holidays, Loser List, Sports

Loser List #14: Jason Marquis pitching on Yom Kippur

Jason Marquis Jason Marquis #21 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park on April 7, 2010 in Washington, DC.So I know Jason Marquis isn’t the only professional Jewish baseball player, but that’s not going to stop me from picking on him for pitching on Yom Kippur.

That’s because here at TevyTown, we find it necessary to illustrate in great detail the idiocy or lack of common sense that drives people to do stupid things. Remember kids, don’t hate people, hate the stupid things people do.

And I hate how Jason Marquis, 32 (born in Mahasset, NY & raised in Staten Island) made his scheduled pitching start for the Washington Nationals this past Friday night against the Philadelphia Phillies, a night that coincided with Kol Nidre, the beginning of Yom Kippur, one of the holiest days of the year on the Jewish calendar. The 25 hour holiday, beginning at sunset on Friday and concluding one hour after sunset the following day, celebrates the day that G-d forgives the Jewish people for their sins throughout the past year. The day is spent mostly in synagogue, with congregants immersed in serious prayer, while restricting themselves from various physical pleasures such as eating, drinking, bathing etc.

Sure Marquis wasn’t the only Jewish MLB player not taking the night/day off, Brad Ausmus, Ryan Braun, Craig Breslow, and Ian Kinsler were all in uniform for their games Friday night, while Kevin Youkilis, Gabe Kapler, Scott Feldman, Jason Hirsh and John Grabow were all inactive, for whatever reasons… like injuries, healthy scratches etc. (We can’t really assume they took the game off due to Yom Kippur, but we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt 🙂

But what makes Jason Marquis stand out from the rest of them is a few things:

1) This quote from the Associated Press:

“Your team expects you to do your job and not let your teammates down, and that’s the approach I take,” Marquis said.

Clearly the man doesn’t value his membership on another team – the Jewish people, when compared to his role on the Washington Nationals. It was only in 1965 when Sandy Koufax made headlines when he decided to sit out the first game of the World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur. And yeah, Hank Greenberg did play for the Detroit Tigers on Rosh Hashanah in 1934, but still sought out a great degree of advice regarding the matter, and later sat out the game that fell on Yom Kippur. Or maybe we can just go back to 2001, when Los Angeles Dodger Shawn Green decided to follow Koufax’s footsteps and sit out a game on Yom Kippur, even though he was setting a new record for home runs in a season by Dodger (49, a feat he broke before that game) and with his team trailing the Arizona Diamondbacks 3 1/2 games in the standings with only a handful of games remaining in the season.

And really Jason Marquis, with the Nationals sitting in last place as usual in the National League East division, mathematically eliminated from the playoffs for a while now, would it kill you miss one game for religious observances?  And better yet, you go to the media and tell them you have a greater commitment to the team? Will someone get this guy an Aish HaTorah rabbi?

… Then again, maybe I shouldn’t judge so harshly. That wouldn’t be very Jewish of me, would it? How am I supposed to know what kind of upbringing Marquis had… How am I to know if he sat out previous games for religious purposes or pretty much any other detail relating to this matter?

So fine, I won’t judge that.

But I will judge this:

2) His performance in that game against the Phillies was beyond atrocious. Better yet, it was “enticing the wrath of G-d” dreadful.

In only 0.1 innings of work (that means he only recorded one out while in the game, Marquis gave up six runs on six hits. In fact, that one out would eventually be the pitcher – the last player in the batting order, and that was recorded on a fielder’s choice – that means the batter hit the ball to an infielder, who threw the ball to second base, where he got the pitcher, but the batter was safe at first. The pitcher, who is typically the worst batter in the lineup actually recorded a two-run RBI single, making the score 5-1. The Nationals lost the game 9-1.

I guess Marquis got we deserved for pitching on one of the holiest days of the year, don’t ya think?

That’s what I like to call a literal loser 😛

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3 thoughts on “Loser List #14: Jason Marquis pitching on Yom Kippur”

  1. It’s no one’s business how Jason Marquis chooses to practice or not practice his religion or even if he professes a religion at all. It’s a free country, after all, despite the attempts by religious zealots to impose religion on everyone else.

  2. Instead of calling him a loser, why not take it as an opportunity to educate him or all the other Jews who work on the holy days. I know plenty of Jews who work on Holy days. I’m not happy about it, but I wouldn’t call them losers because of it. They can’t help the way they grew up, but if you’ve found truth and meaning, share the love with them instead of calling them losers.

  3. I enjoy reading your blog Tevy and think you have a serious talent for writing, but I have to agree with the above posters who say it’s nobody’s place to question how anyone practices or observes a religious holiday. A couple years ago I had to work on Yom Kippur, not because I wanted to, but because it was a stressful time of year and I didn’t feel that taking a day off at that time was an option. It was a personal decision that others are free to disagree with, but at the end of the day the only person who needs to answer for it, is me.

    I look forward to reading more of what you write.

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