Good Umps needed

Did you see the game? You know….THE GAME? I did. Giants win – enough said.

So, being that football season is now officially over [with the exception of the pro-bowl which no one really watches], let me turn our attention to baseball.

Have you heard about Major League Baseball sending out investigators to do background checks on Umpires? Apparently, the investigators are going to the communities of current umpires to ask their neighbors a series of questions. As you might imagine, the umps are quite upset by all this. While the World Umpires Association affirmed some checking is appropriate, grilling hometown friends and acquaintances seems a tad inquisitional. One umpping official [is that redundant?] says, “We did not anticipate they would approach neighbors posing as a close colleague and friend of the umpires and ask them questions such as: Do you know if umpire ‘X’ is a member of the KKK? Does he grow marijuana plants? Does he beat his wife? Have you seen police at his home? Does he throw wild parties?”


Being an umpire in and of its self a tough deal. Someone always thinks you’re wrong and no one ever likes you. It’s a thankless job – a lonely existence. Having MLB secret police conducting strange and poorly executed investigations would only make it that much more painful and isolating.

I umpired a little league game one time and immediately vowed never to do it again! So, there is no risk of a baseball Gestapo coming to my neighborhood. But what if someone else did? What if someone went around my community asking people questions like: “Is Ray a good neighbor? Is he helpful? Kind? Involved? Considerate?”

Like the umps, if a RK inquisition was going on in my town, I’d be upset. If someone with credentials starts asking such questions, what’s a neighbor going to think other than I’m in trouble for something. That would be one concern. But would I worry about their answers to the questions? Would you?

It’s not like he had umpires in mind when he wrote this, but the Apostle Paul offers some advice, which if followed, alleviates any worry. He says, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” [1 Thess 4:11,12]

RK translation? Be a good neighbor and live a life of humble integrity. God will be pleased and who knows – maybe you’ll get recruited by major league baseball!

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re: the random-ness

Husband. Father. Senior Pastor of Parkview Community Church in Glen Ellyn, IL.

Ok...so you've located the place where I put down my random thoughts. The key word here is random: music, sports, art, food, books, news, spiritual musings, weird stories, etc. I'm especially interested in how everyday experiences of life intersect with the ancient stories of Scripture. Thanks for reading.
February 2008
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Thoughts gone by

"No problem can withstand the assault of substantial thinking." Voltaire



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