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Jesus hits cleanup for the Nationals

Sep 27, 2013, 11:03 AM EST

Nationals cap logo

That’s the actual headline from this Washington Times story about the Nats and religion:

But this year, perhaps more than in years past, religion has become a frequent topic inside the Nationals’ clubhouse. Players of differing beliefs discuss them, sometimes turning into hotly contested debates. Multiple players, regardless of whether they were actively religious or not, said they never had been on a team that talks about religion as much as this one.

“People always say, ‘When you’re with strangers you don’t talk about politics, you don’t talk about religion,’” Stammen said. “But we’ve all become good enough friends that I don’t think we judge each other too much. We can talk about it a little bit. And there’s guys who are very interested and inquisitive, because they don’t know much about it.”

Ballplayers are, on the whole, a pretty religious bunch. Demographics play into that, as there is a huge overlap between people from rural areas, the south, Latinos and religious identification.  Every clubhouse has a chapel service and a core of players one could call the religious caucus. And, for the most part, it’s never a big deal. You hear random stories about guys like Chad Curtis making waves in the clubhouse due to their zealotry, but when you look at what else defines Chad Curtis, you’d be hard-pressed to say that his problems were borne of a particularly religious disposition. He’s just a total jerk.

Beyond that stuff I’ve always been impressed at how seamlessly baseball clubhouses blend together people from different religions and cultures and attitudes. Especially given how much time these guys have to spend together in fairly close quarters. It’s amazing we don’t hear more about rifts and personality clashes than we do.

  1. natstowngreg - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    I’m a firm believer in the constitutional separation of baseball and religion.

    • kinggw - Sep 27, 2013 at 4:43 PM

      Right on

  2. emdash01 - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    I’m sure the writer’s not happy about the headline, but that’s the kind of thing you have to put up with when you have to appeal to the Washington Times’ audience.

  3. onbucky96 - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    Tebow found work?

    • rmalmstrom - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      Jesús Flores?

  4. gothapotamus90210 - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    You might fool the f-cks in the league office, but you don’t fool Jesus.

  5. El Bravo - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    They should ditch the religion stuff…Pedro Cerrano did and only after that could he hit a curveball. This explains the Nats’ lackluster season.

    • ptfu - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:25 AM

      You trying to say Jesus Christ can’t hit a curveball?

      • El Bravo - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:44 AM

        I’m saying the Nats suck. Go Braves, the godless soldiers atop the NL East.

  6. fenwayfan91 - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    Personally, I believe in the Church of Baseball

  7. NatsLady - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    Yeah, but I bet Jesus turned water into lots of wine (and beer, and Scotch) after the Nats were eliminated, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they all (except Bryce) got plenty looped and didn’t care two pins for Davey wanting “revenge” on the Cards. And I don’t blame them one iota.

    Looking forward to the Arizona Fall League now. You all in the post season, carry on.

    • sportsdrenched - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:47 AM

      and it was the good stuff too.

  8. paperlions - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    I assumed it was a reference to Harper, since he has been batting cleanup for the Nats.

  9. scdocal - Sep 27, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    With the postseason right around the corner, this is what people are writing about? Pathetic

  10. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 27, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    I believe in the Church of Baseball.

    Seriously though, the world would be a better place if everyone just kept their politics and religion private.

    • stex52 - Sep 27, 2013 at 12:31 PM

      I like the thought that they can talk about it some. But I can’t be terribly confident that it will end well for them. Too bad.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 27, 2013 at 1:20 PM

        Just like when brothers play wrestle. It all starts innocently and fun, but always ends with punches thrown.

    • paperlions - Sep 27, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      Disagree. The world would be a better place if people engaged in political or religious discourse that was constructive and civil with a focus on issues and topics rather than everyone just trying to defend their position rather than to learn something or with the goal of getting closer to the truth (if any exists).

      Discussions of politics or religion are not the problem, it is that people can’t separate their own identity from their politics or religions, leading to stale and thoughtless positions due to a refusal to consider alternatives.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 27, 2013 at 1:18 PM

        Well, you certainly hit the root of the problem. But unfortunately, since people cannot seem to discuss religion or politics without things eventually turning very, nasty, and often times violent, I still believe the best policy is to keep one’s opinions to one’s self in these matters.

        So much death as occurred in the name of religion, and yet all major religions have one thing in common. Love thy fellow man. It’s such a shame how so many miss the point, all the while trying to force others to accept that their side is the “right” side. I’m reminded of the quote from Boondock Saints.

        “Do not kill. Do not rape. Do not steal. These are principles which every man of every faith can embrace.”

      • paperlions - Sep 27, 2013 at 1:22 PM

        Agreed….people (as a group) aren’t going to change…so it is usually best to avoid the discussion. Oddly enough, I can discuss religion with almost anyone that brings it up because all I do is ask them what they think and why they think it…they are usually too busy trying to answer questions and trying to figure out what they actually think/believe to realize that I haven’t stated any position.

        +1 for quoting Boondock Saints, great movie.

      • bh192012 - Sep 27, 2013 at 1:36 PM

        Well “Love thy fellow man.” is lower on most religions priority list than “trying to force others to accept that their side is the “right” side.”

        Many religions teach that theirs is the only true religion and that you job as a follower is to convert the heathens. Basically projecting that those others are not actually “fellow men” until they’re converted.

    • clemente2 - Sep 27, 2013 at 1:52 PM

      Religion, possibly. Politics, no. The problem with politics in this country is precisely the failure to have enough open discussions with everyone around on the topic. So instead everyone niches up with their favorite media (old or new) comfort peddler and that let’s everyone off the hook of both thinking for themselves and being made to explain to one’s neighbors.

  11. yahmule - Sep 27, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    This news is thousands of years old. I think we’re all familiar with the passage in the Bible that says, “Go fourth and multiply.”

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 27, 2013 at 5:52 PM

      You see? That’s the Nats’ problem this year. They went sixth instead of fourth.

  12. quizguy66 - Sep 27, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    Rev. Moon hits cleanup for the Washington Times.

    -QG

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 27, 2013 at 5:55 PM

      Until he, you know, like, died last year.

  13. spudchukar - Sep 27, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    He needs to be moved to the #2 spot, where he can Sacrifice more often.

    • paperlions - Sep 27, 2013 at 2:08 PM

      Ouch! Damn, that is funny.

      • spudchukar - Sep 27, 2013 at 2:09 PM

        Thanks, PL.

  14. cur68 - Sep 27, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Yeah well, DeJesus plays for The Rays and I’ve actually seen him, too. He has trouble with fly balls since the Trop’s roof was designed by orangutans.

    Praise DeJesus!

  15. misterj167 - Sep 27, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    It’s a well-known fact that Jesus hit a very un-Christ-like .228 with twenty-four errors in sixty-five games while playing third base for the Nazarene Nine of the Judean People’s League (or was it the People’s League of Judea? I forget) in 17 AD, in his rookie (and only) season. If he had played better fundamental ball in the infield and figured out how to hit a slider the world might be a very different place.

    • spudchukar - Sep 27, 2013 at 3:33 PM

      He was also benched for a period. After failing to avoid getting plunked in the butt. His hitting coach fixed things, and taught him to “turn the other cheek”.

    • derklempner - Sep 27, 2013 at 6:59 PM

      Actually, Jesus hit 1.000 with a bases-empty grand slam.

  16. spudchukar - Sep 27, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    Then there is the story about how after receiving 3 straight wide ones he started to trot to first base only to be recalled by the ump who informed him, “Son, maybe you can walk on water, but up here it takes 4 balls.”

  17. forsch31 - Sep 27, 2013 at 9:26 PM

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