While we’re talking about religious professional athletes and their praising of God, here’s yet another story.
This one, from The Columbus Dispatch, is about baseball player Matt LaPorta.
LaPorta was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2007, traded to the Cleveland Indians in 2008 (with three other players, in exchange for one CC Sabathia), played in his first Major League game in May of 2009, and is current with the Columbus Clippers (the triple-A affiliate of the Indians).
He struck out in his first Major League at-bat.
He actually seems to be a pretty good player, as the article shows. The religious rituals go too overboard for my taste, but everyone has their quirks…
When Matt LaPorta walks to the batter’s box, the song that begins blaring over Huntington Park’s loudspeakers is not the usual hip-hop or rock music that usually pops on when a hitter steps in.
It’s called Everlasting God, a rock-pop number by Lincoln Brewster, and it serves as motivation for the Clippers’ left fielder and first baseman. It also helps illustrate his relationship with God, which he calls his real drive for the game.
LaPorta is not shy about displaying his faith. He wears a cross around his neck, points to the sky after he hits a home run and etches a cross in the dirt before each plate appearance.
“Guys ask, ‘Why don’t you (thank God) when you strike out?’ ” LaPorta said. “Well, how would the teammates feel about that? In essence, I thank God after every at-bat — whether I strike out or I hit a home run.”
I’m not sure that he answered that to anyone’s satisfaction… but at least some players are asking him what I would want to ask.
Once again, the reporter (Zach Swartz) just states the player’s beliefs without ever calling them into question. That’s not just journalistic objectivity… that’s an incomplete profile. I would think a better article would include explanations for why the player thinks the way he does.
Doesn’t anyone else (atheist and otherwise) think it’d be a more interesting piece if LaPorta was asked why God has kept him in the Minor Leagues for most of his career so far? Why etching a cross in the dirt makes any difference? Why these two tweets taken together make any sense?
(Thanks to miller.2676 for the link!)