Last night at the Yom Kippur Kol Nidre service (the service that begins the high holy day of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement) our rabbi said in his sermon that first you should forgive yourself for something, then forgive someone else, then think about what you will do better in the coming year. By the way, Eagles coach Andy Reid seems to have that last part down. Have you ever listened to one of his post game press conferences? “I’ve gotta do a better job there. That’s my responsibility.” But I digress.
I thought I’d start my Day of Atonement by following my Rabbi’s advice. Let’s see, first I will forgive myself for all the uncharacteristically negative and sarcastic things I have written in my normally upbeat Phillies blog this year. Putting the team down (even if they did stink for much of the year, ooops) was not helpful and I will try to do better (if they promise to do the same!)
Next I will forgive Charlie Manuel for all the mistakes he has made this season. I know he didn’t mean to leave all of his pitchers in one pitch too long, always letting them give up the game-winning home run before taking them out. I know he thought he was doing the right thing bringing Jonathan Papelbon in to tie games only to see him blow them time and time again. I know he meant to make those defensive changes late in the game that might have prevented those errors at third base or in the outfield that cost the Phillies even more victories. (But I think I may be missing the spirit here.) So let me just say, “Sorry, Charlie.”
As for what I will try to do better in the coming season (I mean year) I promise not to yell profanities at my television set or close my eyes when Papelbon comes in to close a game. I promise to look for the bright side even when the Phils are 14 games under .500 at the All Star Break. I promise to not let a bad loss ruin a perfectly good night (I’ll need a lot of help with that one) and I will try to just enjoy baseball for what it is, the sport I love that is supposed to be fun!
I’ll get a head start by commending the boys on a good win last. Special kudos go to Darin Ruf for hitting his first major league home run. And extra kudos go to his teammates for their execution of the silent treatment. It’s an old baseball tradition to ignore a rookie after his first home run but this was a long one. He stood alone in the dugout looking a bit bewildered for a good five to ten minutes. Even the batboy ignored him. It wasn’t until three more batters had taken their swings and the inning had ended, that Ruf’s teammates finally ended their prank and mobbed him to celebrate his first Major League hit — a home run.
You gotta love those old baseball traditions. And on that note I’ve gotta get on with my Jewish tradition and head off to morning services. I’ve got a lot of atoning to do, starting with this blog post!
I wish for all of my Jewish readers an easy fast.