Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday's Musings on Sports - A-Rod, Dallas and the Ties that Bind

As regular readers of this blog are aware, the Monday post was usually devoted to sports with highlights and analysis of the Max Kellerman show which formerly aired on 1050 ESPN Radio. Although Max resigned from 1050 almost one year ago, I have tried to continue the tradition of linking sports to Torah which I believe was an undercurrent of the Max Kellerman show.

Yesterday I was driving in the car and I heard an in-game news flash that Dallas Braden had pitched baseball's 19th perfect game (20th if you count the one that Kevin Costner threw in For Love of Game). My thoughts immediately drifted to Alex Roidriguez and I began wondering what he must be thinking.

For those who do not live in the media circus which is the Big Apple where every player's sniffle gets its own 15 minutes of fame, you may not be familiar with the brouhaha involving Alex Rodriguez and Dallas Braden. A few weeks ago, Braden was pitching for the Oakland Athletics against the New York Yankees. After Alex Roidriguez was retired he crossed the pitcher's mound on the way back to the Yankee dugout. This prompted an outburst from Braden who (citing to one of baseball's unwritten rules) publicly lambasted Roidriguez for intruding on his personal sanctuary - the pitcher's mound.

After the game, Roidriguez was interviewed by the media and his response was essentially - who is Dallas Braden. This has become en vogue for athletes to rip on other players by pretending that they don't know who the other athlete is. This could not be further from the truth as hitters watch film on most of the pitchers they will hit against and certainly the starting pitchers.

So while A-Roid pretended to not know who Dallas Braden was, Braden had the last laugh as he will go down in history as being part of the select few to throw a perfect game.

The anonymity game reminded me of a vort I heard from R' Mansour about the connection between Jews and Hashem. He used a mashal (parable) about a man who realized that he needed a belt. He looked high and low but could not find one. Finally, the man went up on the roof and saw a string which was tied to the roof but did not appear to be connected to anything else. The man cut a length of the rope and tied it around his waist. He then went downstairs and saw a horrific scene. People were running around screaming and trying to put out a fire. He asked what happened and was told that the chandelier had fallen and set the room on fire. The people were blaming the contractor who had installed the chandelier. Suddenly someone saw that the man was wearing a belt which was identical to the rope which had held the chandelier in place...

The nimshal of Rabbi Mansour's vort was that the Jews are connected to each other and Hashem by way of an invisible rope. When we sin, there is a reverberation in shamayim as everyone is connected and there is no anonymous Jew as everything is seen and heard by Hashem.

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