Devotional of the Week — Living intensely

My youngest daughter stood in line for three hours to get an autographed copy of “One Last Strike” by Tony LaRussa. It is his story of the improbable 2011 World Series run by the St. Louis Cardinals.

She gave it to me for Christmas. I read the whole book in two days. It paints a good picture of how LaRussa thinks. Simply put, his philosophy for competing is “win through process.” On offense, play to make one run by making each at-bat count… Continue reading

From the Archives — Not Done Yet

Joe Torre finishes huddling with reporters in the dugout shortly before the first pitch of a spring training game. One writer lingers to ask a quick question.

The Los Angeles Dodgers manager prefers not to offer quick answers regarding Mariano Rivera, the celebrated Yankees reliever who helped Torre collect four World Series rings in the first five years of his tenure on the New York bench… Continue reading

To Stir A Movement

Nothing makes you more legit in Major League Baseball than winning a World Series. When the San Francisco Giants swept the Detroit Tigers to win the 2012 series, they capped the fourth game with a thrilling extra innings victory. Two seasons prior, the Giants clinched their first World Series title since 1954 by defeating the Texas Rangers.

Reliever Jeremy Affeldt was part of the reason San Francisco’s bullpen had an outstanding performance… Continue reading

Devotional of the Week — Sovereign control

Los Angeles Dodgers star Adrian Gonzalez realizes that God’s sovereignty, His control, can’t be usurped.

But he doesn’t use that as an excuse to not work hard, as he told Sports Spectrum in an interview.

“My relationship with Christ allows me to take a step back from things and not put too much pressure on myself…” Continue reading

Another Angle — Alcoholics and mannequins

I went to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting the other day. And yes, I understand that is kind of an interesting way to start a column.

Basically, I have a friend who is getting her Master’s degree in Counseling, and she needed to observe a meeting for class, so I said I’d go with her… Continue reading

From the Archives — Giant Ambassador

Dikembe Mutombo is a giant among men.

At 7 feet 2 inches, the former Houston Rockets center towered above a majority of other players in the NBA. Regarded as one of the most prolific defensive players of all time, Mutombo has won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award four times, and in 2007 he surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the second most prolific shot blocker in NBA history, behind Hakeem Olajuwon.

Where the basketball superstar stands out most, however, is in the area of philanthropy. Called the “NBA’s tallest humanitarian” by the New York Daily News, Mutombo has a heart as big as he is tall; a heart that reaches across the Atlantic Ocean to his homeland of Africa, the poorest continent in the world… Continue reading

Devotional of the Week — Ask for directions

Yadier Molina is perhaps the best defensive catcher in baseball. His prowess at throwing out base-stealers (45 percent) is among the elite in the majors. His 41 pick offs rank first in the National League, “light years” ahead of second place.

He has five consecutive National League Gold Gloves and one Platinum Glove, given to the best among all Gold Glove recipients for that particular season… Continue reading

Another Angle — Guerrero’s unchanging message

Once again, boxer Robert Guerrero has made me think about some things.

I’ll begin this column by saying this: I thought he was going to win last night. I thought he was going to be the first to beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. I thought he was going to make history… Continue reading

Uncommon Challenge