Revenge is alive and well. Especially in baseball. Consider the following tweet from one of the Yankee beat writers:
Dempster was charged with 7 runs in 5.1 innings. And got a standing ovation as he left the field.
— Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) August 19, 2013
In case you aren’t a baseball fan, those pitching stats are awful. So why would Ryan Dempster, a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, get a standing ovation? Because he hit Alex Rodriguez with a pitch. As if the Red Sox didn’t already have enough reason to hate Rodriguez, the recent suspension and appeal have added a freight truck of fuel to the fire. He’s received roaring boos from every crowd the Yankees have travelled to play. Last night he also received a very intentional baseball coming to him at 92 miles an hour.
To be clear, I’m not a fan of A-Rod. He represents so much negativity for both baseball and the Yankees. But moments like yesterday’s game at Fenway show that we’d rather get even than get ahead. From a game perspective, hitting A-Rod was a dumb move. It allowed the Yankees right back into a game they were quickly losing. But last night’s moment shows us volumes about human nature.
Ryan Dempster pitches a terrible game and gets a standing ovation for it. All because he allowed the thousands of screaming fans a taste of immediate revenge. Poetically, A-Rod returns the favor and hit a home run off of Dempster on his next at-bat.
For those of you who hate the Yankees, relax. I’m not naive enough to believe the exact same thing wouldn’t happen at Yankee stadium if the roles were reversed. It’s just more fun to blog about when the Red Sox are the bad guys!
Moments like these remind us that though revenge makes for good movie plots and baseball games, it makes for a terrible strategy in life. Consider Paul’s radical words in the book of Romans:
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’” Romans 12:18-20
Now that would make for an interesting baseball game. And in case you were wondering, the Yankees won the game.