Riding the Pine on the Day of Atonement

I try not to read Jack McDowell’s column. Honest. I’ve long found him irritating, whether he was giving interviews after games or sparring with my father on television. But his columns have been particularly grating. However, with a bit too much free time — and not enough interesting baseball news — I found myself clicking on one of McDowell’s more columns.

The issue at hand? McDowell doesn’t understand why Shawn Green skipped a game during Yom Kippur. This issue has reared its head before; Sandy Koufax and Hank Greenberg both elected to observe the most sacred of Jewish holidays rather than play. It seems that neither history, nor present, have enlightened the pitcher turned columnist. For those of you interested in seeing something more informative (and less provincial) Greg Garber of ESPN did a much better job deciphering the issues at play in his piece, “The Passion of the Athlete.”

I wonder if Elvis would have sat out a concert or two had he known about his roots.

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