David Price and Schizophrenic apologies

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On Saturday afternoon, the Tampa Bay Rays took on the Boston Red Sox in the American League Division play-offs. So far they have completely under-performed against a well rested-but certainly not rusted-baseball team in the Sox. And of course the Sox deserve all the credit in the world.

After the game, Rays pitcher David Price took to twitter to express his frustrations after the game. I happen to follow Price on twitter, but didn’t see all that he had posted.

Part of his “beef” was with “Big Papi” David Ortiz, as he admired the 2nd of his two home runs as it curved over and around the pesky Pensky pole. I found it a bit busch-league of Ortiz to simply stand and watch. It’s the kind of thing that the Red Sox pitchers would hit a batter for doing (if it weren’t the play-offs).

But the Rays don’t play baseball like that, preferring instead to take the high road and get “pay-back” by winning. The problem with this sense of delayed justice, if you don’t buy in, is that you find some way to find some semblance of satisfying your sense of justice: using words to inflict harm.

Big stars words can hurt others, even other big stars.

Whatever Price had to say, and how he framed his criticism of Ortiz’s home run ball admiration, he and Ortiz have since talked. Whether they actually “face-talked,” (you know, where two people actually converse using words and look at each other) or tweeted or texted, the two have since “cleared the air.” No word on whether Ortiz thought what he did was actually busch-league.

In addition, Price also blasted the Dirk Hayhurst, aka the Garfoose and Keith Oberman. He tweeted, “SAVE IT NERDS.”

As usual with such statements comes the concomitant twitter apology which Oberman declared a “non-apology apology.” Something like Ryan Braun’s steroid apology, which ranks up there with the top 10 of non-apology apologies.

“if I offended you I am very sorry for doing so..#thatsnotme”

I don’t claim to be a twitter apologizer, nor a twitter apologist. But let me offer a critique of this twitter non-apology apology that might be helpful should you rant and need to recant. Or simply if you should need to apologize, since you probably will some time today or tomorrow. Likewise with myself.

If you end an apology with “that wasn’t me,” then who are you exactly  apologizing for, an alter-ego? David Price isn’t schizophrenic, but his apology sure seems so. It wasn’t him. It was him after a frustrating loss.

But that really is him. And that would be me too. It really is us, the us who are calm all day until something happens when we lose our temper. That is us. It’s not the situation, it is us. It is in us all the time (James 4:1-6).

And again, I’m really not blasting Price. I like the guy. We’ve all apologized like that. That wasn’t me, that was “tired me,” “stressed me,” “frustrated me,” “medicated me,” “drunk me.” You get the point.

In Romans, Paul describes his struggle with sin as doing exactly what he doesn’t want to do (Romans 7). It’s his battle against his own sinful flesh. When he wants to do good he can’t. At least not all the time. But he probably wouldn’t have tweeted

#thatsnotmethatwasPaulsfleshtalking.

The first part of repentance is to recognize that it was you. As George from Seinfeld’s famous break up line reminds us, “It’s not you, it’s me.”

When we apologize, let it be an apology, not a schizophrenic apology where we are actually apologizing for someone else not named us.

If you believe the gospel, you can admit that yes, you are that bad. But Jesus forgave you that much, and even more so.

In the odd chance that you, David Price are reading this, I want you to know that I’m still a big fan of yours. And I’ve made a zillion apologies like this. I want to stop, so hopefully, you’ll have played a part.

Go Rays.

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