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God told Josh Hamilton he was going to hit a home run

Oct 28, 2011, 7:36 AM EDT

God

Josh Hamilton hit a huge homer to put the Rangers up by two in the 10th inning of last night’s thriller.  After the game, he said this:

“I would tell y’all something, but y’all wouldn’t believe me … The Lord told me it was going to happen before it happened. You hadn’t hit a home run in a while. You’re about to right now.’”

Before we go any further, can I tell you how much I wish that David Freese, when asked about his walkoff homer in the 11th, said that Satan had told him he’d do it, and then he held up the devil horns, Dio-style?  That would have been epic.

Anyway:  I realize that I’m a big damned-to-Hell agnostic type and everything, so I’m not an authority here. I’m not going to push my non-belief on others. Even if I don’t subscribe to it, I’m not one of those militant atheist types who turn going after religion into a crusade (those people have their own, almost religious zealotry that is more than a little ironic). I think religion can be an important part of a person’s life. I’ve seen it work wonders in people. So if Josh Hamilton believes that God told him he was going to hit a home run and that fills him with wonder and purpose, I feel great for Josh Hamilton.

But can I ask the believers out there: If there is a God, do you really think He rolls like this? That He takes interest in the events of Man on such a granular level that He’s not only telling a guy like Hamilton that he’s going to hit a homer, but He’s also going to note beforehand that Hamilton hadn’t hit a homer in a while?  God cares about baseball stats?  Is God … a sabermetrician?!

No, of course he isn’t. If He was, He would have said “Josh, you are going to get on base.” Or else He wouldn’t have cared about baseball at all, because I’m told statheads hate baseball and only love numbers, so never mind.

Anyway, theology is not my bag. Maybe God does tell people when they’re about to do their job well.  When you’re omnipotent you can multitask. Attend to the suffering here, orchestrate the wonder and miracle of creation there, smite the wicked in another place and still have all of the time in the world to tell rich athletes that they’re about to do something special.  Really, it’s not a problem.

Is it?

149 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. badmamainphilliesjamas - Oct 28, 2011 at 7:42 AM

    Can I just thumbs-up your whole post?

    • lovesmesomeme - Oct 28, 2011 at 10:04 AM

      God told me that it’s ok to thumbs up the post. You haven’t thumbs’d up I’m awhile so it’s time.

    • evanhartford - Oct 28, 2011 at 10:34 AM

      God must be a Yankee fan…

      • wlschneider09 - Oct 28, 2011 at 11:31 AM

        God has too much self respect for that.

      • 3kittymama - Oct 31, 2011 at 11:13 AM

        Uh…I think not.

  2. Concretepiggy - Oct 28, 2011 at 7:42 AM

    I’m no Theology expert either, but two questions with astounding implications:

    Religion is equivalent to PED use?

    Is God The Great Slumpbuster in the Sky?

    • Old Gator - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:55 AM

      I would almost – almost – resign myself to the vomit of advertising that is swamping baseball if superstition riddled ballplayers would stop making nonsensical comments like that. The cliches were more than enough to endure during their face time with the journalists.

  3. rambodiaz - Oct 28, 2011 at 7:44 AM

    I’ll tell you one thing, whatever it was God told him, it wasn’t to “try a hit and run.”

  4. skids003 - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:06 AM

    “I’m not going to push my non belief on others.” Looks to me like you just did, bu making fun of Hamilton.

    • Bill - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:34 AM

      Yes. You can’t be a believer and make fun of Hamilton, because that would violate the sacred unquestioning unity of all faiths that has kept us completely war-free for the last five thousand years.

      I’m a believer, and as a few other people noted below, I think it’s obvious that Hamilton’s faith has done wonderful things for his life that, in his particular case, nothing else could have done. But going out of your way to say something like this on television, especially following a game you lost in particularly spectacular fashion, is kind of ridiculous, and making fun of it is something most of us ought to be able to get behind without pushing some sort of agenda.

      • Bill - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:35 AM

        on television, to a reporter, whatever.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 28, 2011 at 11:23 AM

        I’m waiting for your thumbs up to climb to 666 :D

  5. cur68 - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:15 AM

    Maybe he meant one of “The Baseball Gods”? Those guys are fickle, I hear. Never had one communicate to me, but I imagine if one did, he/she/it would probably wait for the WS in a crucial moment to interfere with the workings of man’s quest for baseball perfection.

    • kopy - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:47 AM

      Fickle indeed. I wonder which has more unwritten rules, religion or baseball?

      • bravesfaninbama - Oct 28, 2011 at 10:56 AM

        Religion’s rules ARE written. It’s called the Bible.

      • Kevin S. - Oct 28, 2011 at 2:49 PM

        Because no other religion exists that doesn’t consider that its holy text.

    • paperlions - Oct 28, 2011 at 9:15 AM

      No worries cur, the baseball gods have never heard of “Canada”.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 28, 2011 at 9:23 AM

        Joe Carter would disagree

      • rambodiaz - Oct 28, 2011 at 9:55 AM

        The continued floundering of The Nationals, I’m convinced, is directly due to the Baseball Gods punishing that MLB and that franchise for what they did to Montreal.

      • nolanwiffle - Oct 28, 2011 at 10:50 AM

        We’re about one more season away from seeing the baseball gods fully forgive the Nats.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 10:45 AM

      Cur: The Baseball gods were busy making up for Holliday and Freese’s dropped Can O’ Corns by way of Nelson Cruze’s non catch at the wall in RF.

    • cur68 - Oct 28, 2011 at 10:53 AM

      Given that I am treating my hangover with coffee, water and pickle juice this AM, I do believe it is fair to say that I have been smote pretty badly by the god of alcohol (The Mighty Etoh). I repent of my gins O Lordy, I do….

      Speaking of the Expos; Jeffrey Loria is the devil. I pray to Jobu every day that a rot may afflict his groin; a painful rot. I sit Jobu next to an offering from The Mighty Etoh and say the mantra; “send devils to afflict Loria’s groin, that he may know suffering and so on.”

      I also pray that Jobu will see to it that The Nationals are moved to Vancouver, where they will be embraced as the Beavers of British Columbia.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 10:58 AM

        Pickle juice? Really? Phuqing pickle juice? Get outta’ here. Pffffft…pickle juice my ass.

      • cur68 - Oct 28, 2011 at 11:18 AM

        I used to date a chick who tended bar. She swore pickle juice was the best hangover cure ever. It’s not bad as such. If it doesn’t work for you, at least you have an excuse to eat a jar of pickles, right?

  6. professorperry - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:15 AM

    Let’s take the thought experiment farther.

    1. God tells Hamilton he’s going to hit a HR.
    2. Hamilton hits said HR, thinks he’s won the World Series, that it’s a sign he is blessed.
    3. Berkman single. Freese HR. Texas loses.
    4. Hamilton discovers new levels of humility.

    As a scholar of hagiography, this seems entirely plausible.

  7. Cyn - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:16 AM

    I consider myself a believer. A former Catholic school girl with priests in the family, I go to church every week and often tell people I will pray for them and even I think Josh Hamilton is full of baloney. I don’t consider what Craig wrote pushing his “non belief” on us.

    Saying God spoke to him and specifically told him he was going to hit a home run seems to me to be just a way to stay relevant in a game where he went from probably being the hero to being a footnote and it deserves to be mocked. He didn’t just say that he believed God was with him or endowed him with the ability to play so well (something I know a lot of folks hate to hear but doesn’t really bother me), he said God told him what was going to happen. That’s pretty far off the charts.

    I don’t think Hamilton is stupid, I think he knows exactly what he’s doing. The Cardinals won a big one last night and here we are talking about him.

    • nolanwiffle - Oct 28, 2011 at 9:41 AM

      Any chance you held on to that short, plaid skirt?

      • cur68 - Oct 28, 2011 at 1:40 PM

        nolan, focusing on what’s important, like a stud….

    • 24missed - Oct 28, 2011 at 2:46 PM

      My beliefs on Josh Hamilton differ completely. I couldn’t judge the guy and his faith, ever. I’ve been judged for my faith, my looks and quite a few other things. It feels like crap. I’m sure everyone has experienced this.

      I’d rather include people in my life than exclude them. Whether it is your gender, your ethnicity, your race, handicap, your sexuality…the list goes on, judgement hurts.

      Just because he goes public with a statement re: his belief doesn’t make him anything other than a human being with a set of religious beliefs.

      • yanksguy23 - Oct 30, 2011 at 11:13 PM

        I disagree. I see Hamilton’s act as nothing more than “I’m more holy than you are.” I say act because anybody can say after the fact that god said something would happen. I could say that god told me the Cards were going to win it in the 11th inning of the 6th game, and take the 7th game 6-2. Prove me wrong. And I say holier-than-thou because I’d bet that most players have some sort of belief in a god, but they limit their religion to, at the most, pointing to the sky after a homer, or like Mo Rivera, saying that he was “blessed by God.” To spout off and say that god speaks to you and takes time out of his day (doesn’t he have work to do elsewhere?) to send you a message regarding your performance on the field is either a lie or a delusion. I think that it’s the former.
        Look for a new book out from Josh “The Anointed” Hamilton.

  8. acheron2112 - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:20 AM

    “I think religion can be an important part of a person’s life. I’ve seen it work wonders in people.”

    And, in fact, specifically in Josh Hamilton. As @baseballcrank on twitter said, without his faith, Josh likely would be laying in a ditch somewhere with a needle in his arm. So if that’s what he feels, I personally don’t have a problem with it. (If it mattered what I thought, which it doesn’t.)

    I mean, I imagine there’s some strong confirmation bias going on there (if he “had a feeling”, but then grounded out to third instead, he wouldn’t have thought twice about it later on: he wouldn’t give a press conference saying “I thought God told me I was going to hit a home run, but then I didn’t.”), but who cares? Let him believe.

    • JBerardi - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:49 AM

      Yes, God cured him of his addiction so well that he’s now a grown man who can’t carry his own money and basically needs a baby sitter 24-7. And he takes personal responsibility for nothing. God told him he was gonna hit this home run. When he broke his arm earlier in the season, was that God telling him to dive headfirst into home plate? Nah, that was his third base coache’s fault.

      Religion does help people with addiction. You know why? It’s got zero to do with God, Buddha, Zeus or any of those characters. You know why it helps? Because drug dealers don’t hang out at churches. Change a person’s environment, change the people they surround themselves with, and you’ll change their behavior. It’s that simple.

      • Bill - Oct 28, 2011 at 9:18 AM

        I love that people claim to know things like this about what other people experience.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 10:53 AM

        I am Josh Hamilton fan Berardi. I like that he has come a loooong way since literally falling off the deep end. But you are dead on with the home plate comment.
        If memory serves he actually called out his 3rd base coach for it (while eating dinner after the game at his locker no less).

  9. zpfeifer7mn - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:21 AM

    One day you will know Christ. Life will inevitably bring you to him. But then again Im a Viking fan, so what the hell do I know

    • snowbirdgothic - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:29 AM

      Bad quarterbacking, I’m guessing.

      • nolanwiffle - Oct 28, 2011 at 9:39 AM

        Joe Kapp was a gamer!

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 10:49 AM

        That’s cold snowbird. Real cold. LOL!

    • Kevin S. - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:43 AM

      Life fails to “inevitably bring to him” > 80% of the world’s population.

      • Old Gator - Oct 28, 2011 at 9:08 AM

        And among the +/> 20% who are left, He authorizes a pretty substantial fraction thereof to embark immediately on killing sprees.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 10:48 AM

      Great post Z: Funny…funny stuff.

  10. smackingfools - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:24 AM

    He said he told him he was gonna hit one. He didn’t say I’m gonna make sure you hit one. Time for the world to end so you can see what the deal really is.

    • professorperry - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:28 AM

      You will hear of WAR and rumors of WAR, and also VORP and xFIP, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is not yet.

      • CJ - Oct 28, 2011 at 9:03 AM

        I see what you did there. See Craig? The Bible foretold the use of sabermetrics in baseball millenia before it happened. So there’s your proof…God is a baseball fan.

        Besides, didn’t you see Angels in the Outfield?

  11. antlerclaws - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:28 AM

    I hope God tells him the same thing tonight….repeatedly…..

    • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Oct 28, 2011 at 9:18 AM

      Amen.

  12. addict2sport - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:39 AM

    God is a football fan. That’s why they play on Sunday. I’m sure Hamilton felt someone or something talk to him. It must’ve been Jobu.

  13. Old Gator - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:47 AM

    “If God intended to intercede in the degeneracy of mankind, would he not have done so already?”
    - Judge Holden, Blood Meridian

  14. vikesfansteve - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:49 AM

    It’s nice to know with millions of people starving in the world & children dying of horrible disease that the Lord has his priorities in check by having Hamilton hit a HR that didn’t even win the game.

    • JBerardi - Oct 28, 2011 at 2:57 PM

      An of course, an all-knowing God operating off a divine plan would already know the outcome of the game. Was God just trying to pad Josh Hamilton’s stats? Does he have him in some sort of heavenly fantasy league?

  15. purnellmeagrejr - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:50 AM

    Of course there’s a God – two reasons
    1.) Why would all those major leaguers thank him after getting a hit if he didn’t exist?
    2.) Craig posted his picture.

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:59 AM

      Well SOMETHING has to explain all that comedy of unusual errors…

  16. skipperxc - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:51 AM

    The degree to which God interacts with the physical realm on a day-to-day basis is subject to considerable debate even among Christians. The idea behind prayer is rooted in a belief that He is here and interacts in tangible ways, though it is generally considered to be indirectly, on His own time frame, and for His own (benevolent) ends.

    As for an answer to “Does God speak in clear audible ways?”, who can really say? Maybe He did to Josh Hamilton last night, and maybe He didn’t. It’s not like anybody else would know.

  17. mianfr - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:53 AM

    Nothing for nothing, if God told him something, it was only that he’d hit a home run, not win the game, not that God wanted the Rangers to win the game, not that God cared if the Rangers won the game.

    It’s closer to insider trading than an argument against God, really.

  18. frankvzappa - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:54 AM

    The good (and I use the term “good” loosely) lord definitely interferes with sports. Anybody who watched the last drive of the Super Bowl that ruined the Patriots’ perfect season understands that not only does God interfere in sports games, he often does so in support of new york teams in order to bring suffering upon the unholy Boston masses. It is strange to see Him interfering on behalf of St. Louis, though. Maybe He had some money on the Cardinals.

    • wlschneider09 - Oct 28, 2011 at 11:35 AM

      I think you are mistaking satanic influences for the hand of God….

    • JBerardi - Oct 28, 2011 at 3:00 PM

      “Maybe He had some money on the Cardinals.”

      He is always asking his followers for cash. Maybe he’s got a gambling problem.

  19. danielthepoet - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:54 AM

    The answer is yes, God cares about his children. Even the things that others deem inconsequential or unworthy of a parent’s time and energy. He calls himself Father and those who believe in Jesus as Savior He calls His children. He is aware of every single moment in our lives. Or do you suppose that on judgment Day He suddenly pulls out the video reel and reviews each case? He knows and cares:

    “f you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

    “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

    “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

    “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”

    • Old Gator - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:58 AM

      And now, children (closing his Mother Goose), it’s time for all of you to go to sleep.

      • nolanwiffle - Oct 28, 2011 at 9:46 AM

        Well….like…..that’s just your opinion, man!

      • JBerardi - Oct 28, 2011 at 3:06 PM

        C’mon, just one more story. Read me that one about the uteruses falling out.

  20. painted8 - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:55 AM

    Thank God for “militant” atheists.

  21. Jonny 5 - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:58 AM

    Umm Josh, That was Mike Young that told you that. Yeah, God.

    • rambodiaz - Oct 28, 2011 at 9:57 AM

      Mike Young: This year’s Most Valuable Diety

      • rambodiaz - Oct 28, 2011 at 9:58 AM

        Deity. Gosh, my right arm for an edit button…

    • JBerardi - Oct 28, 2011 at 3:09 PM

      There’s a bullpen phone joke in here somewhere.

  22. midjerseyfatcat - Oct 28, 2011 at 9:03 AM

    Hamilton’s groin told him “I’m pulling for you big guy”.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 10:57 AM

      Hahaha! You people are killin’ it this morning.

  23. professorperry - Oct 28, 2011 at 9:06 AM

    Maybe it was Val Kilmer – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf-5RaFnh2U

  24. lessthanittakes - Oct 28, 2011 at 9:08 AM

    Everything you need to know about how God works can be learned from Futurama.

    • umrguy42 - Oct 28, 2011 at 9:38 AM

      “If you do things right, people won’t know you’ve done anything at all.”

      • JBerardi - Oct 28, 2011 at 3:11 PM

        Josh Hamilton won’t know about it, that’s for damn sure.

  25. halladaysbiceps - Oct 28, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    “Is God … a sabermetrician?!”

    Of course not, silly. God doesn’t believe in WAR.

    Satan is a sabermerician.

    • acheron2112 - Oct 28, 2011 at 9:36 AM

      The Apocalypse brings Pestilence, Famine, Death, and WAR.

    • Brian Donohue - Oct 28, 2011 at 12:15 PM

      It was at least 20 yrs. ago I heard this from a comic (maybe Bob Nelson) at Caroline’s when they had one at the South St. Seaport: “the Super Bowl’s always got the same ending…they interview the hero of the winning team, who gives all the credit to God. I’ll be ready to believe that when I hear someone from the loser’s locker room say We would have won if Jesus hadn’t made me fumble…”

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