Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Yankees and Lent: 40 Days of Spring Training Sacrifice

In a somewhat strange coincidence, Major League Baseball’s spring training has perfectly aligned with the Christian dedication to self-restraint.

As it turns out, Palm Sunday also represents the New York Yankees first spring training game against the Toronto Blue Jays. As Lent begins, so does another baseball season filled with controversy.

The concepts of sin and abstinence from sin certainly relate to baseball more strongly than ever before. Ironically, Yankees opening day lies exactly 40 days from the official start of lent.

The team has rallied behind their sinning slugger Alex Rodriguez thus far, and more support seems to be on the horizon. What better way to show A-Rod that you are behind him in his repentance than to sacrifice some of your own vices?

Here is a list of some of the selfless commitments made by the Yankee family:

Alex Rodriguez:

No surprises here. Alex has promised to give up performance enhancers until at least April 16th, when the pressures of NY come back to haunt him.

It will be a very difficult road to redemption for Rodriguez, as “Boli” is sure to be easily accessible in the Dominican Republic locker room during the WBC. He has revoked his cousin’s passport, preventing his flight to Puerto Rico.

Joba Chamberlain:

Joba has decided to go the duration of spring training without drinking any alcohol.

He also promises to only drink in New York City, where public transportation is readily available. This will prevent him from having to attempt to drive home through the Nebraska cornfields.

Carl Pavano:

This former Yankee has not pitched for a paycheck in so long that he forgot he was a Cleveland Indian. After a discussion with Brian Cashman, he has agreed to miss all Yankees-Indians games for old time’s sake.

AJ Burnett:

Thankfully, Burnett has agreed to reach his DL quota during spring training. This will allow for at least 30 starts in his inaugural Yankee season.

CC Sabathia:

Sabathia has decided to give up fried Twinkies and Cinnabons until the home opener on April 16th.

He can make no promises to eat healthy thereafter, as a steakhouse in center field is simply too convenient to pass up.

Phil Hughes:

To avenge a terrible 2008 campaign, Hughes vows to give up his losing streak and live up to the hype. He forgets that this promise ends before real games begin.

He also forgets to promise to take better care of his body and avoid injury. As a result, he is expected to slip in the shower at some point during April.

Derek Jeter:

A man of virtually no sin, Jeter agrees to stop his womanizing ways in order to protect women’s hearts.

Meagan Fox’s manger calls to arrange a lunch, and he immediately rescinds his promise. Pressed for time, he promises to be nicer to A-Rod and pretend that he wants him around.

Hal Steinbrenner:

He tells Hank that for 40 days, he is allowed to give any input that he would like without any worry of disagreement or debate.

Hal never promises to actually listen to him or enforce any of what he says, ensuring the continued stability of the Yankee front office.

Scott Boras:

MLB’s super agent attempts to avoid the question, before sheepishly stating ‘no comment’.

After being pressured he admits selling his soul to Satan in the 1980’s, and worries of a potential conflict of interest.

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