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Thread: Pointing: Not Just for Pop-Ups (USAToday)

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    Pointing: Not Just for Pop-Ups (USAToday)

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseb...nting-up_x.htm

    Pointing: It isn't just for pop-ups anymore
    Updated 6/14/2006 1:25 AM ET
    By Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY

    Just before hugging his son in celebration of his 715th career home run last month, Barry Bonds pointed both index fingers to the sky, a gesture he makes at the conclusion of every trot around the bases.

    Earlier in that homestand at San Francisco's AT&T Park, Bonds' heir apparent as baseball's dominant power hitter, the St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols, pointed heavenward after pounding a three-run homer.

    The expression has become commonplace at ballparks throughout the majors. Vladimir Guerrero, Preston Wilson and David Ortiz do it after every home run. Nick Swisher after every hit. Francisco Rodriguez after every save. Victor Martinez after successful plays.

    Football players spike the ball upon reaching the end zone. Basketball players puff out their jerseys after a big basket.

    Baseball players increasingly cast their digits above, not only upon reaching a milestone as Wade Boggs did after his 3,000th hit and Mark McGwire when he broke Roger Maris' single-season homer record but even after run-of-the-mill singles.

    "Everyone does it now," says Bonds, who believes he invented it.

    The significance of the gesture, sometimes accompanied by a kiss of the fingers or a tap of the chest, varies by player, but generally there are two camps: those thanking God and those paying tribute to a relative, usually deceased.

    Swisher, an Oakland Athletics outfielder and first baseman, has a tattoo of his grandmother's initials on his chest. Betty Lorraine Swisher, who helped raise her grandson in Parkersburg, W.Va., died last August, an emotional blow the player took hard.

    "The thing that gave me closure or a way to still feel a connection with her was to always point to her," Swisher says. "I just want to let her know that I'm still thinking about her."

    Some of the players who point skyward emphasized they're not trying to show up their opponents.

    The potential for misinterpretation certainly exists, witness the incident between Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski and Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano on May 21.

    The previous day Pierzynski had been punched in the jaw by Cubs catcher Michael Barrett after barreling in on a play at the plate, setting off a melee. In the following game, Pierzynski homered off Zambrano and exchanged words with him while rounding the bases.

    When he reached the plate, Pierzynski appeared to mimic Zambrano by tapping his chest and pointing to the sky, similar to what the pitcher does when he escapes trouble. The bad blood intensified, but there was no fighting.

    Pujols began pointing to heaven after home runs when he became a Christian seven years ago. The Cardinals first baseman says he hasn't encountered any objection to his expression of faith.

    "I don't have to hide my religion," Pujols says.

    "If the Lord Jesus Christ who died for us taught us religion and taught us how to be Christians, why should we hide that?"

    Besides pointing, Pujols is among the Latin players who place a religious symbol, in his case a cross, in their lockers at home and on the road.

    Seattle Mariners second baseman Jose Lopez has atop his locker a figurine of the Virgin del Valle, patron of the Oriente region in northeast Venezuela. Lopez says he thanks her and God by pointing after getting hits.

    All of which is fine, says the Rev. Patrick Kelly, as long as players don't believe their religious faith will help them win ballgames.

    Kelly, a faculty member of Seattle University's Center for the Study of Sport, organizes conferences that address the relationship between sports and Catholic values. He cautions against looking at God as the ultimate cleanup hitter or closer.

    "We don't want to get into this thing where God is on my side helping me to win all the time," Kelly says. "God isn't just there to help us achieve. He's there in much more significant ways."

    Contributing: Mike Dodd, Devin Clancy
    When all is said and done more is said than done.

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    Member Jpup's Avatar
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    Re: Pointing: Not Just for Pop-Ups (USAToday)

    I can't believe I am saying this, but I like Albert Pujols a lot more today than I did yesterday.
    "My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton

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    Member harangatang's Avatar
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    Re: Pointing: Not Just for Pop-Ups (USAToday)

    Anyone hear the latest rumors that Pujols may be going to the Rockies? Oh wait he's hurt never mind.

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    Re: Pointing: Not Just for Pop-Ups (USAToday)

    I remember that part in the Bible right after the walking on water part, John the Baptist pointed to the sky, then thumped his chest.

    I like Sparky Anderson's take: who do they thank when they make an out?
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Re: Pointing: Not Just for Pop-Ups (USAToday)

    You thank the Lord for the gift that he blessed you with (in this case, hitting cow skin covered balls with a wooden bat) and you thank God for continued health.

    You don't thank God for a basehit or a save. Players who do that need a refresher course of what God provides us.

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    Re: Pointing: Not Just for Pop-Ups (USAToday)

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF
    I remember that part in the Bible right after the walking on water part, John the Baptist pointed to the sky, then thumped his chest.

    I like Sparky Anderson's take: who do they thank when they make an out?
    I think it was in Matthew somewhere that John the Baptist did a chest bump with Jesus after John baptised him... I believe they then both touched their chest, kissed their fingers and then pointed to the sky...

    Ill check with my pastor to verify.

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    Re: Pointing: Not Just for Pop-Ups (USAToday)

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF
    I remember that part in the Bible right after the walking on water part, John the Baptist pointed to the sky, then thumped his chest.

    I like Sparky Anderson's take: who do they thank when they make an out?
    That's where they point down and curse the relative they hated and hope is burning in hell
    Can't win with 'em

    Can't win without 'em

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    Re: Pointing: Not Just for Pop-Ups (USAToday)

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF
    I remember that part in the Bible right after the walking on water part, John the Baptist pointed to the sky, then thumped his chest.

    I like Sparky Anderson's take: who do they thank when they make an out?
    God likes to have them fail 70% of their career.

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    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: Pointing: Not Just for Pop-Ups (USAToday)

    <thumps_chest>
    never has one comment not about Dunn garnered such a respnse.
    </thumps_chest>
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Re: Pointing: Not Just for Pop-Ups (USAToday)

    Hopefully they thump their chest when they tithe to their local New Testament church...
    When all is said and done more is said than done.

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    Re: Pointing: Not Just for Pop-Ups (USAToday)



    In all fairness, Adam had just scored the winning run.

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    Re: Pointing: Not Just for Pop-Ups (USAToday)

    Quote Originally Posted by smith288
    I think it was in Matthew somewhere that John the Baptist did a chest bump with Jesus after John baptised him... I believe they then both touched their chest, kissed their fingers and then pointed to the sky...

    Ill check with my pastor to verify.
    You guys are both wrong.

    It was John the Apostle who chest-bumped Jesus after JChrist fed the multitudes. He then spiked the final loaf and pointed to the sky.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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    Re: Pointing: Not Just for Pop-Ups (USAToday)

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF
    I remember that part in the Bible right after the walking on water part, John the Baptist pointed to the sky, then thumped his chest.

    I like Sparky Anderson's take: who do they thank when they make an out?
    There was something I heard on television a year or so ago. That MOST folks thank God when something GOOD happens, but "God is great" (as in the dinner-time prayer) ALL the time....good or bad. If folks really wanted to worship their God in public, maybe they ought to do it all the time, and not just when things are going great.

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    Re: Pointing: Not Just for Pop-Ups (USAToday)

    Quote Originally Posted by NJReds


    In all fairness, Adam had just scored the winning run.




    Last edited by THNDRacket; 06-15-2006 at 10:46 PM.
    "If Rose's streak was still intact, with that single to left, the fans would be throwing babies out of the upper deck."
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    Re: Pointing: Not Just for Pop-Ups (USAToday)

    So when is a player going to pull a "Ronnie James Dio"?

    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.


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