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Forgiveness getting harder to give away

Are you feeling run down? Tired of being sweet and forgiving? Well, try a bottle of Enuffital.

Since God tells us to forgive others seven times 70, I'd say we're about at our limit with some of today's professional athletes.

(This is a sports column, so we'll leave Hollywood and rock singers out of the discussion for brevity sake.)

America is a forgiving nation and I'm willing to give anyone a second chance. But after a certain point, don't you think it's time for the athlete to step up to the plate and take his or her responsibility in the issue.

Dwight Gooden was arrested for the ninth time this past week. The younger generation doesn't remember him as potentially one of the greatest pitchers of all time. He was that good.

But he fell into that lifestyle of alcohol and drugs and it's been a fast trip to life's minor leagues ever since.

Sidney Ponson got his second DUI this past week with the Orioles and he has several other problems in his closet which may have to be expanded to the family room at the rate he's going.

And the list goes on and on.

Through all of this I'm supposed to be forgiving and welcome them back with open arms. If that were the case with guys like Steve Howe, my arms would be imprinted with needles and beer caps.

The Ken Caminitis and Doc Ellis' of the world are starting to get to me. The stories are sad when you first hear or read about them, but after it becomes a miniseries I'm ready to move on to some happier news. That's what sports are supposed to be about.

I loved Pete Rose as a player. He has Hall of Fame credentials and belongs in Cooperstown, just not in a major league ball park. The debate came up again this past week whether or not he should become eligible for the Hall of Fame vote this year or he'd end up in the hands of the Veterans' Committee.

Let's stop rehashing the issue. Put him in or don't put him in. He was guilty, he said he was guilty - the fact it was 16 years later is such an insignificant factor (yeah, right) - so what's the problem. Do one or the other but get him off the front page.

My forgiveness gland is filling up. I'm going to have to waive some of these players from my prayer list to make room for newer, more deserving people.

Dear God, please bless Jude Law and Michael Jackson and …

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.