Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Appropriately Named Ryan Church Shows Evidence Of Being Hit With Too Many Pitches

Nationals' Player Says He's Sorry For Unwittingly Being a Bigot

Today's baseball players are coddled beings, flown in luxurious charters to games, staying in fancy hotels and being paid an average salary north of $2.5 million a year while having anything and everything done for them during the season. That apparently includes thinking.

How else are we to view the ignorance and bigotry that came flowing out of the mouth of Washington Nationals outfielder Ryan Church, who's apparently infected by a bad case of evangelical zeal? In Sunday's Washington Post, he mentioned going to a volunteer team chaplain when asking for advice about his Jewish ex-girlfriend.

"I said, like, Jewish people, they don't believe in Jesus. Does that mean they're doomed? Jon nodded, like, that's what it meant. My ex-girlfriend! I was like, man, if they only knew. Other religions don't know any better. It's up to us to spread the word," Church said.

Cue the backpedaling.

"Those who know me on a personal level understand that I am not the type of person who would call into question the religious beliefs of others."

Even though that's what he did.

Church also apologized. The chaplain, whose day job is as an FBI agent, was suspended. Which calls into question the Nationals' judgment for not giving him the boot entirely.

To his credit, Church didn't take the weasel way out and whine like many athletes about being quoted out of context when they get diarrhea of the mouth and wind up in Chateau Bow-Wow. But you have to wonder if he's truly contrite, or lost in the reverie of imagining his ex burning in the fires of hell.

Maybe Church should get some religion and break bread with the Jew who, for now, is the ultimate overseer of the Nationals franchise -- baseball commissioner Bud Selig.

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