If you are a Cleveland Indians fan, your fondest memory is probably watching Jake Taylor bunt, allowing Willie Mays Hayes to score the winning run of the World Series. An event only overshadowed by the fact that that was the ending to the 1989 blockbuster “Major League.”
The other, and more real, major event, being the time that a player crawled through a ceiling to retrieve a bat.
The story goes that during the second game of a four game series against the Chicago White Sox, White Sox manager Gene Lamont was tipped off that Indians’ batter Albert Belle was using a corked baseball bat. Under the rules of Major League Baseball, a manager may challenge one opponent's bat per game. Lamont challenged Belle's bat with umpire Dave Phillips, who confiscated the bat and locked it in the umpires' dressing room to be analyzed after the game.
Indians’ manager Mike Hargrove, knowing that the bat was most likely corked, was quite worried. But relief pitcher Jason Grimsley knew exactly what to do, and it wasn’t to sit tight and let things play out.
Grimsley suggested that he could climb up into the false ceiling, shimmy his way to the umpires’ dressing room, and replace it with a bat that was actually used by player Paul Sorrento. So, equipped with a pair of gloves, a flashlight, and a dust masked because ingesting asbestos was oddly on the forefront of his mind, he made his way to the dressing room, switched the bat, and crawled back, without being caught or ingesting asbestos (way to go dust mask!).
After the game, when umpire Dave Phillips went back to the his locker to retrieve the bat in question, he noticed that one of the ceiling tiles had been broken, and the bat in his locker had some differences from the originally confiscated bat, not the least of which being that Paul Sorrento’s name had been stamped on it.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation that you know is wrong, but you just keep going anyway? How’d that work out? My guess is, not good. It’s weird: we worship God as this all-knowing, all-powerful entity, and yet we try to hide, as if we think that’s possible. Even Adam and Eve tried to hide from God after eating of forbidden fruit, and they were literally THE ONLY TWO PEOPLE ON EARTH. The bottom line is, we are not smart enough to keep our sin hidden, and even if we were, we aren’t emotionally strong enough to.
The good news is, we don’t have to hide. God knows our hearts, he knows our sin, and he has forgiven us. We can do away with this idea that God focuses on every little thing we do, and hates us for it. That’s actually kind of the opposite of what happens.
After an intense investigation, led by former a former FBI investigator, the Indians’ organization was found out, the original bat was tested, and Albert Belle served a ten game suspension. Jason Grimsley went unpunished because sometimes life’s not fair and people get away with stuff, but that’s a different blog, for a different day.