The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball.
America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.
This field, this game, it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and that could be again.
Ohhhhh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.
— James Earl Jones (“Field of Dreams,” 1989)
Speaking of the Orioles, slugger Chris Davis (a former Ranger) is about to return after a suspension that shocked fans, his teammates and the entire baseball world:
The Baltimore Sun opens its in-depth story on Davis' comeback this way:
The Orioles slugger had been holed up in his home for the better part of two days after news broke Sept. 12 that his season was over. Chris Davis had taken the attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder drug Adderall without a therapeutic-use exemption.
Davis' wife, Jill, needed something from Target that Saturday evening, and Davis volunteered to go, just to get out of the house. But he wasn't prepared for the drive through downtown Baltimore, where an Orioles game recently had ended. The air was cool and crisp, and as Davis looked around, he yearned for postseason baseball.
"I felt like everybody that was at the game was out walking on the streets. They were wearing all kinds of Orioles jerseys, Orioles shirts. People were flying Orioles flags out of their apartments. Dogs were wearing Orioles [gear]. You could really tell how excited the city was about us," Davis said. "That's kind of when it all hit me. I told Jill after that Saturday night, after I came back home, I thought: 'I don't know if I'm ever going to get over this.'"
In late March, Davis sat down with The Baltimore Sun for a candid, hourlong interview about his mindset and hope for redemption. There were some new revelations, or at least clarifications, regarding his 25-game suspension, which doesn't expire until he sits out one more regular-season game.
It's a compelling lede.
As the story proceeds, the Sun provides a certain level of insight from Davis concerning his actions.
But the piece — totally devoid of any mention of the slugger's well-known faith — can't help but be haunted by a holy ghost.
Flash back to 2013 when tmatt praised a front-page Sun story that highlighted the role of Davis' Christianity in a season that he eventually finished with a major-league leading 53 home runs:
The story isn't perfect ... but it's clear that The Baltimore Sun team let Davis talk about the arc of his life and, in the end, accurately concluded that his return to evangelical Christian faith has actually had something to do with him getting his act together as a man, a husband and as an All-Star level player.
Back to present time: Is it really possible for the Sun to tell the full story of Davis' suspension without asking him about his religion and its role in his journey? Of course not. It's a glaring omission that makes no sense.
How might Davis respond to a question about his faith in light of his suspension?
Who knows, but a 2013 story in the evangelical World magazine, headlined "The Orioles' Chris Davis is impressive — but not perfect," might provide a clue.
In that story, Davis said:
Just because I’m a Christian doesn’t mean I’m not human. Sometimes I think people expect us to just float around, and that’s not the case.
But sadly, the Orioles' hometown newspaper stands at the plate with the bat on its shoulders, not even bothering to swing at a fastball right down the middle.
Final score: Ghost 1, Sun 0.