Today is 48 days, which is six days and six weeks of the omer: yesod she’b’malchut.
A few days ago Daniel and I were texting about malchut (#whatrabbisdo), and I asked him which Biblical figure the sefirah is associated with. King David, he said. Ah, I joked. I guess this might be the week for me to include some of my players behaving badly.
I know that’s not the David the rabbis had in mind, but let’s be honest: The Biblical King David, whatever good qualities he possessed, also did some truly terrible things. So, too, Twins outfielder Torii Hunter was an awesome player whose career was marred by a few asshole-ish outbursts. So yes, today I am consciously breaking my morality clause.
Exhibits A-C: A complete on-field meltdown over called strikes. Being homophobic, apologizing, and then doing it again. Demonstrating no understanding of race and calling Afro-Latinx players “imposters.” And maybe Exhibit D? Lackadaisical play.
But Hunter was also a five-time All Star, nine-time consecutive Gold Glove winner, and two-time Silver Slugger. In 18 years, he batted .277 with 2,452 hits and 1,391 RBI. But it was on defense that he really shined (hence his nickname). The only player with more career HRs, stolen bases, and Golden Gloves? Willie Mays. Watch these 10 minutes and you’ll probably find yourself yelling alongside one of the announcers, “He didn’t catch that, did he? He didn’t catch that, did he? DID HE?!?”
As proven by my choice for Day 47, a lack of defense will doom you. In that way, it is foundational, yesod. So let’s count Day 48 for this flawed king of the outfield.