Why I Will Mock Josh Hamilton

After last night’s devastating extra inning loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, in which their opposition came back five times to win the game on a walk off home run in the eleventh inning, Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton spoke about his tenth inning home run with the assembled media.

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. He said, ”You hadn’t hit a home run in a while. You’re about to right now.”

This is an entirely laughable statement, and I assume it would be so for believers and non-believers alike.

For a godless pagan like me, the statement brings up one of my largest qualms with religion: the roots in wish thinking. It’s so difficult for me to understand so much about a belief in a deity, but the largest, by far, is a believer’s acceptance in their god’s seemingly random and arbitrary wish fulfillment.

Which, I’m hoping, brings us to something I might find in common with believers. Is it not entirely arrogant to believe that with all the suffering on this earth, all the disease, all the people taking advantage of other less fortunate individuals, a believed-to-be-benevolent god would seemingly ignore all these things to concern itself with the performance of an athlete who made $7.25 million this year, and in the parlance of Christianity, has received countless blessings on his road to redemption?

Is this really how believers want their god to be represented?

And you know what, I have no problems whatsoever with Hamilton being able to share his faith in this setting. He’s an incredible athlete. He’s earned his platform by working hard to be physically elite. He can say whatever he wants. Just as I would hope that no one would have a problem with someone mocking what he says.

I pick on Tony La Russa and Ron Washington for saying equally unreasonable things in their press conference, and so when I make a joke at Josh Hamilton’s comments or compare him to Pedro Cerrano from Major League, it’s not about his specific beliefs as much as it is about him saying something that to me seems unreasonable.

Comments (43)

  1. amen to that….you’re preaching to the choir

    • Jesus man! Will you lay off the ungodly number of religious references in your reply! Psalm people will think that’s just sinful!

      • Actually Parkes, this was a risky post….no matter what religion you talk about – whether its for or against that particular religion – you will get slammed and called ignorant.
        Personally, I’m much like you in that, I don’t need to believe in a deity to get me through the day…I’m sure I will when I’m old, and feel the need to cling to life or hope for an after life, but until then, I truly believe that you get out of life what you put into it – and that’s it not always fair.
        I also find it ironic that religion probably has caused far more deaths than its prevented…but that’s a discussion left for the religious people to fight about (see what I did there?)

        I will get slammed for writing this, but I don’t really care – much like i don’t really care what other people believe in…

        Anyway – I’m not a fan of either team, but damn…what a game!

  2. someone (lomo?) should adopt the ultimate warrior’s personality and cosmology when addressing the media. then balance would be restored to the force.

  3. Not a big fan of this post since it has more to do with both Parkes’ and Hamilton’s worldviews than it does the game of baseball, which is what I would prefer to read about on the day of Game 7.

    Concerning your point above, Christians would believe that God is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient, sort of meaning he has unlimited time for all people and therefore doesn’t have to divide it.

  4. I agree with Nathan, this isn’t the place for a religious debate or stating ignorant qualms about others beliefs.

  5. i wish richard dawkins was the starting pitcher for the cards tonight.

  6. “Are you saying Jesus Christ couldn’t hit a baseball?”

  7. Actually, a blog is just as much about the personality of the writer as it is about the content that it covers. We write about reason and logic all the time and criticize baseball players and managers when they don’t use it. When a player makes a high profile statement that seems unreasonable to one of the writers of this blog, it’s entirely in its wheelhouse to comment on it.

    • Well within your rights. Just not what I read your blog for, I guess.

      • Its his blog, and a large number of his readers are probably more analytical and rational than the average baseball fan. So yea, if he wants to mock the absurdity of an all knowing, and all power god, he should. Its almost 2012, and half the US believes in creationism. Sad state of affairs.

        • One thing I’ve never understood is why people believe creationism is anti-religious?

          If your a God fearing person, would creationism just be an explanation of how God, Vishnu or whoever created the universe?

          • I assume by “creationism” you mean “evolution.”
            And yes, by far most religious people have no problem with the theory of evolution. It’s a few evangelical denominations who are very outspoken that overshadow the other mainline denominations whether catholic, protestant or orthodox.

    • I guess, but you criticize managers and players because you’ve invested a large portion of you life learning about the game and have a solid knowledge base. However, if you don’t know much about Hamilton’s religious beliefs or don’t quite understand them, I think it is better to be respectful rather than to criticize. Religion is just such a personal and powerful thing, that I think if you are going to comment on it, there is a place and a time for it and you should have the knowledge base to back up your opinions.

      • If Parkes made a habit of criticising players who are religious but don’t make declarations about it than you might have a point but the fact is Hamilton makes public comments about religion. He’s the one who oppened this door. There’s no reason why anyone should feel like they can’t critique (or even mock) someone’s public declaratiosn of Faith.If you want to treat religion like a hot potato that no one can talk about than no one should talk about it regardless of their beliefs. I highly doubt that’s what you or most religious people want so play fair. You can’t put religion on the table and then hide behind so called issues of respect when someone says somehting you don’t agree with. It’s simply not fair to turn into something that only religious people are allowed to talk about.

  8. FSM Himself told me the Cardinals would win in extra innings. Truly they were touched by His Noodly Appendage. Ramen.

  9. While this isn’t normally a place to discuss religion (baseball excepted, obviously) I do appreciate seeing the context behind the tweet. It reads a lot differently (i.e., poking fun rather than just full-on scorn) once the Major League reference is explained.

    Parkes, as for the substance of your argument–as a believer myself, I say you nail it pretty well, though you’ve got one major campaign ahead of you if your goal is to stamp out irrationality in all of its forms. Maybe just start small, with the elimination of sacrifice bunts and intentional walks.

  10. Did God tell him not to run out pop up dropped by Freese too?

    My problem with athletes referencing God when they have success suggests that God takes sides.

  11. Guess God was busy watching baseball and telling players they’re going to hit home runs instead of preventing Josh Hamilton from doing other stuff.

  12. This may come out as distasteful (ok it will, bite me) or trollish (depends on your point of view I guess), but where was this god of Hamilton’s when he threw the ball up into the stands with tragic consequences earlier this season? If this god is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient, then it wanted that poor man to die and his son to suffer. What an asshat.

  13. must…resist…urge…to…get…sucked…into…religious…debate…on…a…baseball blog…

    Seriously Dustin, if you feel this strongly about it, start a philosophy blog. Hamilton’s religious beliefs, irrational as they may or may not be, are not even tangentially related to the sabermetric analysis of baseball.

  14. I wonder if God mentioned anything to Hamilton about Nelson Cruz fucking up that line-drive in the 9th inning?

    The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.

  15. You know if this God would take a break from blessing athletes and musicians, he could actually help out the starving/sick children of the world, if only they would Tebow, god would notice them.

  16. Getting Blanked: Now with 50% more preachiness

  17. What I’ve learned today:

    1. It’s okay to mock someone for their religious beliefs as long as you don’t understand them.
    2. Because there is suffering there is no God
    3. Because rich people can find salvation there must be no God
    4. If God graces one person, that constitutes “picking sides”
    5. If you are logical and analytical, you must not believe in God

    This is why this site should stick to talking about Baseball.

    As for Josh Hamilton, his life was a trainwreck and claims that he was able to turn it around thanks to a belief in God. I don’t think we should mock him for that.

    • Wow you are preachy and defensive.

    • Actually Peter, to beleive god talks and blesses one man of 7 billion to hit a homerun in a baseball game, is reason enough to mock.

      Dude can say whatever, he wants, but we can also.

    • Why should Christians have a monopoly on the market of mocking the religious beliefs of others? Its been happening in Christian society for 2000 years.

      I choose to mock Josh Hamilton because he’s an absurd caricature of a human being. No matter what his life-style is – its extreme. Now he’s traded drugs for Jesus. Its hilarious.

    • The guy just said that God told him he was going to hit a HR. That’s an absurd statement to make and one that I’m sure even he thought would be mocked.

    • Do you not understand how AA works?

  18. Would it be so hard to stick to baseball here? Christians by their very beliefs dont want to mock non believers. But to read whats posted here you’d think that someone insulted your mothers.

  19. So we know what you despise, and yet you have no problem enjoying the priviledge bestowed upon you by those who have ravaged indigenous lands, appropriated culture as necessary, forced assimilation all so you can write on a precious blog “how dare they”. YOU are they!

  20. Also, God is a big baseball fan as the first words in the bible are:

    “In the big inning”

  21. Man, you bible people. Here’s the thing, you’re using religion to fill your own need. That’s why religion exists … not because it’s real, but because there are people with a real need for it. On that end, God is a construct used to fill the need only. He DOESN’T REALLY exist outside of concept.

    Josh Hamilton told himself that God was telling him he was going to hit a homerun.

    Now, have fun at church, but let it remind you how you have a gaping hole in you that you’re cramming nonsense into.

    That said, the concept of a powerful being sure is a wonderful excuse to justify wrongdoing … including not helping those in need.

    What really pisses me off is the whole missionary movement … countless cultures corrupted. Countless varying views, languages, ideas all squished and gone from earth forever. No way to go back. We’ve shoeboxed ourselves as people on this ever shrinking world.

  22. I’m with Parkes when he says that we can all laugh at Hamilton’s conception of being told by God he was going to hit a home run.
    On a broader point, everyone who is somehow sure no God of any kind exists should realize that to make that statement they are also are taking a pretty big leap of faith.

  23. Hamilton’s words were no different than any big league showboat who crosses home plate and themselves at the same time, with a nice aimless point to the heavens for extra points. See Vernon Wells, et al. It bothers me because they do a disservice to the many who need and use religion on an daily basis to get through life, and who don’t feel the need to make examples of themselves. I’m not particularly religious myself but I did descend from religious stock and have no problem with people using religion to stabilize their existence, if that’s what they need. But invoking a God to celebrate a homerun is saying “I couldn’t do it without you”, and if you feel your imagined deity had a hand in your success, you’re fucked.

  24. Its pretty much equally ignorant to state as “fact” that there is or is not a god. Im not so sure theres been any definitive evidence supporting either theory. For me, im going with Pascal and his razor on this one.

  25. Sometimes Christian athletes go out of their way to give praise to their Lord… most Rangers fans would have preferred a series winning homer. Mr. Hamilton would be more accurate to say the Holy Spirit foretold the home run as it is the Spirit that lives inside believers in Christ.
    Judgement is coming to the world and devestating weather events is a sign He will soon judge the world.. we can all be overcomers by repenting of sin and asking foregiveness!
    An eternity with God in His kingdom… much better than a homer nobody will remember in a short time.

    r. delyea

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