Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Juan Gonzalez seeking comeback--should he be forgiven?

Today it was reported that Juan Gonzalez, former Rangers star, is attempting a comeback with the Cards. See http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ap-cardinals-gonzalez&prov=ap&type=lgns.

My first thought--yeah, right. He just wants another paycheck. When he came to Kansas City a few years ago, he clearly did not want to play. At his first at bat, he pulled a hamstring or some such, and never played. I don't think he ever wanted to.

I can remember when Juan Gone was in his prime with the Rangers. There was speculation that he would break Hank Aaron's home run record. He had a sweet swing, was young, and incredibly talented. Then he blew it both on the field and off, with his entourage of hangers on and six marriages. I still get a bit irritated thinking about the 2 year, $11 million dollar contract that Rangers GM John Hart wasted on Juan when he came back to the Rangers. Again, it seemed that all he wanted was a payday.

As my feelings of irritated resurfaced, however, I thought about forgiveness. Jesus is radical about this stuff. He doesn't say forgive people who really deserve forgiveness. He says forgive--and keep on forgiving. Forgive the same person seventy times seven! This is beyond my imagining. Frankly, I don't want to give someone that many chances. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Albert Pujols is pushing for Gonzalez to be given a shot to make the team. In the baseball world, that is a pretty good person to have on your side. We have Christ on our side, who makes our continual forgiveness possible. But that means that we must extend this forgiveness to others. Who do we need to forgive--again, and again? Our spouse? Our boss? Our leaders? Jesus said, if we do not forgive, we will not be forgiven. I suppose that includes baseball players too.
Man, this living like Jesus stuff is hard.


Mr. E said...

I too remember Juan Gonzalez when he was a Ranger. I always thought he had great talent but was too lazy and impatient to develop it to his full potential. He never seemed to "leg it out" when running the bases and if he ever attempted to dive to catch a fly ball, hit his way, I think I would pass out from shock. He still was a popular player with many fans. It's a shame that some crazy injuries stopped his career in his tracks. As far as a comeback? He deserves a shot just like anyone else. Best of luck to ya, Juan Gone, just please don't come back to Texas.

James said...

Mr. E.,

For baseball, my first instint is to say, I would not want Juan back on my team. Unless he really could hit 40 homers again . . .

I don't know, though. I might go for a minimum, incentive-laden contract. But no big (or medium-sized) numbers up front, definitely.