Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Wanna Know Who is a Pest?

What do these three images have in common?

Simple...They are all PESTS in the worst way. No matter what you do, you just can't get rid of them and they pop up when you least expect it -- and stick around.

This David Eckstein is a hell of a player. His numbers aren't "great" but defensively he makes the play and offensively, he slaps those annoying rolling singles.

The Mets need to contain players like this. Other ones that come to mind (past and present): Craig Counsell (this guy's stats says he weighs 180 - yeah. And I'm Hank Aaron...Otis Nixon, Brett Butler (I liked him). And, I can say too, with PRIDE, that Jose Reyes is a pest, but man, can he hit and run and throw and field. All the tools.

Playoff Observations:...Is it me, or does Tim McCarver still not get it? He just rambles on and on and on. And when he gets out the pen and draws on the screen, why, I swear it was like the Rinky Dink toy of days gone by...Shawn Green - I'm glad he's in NY, but someone has to teach him not to be afraid of the ball and start fielding, charging and closing his glove when the time is right. We all have to pray for Shawn - this is an open call for all clergy and NY Rabbis to get in motion. (In the 1950s, a priest in Brooklyn suggested his congregation pray for Gil Hodges who wasn't hitting)...This image here is the best description I can conjure up about Shawn Green's glove:


that_guy_like_Shawn_Green said...

OKAY, I feel for the fans today (last night was actually pretty brutal, ending with Floyd being ran out to first base by a not so fluid Pujols - who showed up a veteran slugger by running it out to first instead of flipping to the pitcher. They should have thrown the ball at Pujols tonight, but we'll see if the Mets tie this one up. It's a downer being a Yankee fan, watching the Mets lose games - after all, they were supposed to be both in the Subway series...)

Here's a little ode to Shawn Green, who gets the official green light by the rabbi scholars in Jerusalem to play on the Sabbath... this one's for Shawn, who got the 2nd run tonight (so far) for the NY Metropolitans...

Question: As a sports fan, I was wondering whether Shawn Green, or any other Jewish baseball player,
can play a game without violating Sabbath?

Answer: Mr. Green did not send this question, and we are not answering it as a practical question, which
would touch, among other things, on the general question of going to work on Shabbat without direct
violations of Shabbat. Rather, your question affords the sports fan the opportunity to apply some of the
intricacies of the laws of Shabbat to an area of interest.
All professional stadiums are fully enclosed. Thus, carrying, hitting, and throwing are permitted. In
general, there may be restrictions on carrying even in enclosed areas without an eiruv. However, that is only
when carrying between areas owned by different people or groups. An entire stadium is owned by one person
or group, so this is not a problem. What if one hits a homerun, which, in certain parks, may "leave the park" to
an unenclosed area or one owned by other people or the public? A disciplined hitter will not intend to hit the
ball out of the stadium, just out of the playing field. Therefore, even if Shawn hit one extra far, it would be a
davar sh’eino mitkavein (an unplanned, uncertain violation of Shabbat), about which he need not be concerned
in advance.
Often, hitters "dig in" with their cleats at the batter’s box, making a small ditch to help them push off when
swinging. This is a Torah-level violation of choresh (plowing), done directly and purposely to improve the
ground for one’s purposes (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 327:1).
Sliding on the base paths dirties a player’s uniform. The gemara (Shabbat 147a) says that one who shakes
out his clothes to remove dew (according to Tosafot) or dirt (according to Rashi) violates a Torah prohibition.
The gemara continues that this is only regarding new, black clothes, which he is careful to keep clean. The
Rama (Orach Chayim 302:1) says that one may not do so to any article of clothing which one is conscious not
to walk around in with this level of dirt. While the matter is more complex than we can address here, the Biur
Halacha (ad loc.) rules stringently on the matter when one does not just shake out but performs an action of
cleaning on the place of the dirt. Therefore, it is at least preferable to do no more than lightly shaking off the
top layer of dirt, leaving that which is partially imbedded in the fabric.
When playing the outfield, is there a problem of cutting or uprooting the grass? In general, one is allowed
to walk on grass because even if he were to cut some blades, it is a davar sh’eino mitkaven (Shulchan Aruch,
ibid. 336:3). However, the Mishna Berura (ad loc.:25) points out that if one runs on tall grass, it is a p’sik
reishei (a certainty that one will inadvertently perform the prohibition), which is forbidden. Although stadiums
have short grass, it is possible that with cleats, the matter is a p’sik reishei, and this respondent lacks the
technical expertise to rule on the matter.
The Shulchan Aruch (ibid. 308:45) rules that balls are muktzeh because they lack a serious use that would
make them utensils. The Rama argues because balls are set aside for the purpose of playing, which he
considers sufficient. Therefore, balls are not muktzeh for Ashkenazim; Sephardim are divided on the matter
(Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat 308:26). (See Mishna Berura’s (ad loc.:158) objection to playing on the ground, which
does not seem to apply to baseball.)
In summary, by taking proper precautions, one can solve most if not all of the technical halachic issues of playing baseball on
Shabbat, while certain halachic and fundamental issues would remain (including some we have not mentioned). So,
"play ball"… preferably, another day.
# # #

against_pests_too said...

add one more pest to the list --
2004 Dave Roberts. Otis Nixon is one weird mother by the way...