Jarrod Dyson, Rollie Fingers, and How We View the World

“That’s what speed do”.

Jarrod Dyson is one of the fastest players in MLB.  He was a 50th Round Pick.  That’s around the time when baseball teams start picking the guy with a wooden leg who lost his real one in a freak combine accident.  Guys that get picked this late do not make an influence in the game of baseball.  Or at least they aren’t supposed to.  But Jarrod Dyson is really fast.
As a Royals fan I absolutely love watching Dyson play.  It’s exciting to see him slap a ball to the shortstop and then watch the usually sure handed shortstop get a little jittery because he knows if he makes one little mistake Dyson is going to beat out his throw.

I read an article earlier today where a guy was looking at various statistics and wondering how much of an impact Dyson could really make in the league.  He cited Dyson’s typically low .OBP (on base percentage) and his somewhat sketchy outfield play.  He makes a valid point.  We don’t get to watch him run like a deer if doesn’t get on base.  And it really doesn’t matter how freaky fast the guy is if he runs towards right field on a ball hit to left field.  But still it’s annoying because I just love to watch Jarrod Dyson, because “that’s what speed do!”.

This made me realize there are two ways to watch baseball.  One way is to view Jarrod Dyson with numbers over top his head.  This is the kid that liked the back of the baseball card better than the front.  He could tell you that Rollie Fingers had 37 saves in 1978 but he never stopped to marvel at Rollie’s amazing handle-bar mustache.

The other way to watch baseball is to simply sit back and marvel.  Instead of numbers over Dyson’s head you simply say, “Dude, can haul”.  (That is if you talk like a frat boy, otherwise you’ll say something white and lame like “Homey sure is fast”).  This is the kid that memorized the front of the baseball card and rarely looked at the back.  He marveled at every curve of Rollie’s beautiful masterpiece—this of course referring to both his mustache and his pitching greatness.

Dropping the Gospel Bomb

As I think about how this relates to baseball it occurs to me that this way of viewing the world extends far beyond the diamond.  This applies especially to the gospel and theology.  There is a type of theologian that reads the Bible only in its original language, parses all the verbs correctly, masters systematic theology, debates unbelievers, places every thought within a deep knowledge of church history, and beats his wife and rages at his children.  Or it may not be that extreme.  He may have just lost his sense of wonder.  He knows the back of the card but has lost the wonder of the glossy front.

There is a way of dissecting the gospel and asking questions about the nature of the gospel ad infinitum that does much to spark debate but little to induce worship.  God and His gospel make angels marvel not necessarily dissect.  If your theology doesn’t stir up doxology it is wrong-hearted and probably more akin to the theology of devils than the Savior.

Of course we need the guy that notices Jarrod Dyson usually has a low .OBP.  It would make for a pretty bad team if the GM forced the coach to start a guy that batted .187 for 10 straight seasons just because he really liked to watch him swing.  We need the nerds that look at the back of cards as much as we need the kid that just marvels at Dyson running like a highly-caffeinated cheetah.

If you’re a look-at-the-back-of-the-card type of guy know that about yourself.  Plead with God to also open up your heart to the wonder of the sweaty tilt-a-whirl that is the mustache of Rollie Fingers.  More than anything plead with him to enliven your heart with not only the truthfulness of the gospel but also it’s beauty.

If you’re the marvel-at-the-front-of-the-card type of guy know that about yourself.  Plead with God to also drive you deeper into the back of the baseball card.  Knowing that Rollie Fingers also got 37 saves in 1978 can actually strengthen your admiration.  Plead with God to enrich your heart with not only the beauty of the gospel but also its absolute truthfulness.”

-Mike Leake, http://www.mikeleake.net/2012/05/jarrod-dyson-rollie-fingers-and-how-we.html

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