Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Shawn Green, Rob Dibble, and Yom Kippur 

Shawn Green, one of a handful of Jewish major leaguers, will miss at least one game this weekend for Yom Kippur.

I was in the car today while the Dan Patrick Show was on, and got to hear Rob Dibble, Patrick's co-host, launch into a diatribe about Green's decision.

Dibble ripped Green for sitting out, suggesting that he isn't dedicated enough to the team. Dibble explained that for eight months, "your team comes before everything else", and that during that period, players have to sacrifice marriages, funerals, holidays, and anything else to devote themselves to the team. He said that what it comes down to is, "Are you selfish or unselfish?", and if Green doesn't play because of the holiday, then he is selfish. He said that everyone in the Dodger organization is being impacted because Green isn't dedicated enough to his team.

That is about as reprehensible a thing as I've heard any media member say in recent memory. Someone emailed Dibble and said, "So you are saying baseball is more important than God?" Dibble then bitched about how he hates it when people put words in his mouth, and he never said that, but said that everyone has to make sacrifices in baseball, that he didn't go to Mass like he wanted to because of games, and it isn't fair for Green not to make those sacrifices.

But that is exactly what Dibble is saying. If you truly believe in your God, and in what he teaches, and if the law of your religion is that you do not work on a given day, you have an obligation to God that supersedes your obligation to your team. Jewish law teaches that it is a sin not to observe Yom Kippur, and Dibble is saying that Green should violate God's law because his obligation to his teammates is more important. Rob Dibble is saying, quite simply, that the Los Angeles Dodgers should be more important to Shawn Green than God's law is.

Dibble is an idiot anyway, but this is so far beyond the pale, I couldn't believe that Patrick and the rest of the people on the show didn't call him on it. To say that one has an obligation to violate God's law, that one cannot miss a game because the game and the team are so important, is to completely lack a sense of proportion and perspective.

ESPN has disappointed me for some time now, with their focus shifting more towards entertainment than sports, and with their giving people like John Kruk platforms. Rob Dibble falls in the category of those who contribute absolutely nothing to the network.

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