Poor Shawn Green. He’s not so religious, but as the most prominent of a handful (okay, maybe two handfuls) of Jewish pro baseball players, he’s unwittingly become a Jewish icon. Ever since he delicately handled a Yom Kippur/playoff game conflict back in 2004 by playing on Kol Nidre and sitting out the next day, Green’s Jewishness is central to his public identity whether he likes it or not. From Sunday’s sports page :
Truthfully, Green doesn’t always feel very Jewish. But then, Green will find himself again front and center in the outfield of some big-league stadium, and suddenly he is supposed to be the next Sandy Koufax, the next Hank Greenberg. One of maybe a dozen Jewish players in the league, he is supposed to represent everything to everybody.
Meaning the guy probably can’t eat a piece of shrimp without worrying that some tabloid-y Jewish blogger is watching (no worries, Shawn, I’d never tell.)
Apparently whomever schedules the games has become a little more sensitive this year: there’s no High Holidays conflict for Green, who’s enjoying his first season with the Mets and the rest of New York Jewry.