Interesting article from USA Today about Christian influences in a baseball team. Here’s a clip:
No copies of Playboy or Penthouse are in the clubhouse of baseball’s Colorado Rockies. There’s not even a Maxim. The only reading materials are daily newspapers, sports and car magazines and the Bible.
Music filled with obscenities, wildly popular with youth today and in many other clubhouses, is not played. A player will curse occasionally but usually in hushed tones. Quotes from Scripture are posted in the weight room. Chapel service is packed on Sundays. Prayer and fellowship groups each Tuesday are well-attended. It’s not unusual for the front office executives to pray together.
On the field, the Rockies are trying to make the playoffs for the first time in 11 seasons and only the second time in their 14-year history. Behind the scenes, they quietly have become an organization guided by Christianity — open to other religious beliefs but embracing a Christian-based code of conduct they believe will bring them focus and success.
From ownership on down, it’s an approach the Rockies are proud of — and something they are wary about publicizing. “We’re nervous, to be honest with you,” Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd says. “It’s the first time we ever talked about these issues publicly. The last thing we want to do is offend anyone because of our beliefs.”
And then the rebuttal, too, from the Denver Post:
“It was just bad. I am not happy at all. Some of the best teammates I have ever had are the furthest thing from Christian,” pitcher Jason Jennings said. “You don’t have to be a Christian to have good character. They can be separate. It was misleading.”
Todd Helton and Jennings were quoted supporting the article’s premise regarding religion’s role in the clubhouse. But both said they never were asked about religion, and were questioned only in general terms about the clubhouse environment.
“I wouldn’t say it was accurate. (The writer) asked me about the guys in here and I said it’s a good group. We work hard and get along well,” Helton said.
The story stated that men’s magazines such as Playboy, Penthouse and Maxim could not be found in the Rockies’ clubhouse, but that Bibles were present. Several players read Maxim in the visiting clubhouse during the Padres’ series this week. Two separate issues sat on the center coffee table Wednesday.
“I have never seen a Bible (out in the open) in our clubhouse,” said pitcher Aaron Cook, who has led the team’s chapel service during spring training. “Most of the guys on this team are Christians, but not all of them. And the fact is you don’t build a winner around just Christians. If that was the case, everybody would be doing it.”