Pontiff gives World Cup a miss

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jul 04, 2006

From a wire service story earlier today.

VAL D'AOSTA, 4 July 2006 [RNN] "I have no time for such foolishness," Pope Benedict XVI responded curtly, when asked by journalists whether he would support the team of his native Germany or that of his adopted Italy in today's World Cup soccer match. "I'll be watching the Tigers and A's on pay-per-view."

The 264th Successor of Peter explained that his somewhat surprising patronage of Detroit's baseball team had its origins in 1964.

"I was a professor at M√ľnster at the time, but gophering at the Council for Josef Frings of Cologne, who had a fair to good change-up and a wicked back-door slider. He clued me in to the Tigers because of the fact that their entire bullpen were righties. My loyalty has never wavered. I still know the '64 line-up by heart: Al Kaline, Norm Cash, Bill Freehan ..."

The former cardinal and theologian joked that his own scholarship was indebted to the American League club. "I did my Habilitationsschrift on Bonaventure, " he reminisced, "a name that means 'good fortune' in Latin. It was criticised for not showing enough influence from the Left. So I dedicated it to Mickey Lolich, who as it happens also wrote the Foreword for the Crossroads edition. And he went 18 and 9 that year!"

Pope Benedict declined to speculate on the outcome of today's Tigers-Athletics match-up, but made it clear where his sympathies lie: "Haren's on the mound for Oakland, but Verlander's starting for Detroit. And I like Verlander."

Asked to explain, His Holiness gave a wry smile: "The boy throws a four-seam heater, and I'm a four-seam Pope."

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  • Posted by: - Jul. 09, 2006 12:39 AM ET USA

    I left my Sacred Heart.....in San Francisco.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 05, 2006 2:40 PM ET USA

    What makes the Pontiff so brilliant is not the 98mph heater. It is that devastating change-up. Just when the big lefty power hitter is all geared up to drive his pitch into the seats along comes the change-up and the hitter drags his bat back to the bench having foolishly taken a weak swing resulting in dribbler to short. You may be able to jump a shark but don't try that stunt on Gods Rottweiler!

  • Posted by: - Jul. 05, 2006 8:51 AM ET USA

    "Sissy game like baseball"? No, the Holy Father understands that the seminarian who knows how to play scrappy hardball is fully equipped to deal with the true Enemy.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 05, 2006 8:17 AM ET USA

    We Canadian readers of OTR are miffed. We want some hockey analogies. The current Pope probably doesn't give a hoot about a sissy game like baseball, but I'm sure he can recall from memory the whole lineup of the Edmonton Oilers, back when The Glorious One played for them (Wayne You-Know-Who). If all seminarians had to succeed at hockey before being ordained, we wouldn't have all these homosexual scandals.

  • Posted by: Patrick461 - Jul. 05, 2006 6:06 AM ET USA

    If that's true, then the current Pope must have been delighted in '68 when Lolich and the Tigers beat Bob Gibson and the Cardinals in seven to take the World Series. I wonder if this milestone event is mentioned in his biographies? If not, what a lacuna!

  • Posted by: - Jul. 05, 2006 5:46 AM ET USA

    For those who tune in here to get the batting signal, hats off Uncle D. I just hope you never balk from seeing the fun in the Church. (A heck of a lot more effective than putting the U in it.) But never forget that even a left-hander hits to right field with power.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 04, 2006 10:31 PM ET USA

    A rising fastball!

  • Posted by: - Jul. 04, 2006 10:25 PM ET USA

    Okay, Uncle Di...your back in rare form again. That was a line drive at the third baseman's noggin (Thats the bag on your LEFT, if you get my drift...). Keep 'em coming, it keeps me coming back.