The majority of people would probably answer the question posed in the headline with a “No.” And ordinarily, I would go along with that majority. But I think this year God may have used the 2023 World Series to make a point.
Of all 30 teams in Major League Baseball, only the Texas Rangers did not host a “Pride Night” in 2023. And it’s the Texas Rangers who are the 2023 MLB World Series Champions.
It was not a Sodom and Gomorrah type punishment on the other teams from God, but I think He was making a statement nonetheless: If you honor sinfulness, there are consequences.
Orthodox. Faithful. Free.
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I first had an inkling that God might be taking an interest in Major League Baseball this year during the playoffs. As I wrote back on October 16, “As Baseball fans know, both the Dodgers and the Braves were eliminated from the National League Championship Series. Yet the Braves and the Dodgers had the first and third best records during the regular season this year.”
In the National League East, the Philadelphia Phillies trounced the Atlanta Braves in four games, while in the National League West, the Arizona Diamondbacks swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in three straight games. And the Dodgers were not just swept, they were soundly swept.
It was at this point that I thought there might be some divine justice taking place. Twenty-nine of the MLB teams had “Pride Nights” in June this year, but the Dodgers went above and beyond with their version of “Pride Night.” They saw fit to “honor” the disgusting and anti-Catholic “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” (SPI). The Dodgers “honored” the SPI with the team’s Hero Award, in recognition of “twenty-seven years of service to the LGBTQIA2S Community.”
A number of Catholic prelates spoke out publicly against the Dodgers’ plans. And on June 16, a Eucharistic Procession to Dodger Stadium took place. Bishop Strickland and Virgin Most Powerful Radio led the procession in reparation for the many offenses the Dodgers’ “Pride Night” begat.
And as you may recall, the ceremony “honoring” the SPI took place on the pitcher’s mound at Dodgers’ stadium. Perhaps this was significant because the Dodgers’ starting pitching was really pretty poor during the series with the D-backs.
Dodgers’ veteran and likely future hall of famer Clayton Kershaw didn’t even make it through the first inning of game one. He got tagged for six runs. The D-backs won game one by a score of 11-2.
Rookie Bobby Miller started game two for the Dodgers and gave up three runs in the first inning. The D-backs won game two by a score of 4-2.
Veteran pitcher Lance Lynn started game three for the Dodgers. He was 7-2 during the regular season (acquired by the Dodgers at the trade deadline this summer). But he lasted just 2.2 innings. The D-backs hit four solo home runs off of him in the second inning—an all-time MLB postseason record. The D-backs won the game by a score of 4-2.
It was all kind of surreal considering the Diamondbacks were given, at best, a slim chance at beating the Dodgers. But they not only beat them, they humiliated them in three straight games.
Did God punish the Los Angeles Dodgers for hosting “Pride Night” and honoring the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence?
I tend to think the Dodgers’ humiliating defeat was indeed a case of divine retribution. But I’m sure many will disagree. They will point to the Dodgers’ less than sterling postseason record and say, “Yeah, just more of the same.”
Five MLB teams (two in the American League and three in the National League) had better records than the Rangers in 2023, but not one of these teams made it to the World Series.
The World Series came down to the Texas Rangers from the American League and the Arizona Diamondbacks from the National League.
Outsports, a Vox Media online publication highlighting LGBTQ+ athletes and LGBTQ+ inroads in sports, was perturbed that the Rangers were the lone “Pride Night” holdout in Major League Baseball. The Associated Press seemed to be perturbed as well. Outsports, a Vox Media online publication highlighting LGBTQ+ athletes and LGBTQ+ inroads in sports, was perturbed that the Rangers were the lone “Pride Night” holdout in Major League Baseball.Tweet This
And in an article preceding the start of the series, Outsports was clearly rooting for the D-Backs:
There are two ways to view the 2023 World Series: on the field, the Texas Rangers have a slight advantage over the Arizona Diamondbacks, but it’s not big enough to make an upset inconceivable.
When it comes to supporting the LGBTQ community in baseball, however, it’s one of the biggest mismatches in history. If Arizona and Texas squared off based [sic] their LGBTQ records, the D-backs would sweep the Series and win every game 9-0.
I think God may have been looking at the World Series differently. The Texas Rangers, the only team in Major League Baseball that did not host a “Pride Night,” prevailed in the best-of-seven series.
It was not a cakewalk for the Rangers.
The Rangers won game one in extra innings by a score of 6-5. But the winning run was scored on a walk-off home run, which was pretty exciting.
Game two was a pretty lopsided game that went in favor of the Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks won game two by a score of 9-1. However, the Rangers bounced back in game three, winning by a score of 3-1.
Through seven innings, game four was looking like another lopsided game, this time in favor of the Rangers. The Rangers scored five runs in the second inning and five more in the third inning. It is the first time in World Series history that a team has scored five runs in back-to-back innings. Arizona tried to come back from the 10-run deficit, but they came up short. The final score was Rangers 11, Diamondbacks 7.
At this point, the Rangers were up three games to one. They needed to win just one more game to take the best-of-seven series. Game five was played in Arizona on November 1—All Saints’ Day. And if the saints in Heaven have any interest in what goes on here on earth, maybe they were pulling for the Rangers.
Initially, things were not looking good for the Rangers. The Rangers went three up, three down in each of the first four innings, while the D-Backs kept getting runners on base—and moving them into scoring position. But the D-Backs were unable to plate a run.
The Rangers finally got their first base runner on a two-out walk in the top of the fifth inning, but first base was as far as he got. D-Backs pitcher Zac Gallen was throwing a no-hitter, while Rangers’ pitcher Nathan Eovaldi was struggling. Yet somehow Eovaldi always managed to get out of jam after jam. In the bottom of the fifth, the D-Backs even managed to load the bases, but Eovaldi got out of that jam, too, without allowing a run.
Eovaldi finally managed a stress-free inning in the sixth with a three up, three down inning of his own, and that seems to have sparked the Rangers. Rangers’ slugger Corey Seager led off the top of the seventh with a single, and the next Rangers’ hitter, Evan Carter, moved Seager to third with a double. Rangers’ cleanup hitter Mitch Garver then singled to score Seager. Three straight Rangers’ hits had broken up the no-hit shutout and chased Gallen out of the game. The score was Rangers 1, D-Backs 0.
The Rangers bullpen kept the D-Backs in check in the seventh and eighth innings and then the Rangers broke it open in the ninth, scoring four more runs. But as it turned out, the extra runs were not needed. The final score of the game was Rangers 5, D-Backs 0.
So, the Rangers are the 2023 World Series Champions. It is the team’s first ever World Series Championship.
Did the Rangers have some divine help? Maybe so, maybe not. But the other 29 MLB teams and their owners may still want to rethink what they are doing in hosting “Pride Nights.”
As Lumen Gentium (16) notes: “But often men, deceived by the Evil One, have become vain in their reasonings and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator.”
[Photo Credit: AP]