-demonic World Series. The seventh and deciding game turns when umpire Angel Hernandez makes a call against the Rockies and is made to vanish into thin air by Rockies' third base coach Aleister Crowley.

1 comment:

Mike said...

They have "stronger character"? But can they pitch?