It was a lovely weekend in Minnesota. Still, the bullets are flying. Incoming!
· Ben’s Brewers made their debut in an “exhibition” game against the Rangers on Saturday afternoon. It didn’t go so well for the Brew Crew, as the Rangers pounded them 13-3. Our charges didn’t play that badly, but didn’t have an answer for the superior pitching of the Rangers team. Ben made his American League debut as a pitcher in the 4th inning, and unfortunately he seemed dipped in kerosene, giving up five runs. On the bright side, only one of the hits was a shot and he recorded the first strikeout of his nascent pitching career. Meanwhile, Ben drove in his first American League RBI in the second inning on a sharp grounder that the Ranger second baseman made a nice play on. We remain confident that the season will go well, though. The first real game will be this coming Saturday against the Cardinals – game time is 6 p.m. at Sitzer Park in Shoreview. You won’t want to miss it!
· We are getting a new archbishop and it sounds like some of the sheep have decided to reject their incoming shepherd. Bishop John Nienstedt, currently the bishop of the New Ulm Diocese, will be replacing Harry Flynn next year, when Flynn reaches the mandatory retirement age of 75. In his initial remarks, Bishop Nienstedt made it clear that he’s going to change things in the archdiocese. He is fifteen years younger than Flynn and that age difference is crucial. Flynn, like most of the senior leadership in the U.S. church, came of age during the heady days of Vatican II and the papacies of John XXIII and Paul VI. Priests of this era tended to countenance a lot of things that might have been regarded poorly by the Church historically. Churches like St. Joan of Arc, which are essentially off the reservation on most Church teachings, have been tolerated by Flynn and his predecessor, John Roach. But I’m guessing that will change once Bishop Nienstedt takes over. The issue, of course, is that parishioners of places like St. Joan will not be happy about giving up their creative interpretations of Church teachings – the ones where proto-Marxism, openly gay-flavored services and the like are part of the equation. These folks are, of course, politically liberal, and that means they will be squawking loudly about all this. But I’m guessing that, in the end, Nienstedt will hold firm. After all, traditionally, there’s a name for those who reject Church teachings. The name is Protestant.
· It’s going to take me a day or two to figure out the results of the NFL draft. My quick impression is that Adrian Peterson is a good pick for the Vikings and that the Packers made a very puzzling set of choices. This is, as the film critic and historian Andrew Sarris termed it, a “subject for further research.”