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traderumor
06-06-2005, 10:08 PM
TENNESSEE--SPORTS (Tim Ellsworth): Astros owner’s
2 goals.
http://www.bpnews.net/bpcolumn.asp?ID=1852


SPORTS: Astros owner’s 2 goals
Monday, Jun 6, 2005
By Tim Ellsworth

JACKSON, Tenn. (BP)--Drayton McLane had two goals when he bought the Houston Astros 13 years ago.

The first was to turn the Astros into a champion. Neither the Astros nor their in-state counterparts, the Texas Rangers, had been to a World Series before, and McLane wanted to remedy that. He thought the people of Texas deserved a winner.

McLane's still working on that objective, as the Astros haven't yet made it to a World Series. Their best chance was last year, when they took the St. Louis Cardinals to seven games in the National League Championship Series. Since the Astros have one of the worst records in the National League so far in 2005, that goal will likely have to wait at least another year.

But the second goal is another story.

McLane, a member and deacon at First Baptist Church of Temple, Texas, was determined to use the Astros as an outreach tool. He wanted to use the team's recognition and the role models on the roster to make a positive influence in the Houston community.

"I want to get involved and stand for spiritual values," McLane said. "We're trying to use the influence and recognition of the players and the team to represent noble purposes."

McLane makes no apologies for insisting that the Astros stand for integrity, honesty and high Christian principles. That commitment can even affect personnel decisions. Although he respects the religious beliefs of everyone on the team, he expects his players to stay out of trouble.

"When players don't behave properly, we move them on," he said. "We have one of the best clubhouses in Major League Baseball. They're congenial, they get along well together."

That philosophy has led to a team full of decent men, many of whom are Christians -- including Lance Berkman, Morgan Ensberg, Andy Pettitte, Adam Everett and Orlando Palmeiro, among others.

The Astros have an active community-relations department and are the only team in baseball with a fulltime chaplain. The team was involved in more than 3,000 events in Houston last year, including visits to youth groups, senior citizens groups and hospitals.

Team chaplain Gene Pemberton also conducts a team Bible study twice a week when the Astros are at home. When they're traveling, Berkman takes over that role.

All of that is due to McLane's influence.

"He's very outward in being a Christian," Ensberg said of his boss. "That's pretty admirable. You're in a time when some of that might be looked down upon by a lot of people, and yet he stands in the face of that."

One of McLane's priorities is to develop a strong relationship with his players. He's constantly in the locker room, talking to players and showing an interest in them as people, not just as commodities to win baseball games.

"I try to get a personal relationship with every player we've got," McLane said. "Know them all personally, spend time with them. I get to know all their families."

Palmeiro can vouch for McLane's concern for his players.

"Last year I asked for a minute of his time, and he gave me more than a minute of his time," Palmeiro said. "He made time for me. There's so much stuff going on, and he remembered me. I was impressed with that."

While McLane's goal of winning a championship has remained elusive, he's been much more successful with his second goal. Ultimately, it's more important than the first one anyway.
--30--
Tim Ellsworth's column appears each week in BPSports, online at www.bpsports.net.

TC81190
06-06-2005, 10:13 PM
:clap: :thumbup:

Falls City Beer
06-06-2005, 10:46 PM
"He's very outward in being a Christian," Ensberg said of his boss. "That's pretty admirable. You're in a time when some of that might be looked down upon by a lot of people, and yet he stands in the face of that."

Huh?

When has it, in this country's history, been MORE acceptable to proclaim, nay, flaunt your Christianity in this country?

It's bled into everything. We've got vegetables talkin' about Jesus.

What's more disturbing than the constant gabbing of religion is this long-suffering, "we're so persecuted" act put on by guys like Ensberg. Give me a break. This country's 85% Christian.

I wonder what would happen if a Muslim baseball team owner started proclaiming his faith and complaining about persecution.

dman
06-06-2005, 11:21 PM
I wonder what would happen if a Muslim baseball team owner started proclaiming his faith and complaining about persecution.[/QUOTE]


Fortunately, we don't have to worry about that in MLB too much. Besides, that's why we have the NBA.

The Baumer
06-07-2005, 04:35 AM
"He's very outward in being a Christian," Ensberg said of his boss. "That's pretty admirable. You're in a time when some of that might be looked down upon by a lot of people, and yet he stands in the face of that."

Huh?

When has it, in this country's history, been MORE acceptable to proclaim, nay, flaunt your Christianity in this country?

It's bled into everything. We've got vegetables talkin' about Jesus.

What's more disturbing than the constant gabbing of religion is this long-suffering, "we're so persecuted" act put on by guys like Ensberg. Give me a break. This country's 85% Christian.

I wonder what would happen if a Muslim baseball team owner started proclaiming his faith and complaining about persecution.

If I'm not mistaken, the tone of your post is actually proof of what Ensberg is saying.

Falls City Beer
06-07-2005, 10:44 AM
If I'm not mistaken, the tone of your post is actually proof of what Ensberg is saying.

Wow. If ONLY I were the majority.

Johnny Footstool
06-07-2005, 11:50 AM
I agree. I think the majority of people in this country consider themselves Christian. However, I also think the majority of people don't feel the need to discuss religion all the time. Faith is a part of their lives, but it isn't all-consuming.

Like FCB, I do get annoyed by the persecution complex that some Christians express. To me, it contributes to the negative stereotype of Christian self-righteousness. It bothers me to hear Christians proclaim themselves to be the Moral Majority, then in the same breath complain about being persecuted.

However, I think McLane's efforts with the Astros are admirable. He has decided what's important to him, and he has followed through with his plan. There's absolutely nothing wrong with putting together a team of good guys if that's what's important to you. The only problem that might arise is if your fans would rather see a winning team than a team of good guys (see Reds, Cincinnati).

Falls City Beer
06-07-2005, 12:39 PM
I wonder what would happen if a Muslim baseball team owner started proclaiming his faith and complaining about persecution.


Fortunately, we don't have to worry about that in MLB too much. Besides, that's why we have the NBA.[/QUOTE]

And people wonder why I raise the spectre of race? :rolleyes:

TC81190
06-07-2005, 12:47 PM
Faith is a part of their lives, but it isn't all-consuming.

Then they aren't Christians.

Redsfaithful
06-07-2005, 12:53 PM
Good to know the Astros probably won't be competitive again for awhile.

I love teams that insist on building with guys who have "character". I wish all the teams in the NL Central (besides the Reds obviously) felt that way.

Redsfaithful
06-07-2005, 12:54 PM
Then they aren't Christians.

God? Is that you?

TC81190
06-07-2005, 01:34 PM
Nah, but I know what I believe. If faith isn't their whole life, then they haven't given their life to God. Therefore...

gonelong
06-07-2005, 01:50 PM
Nah, but I know what I believe. If faith isn't their whole life, then they haven't given their life to God. Therefore...

Where does Redszone fit in then?

Do you have a job?

Sinner! :D

GL

TC81190
06-07-2005, 01:53 PM
The implication that I received, was that most people have faith, but it is not the most important thing in their life. It has to be if they are a Christian.

MuEconRedLeg
06-07-2005, 02:19 PM
The team was involved in more than 3,000 events in Houston last year, including visits to youth groups, senior citizens groups and hospitals.

What may be the most important sentence in the whole article!

:thumbup:

Johnny Footstool
06-07-2005, 02:44 PM
The implication that I received, was that most people have faith, but it is not the most important thing in their life. It has to be if they are a Christian.

In order to be a Christian, you don't have to walk around witnessing all day long, tithing like mad, and praising Jesus for every green traffic light you get. You simply have to put your faith in Jesus and live by Christian principles to the best of your ability.

Rojo
06-07-2005, 03:00 PM
How does a guy named Morgan Ensberg turn out to be Christian? There's probably a lot of disappointed Jewish kids in the Houston-area right now. (If, in fact, Jews lived in Houston).

Hope you can make it through the eye-of-the-needle Drayton.

Falls City Beer
06-07-2005, 03:05 PM
How does a guy named Morgan Ensberg turn out to be Christian? There's probably a lot of disappointed Jewish kids in the Houston-area right now. (If, in fact, Jews lived in Houston).

Hope you can make it through the eye-of-the-needle Drayton.

The real question, of course, is how is Brad Ausmus taking this news?

*a lot of Germans and Swede non-Jews have names ending in -berg.

traderumor
06-08-2005, 09:57 AM
In order to be a Christian, ... You simply have to put your faith in JesusEdited for clarity ;) The other stuff is a result of salvation, but "we are saved by grace, through faith, not of works, lest any man should boast." Eph 2:8