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MLB's Hottest Rookie Hits Back Against Criticism of His Christian Faith

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On April 17, the Boston Red Sox had just lost a second straight road game to their hated rivals, the New York Yankees, and their record fell to 6-13.

That was good for last place in the AL East, even behind the lowly Baltimore Orioles.

Since that low point, the Red Sox have gone a much better 19-10, bringing their record to 25-23. Going into Wednesday’s road tilt against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Red Sox are in third place in the division, 3.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays and 5.5 games behind the New York Yankees.

It’s probably not where the World Series champs want to be in mid-May, but it’s still a marked improvement over where they were in April.

One of the biggest sparks for Boston’s turnaround has been 23-year-old rookie Michael Chavis, who took his first major league at-bat in a 6-5 road win over the Rays on April 20.

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In a span of barely over a month, Chavis has belted nine home runs and 24 RBIs while hitting a solid .287 in 101 at-bats.

Rookie or not, Chavis has been on fire for the Red Sox. His eighth home run helped spark a 4-3 win over the Astros, snapping Houston’s 10-game winning streak Sunday.

But for all of his on-field accomplishments, Chavis’ off-field behavior is just as praiseworthy.

Chavis is a Christian, and while some athletes may try to keep their religious beliefs private so as to avoid controversy, the Red Sox infielder offers no such concessions.

He boldly shares his faith regardless of whose feathers it ruffles.

“It can upset some people, which personally I don’t really understand,” Chavis told WEEI-FM in an April interview.

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He said his stature as a rising MLB phenom isn’t for personal fame or wealth. It’s a platform for him to bring glory to the Lord.

Do you like it when professional athletes express their faith?

“Given the platform that I have been given, this opportunity, I think it would be a waste if I didn’t use it to try and spread the word,” he said. “I’m not going to be some kind of missionary where I’m pushing it on everybody and shoving it in their face. But I think the way I carry myself and the way I go about my business in praising the Lord I think I just focus on it.

“It’s not something that I’m trying to push. Like I said, I’m not trying to force it on people. I think it’s something I try and show in how I do my stuff. I’m not trying to be John the Baptist or anything like that. I just want to show that if I’m in this position if I can bring one or two people to Christ and show there is a different light in me, I think that would be a big difference.”

Chavis isn’t shy about responding on social media when his critics want him to be quiet about his beliefs.

“Why is it required to respect other religions but not Christianity?” he told one Twitter user.


When a Twitter user told Chavis that his remarks were “not Christian,” the rookie had a perfect response to that, too.

“My comment wasn’t ‘not Christian’ it was a personal opinion which luckily us Christians are also allowed to have,” he tweeted. “I love God, my family, and baseball. If my number one interrupts number three for you then that’s not something I can help you with unfortunately.”


The Red Sox selected Chavis in the first round of the 2014 draft, and his road to the majors had plenty of ups and downs, including a 2018 suspension for PED use. He said he had never heard of the banned substance, Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, and had no idea how it got into his system. He apologized, served his suspension and has moved on.

Now Chavis is a powerful force on and off the field for the resurgent Red Sox.

He suits up Wednesday night against the Blue Jays in Toronto.

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than two years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than two years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Birthplace
Hawaii
Education
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, Korean
Topics of Expertise
Sports, Entertainment, Science/Tech




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