Mar 26, 2009

Pontius Pilate Should Throw Out the First Pitch

The Detroit Tigers have stupidly scheduled their opening home game right smack in the middle of Good Friday.

Traditional Christian belief says Jesus hung on the cross from noon to 3 p.m. on Good Friday.

All 30 American and National League teams play April 10, but the Tigers' 1:05 p.m. game against the Texas Rangers is the only one during holy hours.

"It's sort of an insult for Catholics," said Michael Ochab, a 47-year-old Tigers fan. He said he'll miss his first opener in 20 years this year to attend services at St. Florian Catholic Church in Hamtramck. "I'm still hoping the Tigers will change the time."

Tigers spokesman Ron Colangelo said Major League Baseball has a "monumental task" putting together a season's schedule. Detroit's climate makes a night game unrealistic this time of year, Colangelo told the Detroit Free Press.

"Fans have come to know that our home opener is always a day game," he said.

The Rev. Ed Vilkauskas of downtown Detroit's St. Mary's Catholic Church said the game at nearby Comerica Park will keep people from services.

"Nobody is saying baseball isn't big, but Good Friday is really big," Vilkauskas told The Detroit News. "It's 2,000 years old."

Since the Tigers got shellacked by the Cardinals the last time they went to the World Series in 2006 is this their way of getting revenge? And since Detroit's team has not won the Fall Classic since 1984 perhaps they've traded their souls for a World Series title ala Joe Hardy in Damn Yankees?

Here's the real irony: Manager Jim Leyland's brother is a priest. Albeit a priest who has had his fair share of controversy.

We'll see how it all shakes out in the end.

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