Of Dodgers, And Not Dodging The Virus

Image result for LA DodgersI notice that Los Angeles has collected the second championship of the pandemic era. I had a good friend in ministry years ago in Virginia who was all things Dodgers. I imagine he is thrilled his favorite baseball team has triumphed.

I feel less thrilled about the accompanying “celebrations” associated with this win. Two things, really. First the player who was nicked with a positive test for the virus and was yanked (not NY Yankee’d) from the game. After the final out he insisted on making his way to the field, and joining in the celebration. I guess it was bad enough he had to miss the pile-of-guys-on-grass, so he unmasked and chummed with teammates, team officials, and loved ones after the losing team vacated the park. The MLB braintrust is apparently considering punishment. Should it be more if some teammate, wife, girlfriend, or kid gets the virus and dies? Or does the potential for this merit something like a million-dollar fine for the team or even a deduction like they do in soccer. We’ve never seen a baseball team crawl out of a ten or twenty-game hole at season’s start.

I wonder what the protocol will be for the team today. Send them home on a plane and cross fingers? Send the personnel and families into a Texas lockdown for two weeks and send Justin Turner the bill? Maybe he’s earned it. A teammate:

To take (the celebration) away from him is gut-wrenching. I can’t image how he feels. That guy more than anybody deserves to take his picture with that trophy and celebrate with us. That got taken away from him. That doesn’t sit right with me.

Millions of deaths don’t sit right with me either. Sport is sport. Life is life. I think the fans and players know the contribution of Mr Turner to his team. I think families of virus victims are gutted too.

Maybe the one thing the Dodgers have going for them in my book is that they were diligent in applying safety protocols, and other teams actually consulted with how they were doing it.

I also noticed the celebrations in the home city got rough and rowdy. An amusing quote, I assume from a person of color:

The only people we want to see in blue are the Dodgers.

When the Lakers won there was also upheaval and such. I didn’t read anybody blaming antifa on those observances either. Teams win and things get trashed. It’s an American tradition. Opportunism, maybe. I don’t usually get excited about breaking windows or stealing alcohol when my team does well. My daughter the sports fan and I have celebrated, even championships. Usually that involves me listening to high-pitched shrieks and sharing lots of laughter. And there are always memories.

When it comes to sport, I realize it is the new American religion. But let’s remember some perspective in the bigger picture. Sport contributes to the quality of life. It doesn’t work the other way around. Life and lives do not, or should not, contribute to sport.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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