Thursday, September 23, 2004

Green still undecided on Yom Kippur games

Green still undecided on Yom Kippur games

Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Shawn Green will definitely sit out at least one game of a key weekend series against the San Francisco Giants in observance of Yom Kippur, but will wait until Thursday to make his final decision.

With the Dodgers leading the Giants by just 1 1/2 games in the NL West, Green said Wednesday there's a possibility he'll sit out both Friday night and Saturday afternoon. He planned to talk to his wife and parents before deciding.

``I need another day,'' said Green, who added that the issue has kept him awake at night. ``I've been struggling hard with this. Obviously, it's very important to me, my religion is very important to me, too. It's a really tough deal.''

Green said he spoke Tuesday with members of the Dodgers' organization and was leaning toward playing one game and not the other.

``I've bounced back and forth and am just trying to do the right thing,'' he said before the Dodgers played the San Diego Padres. ``It's hard to know what that is. I've really been toying with two different options: Play one of them or not play at all. I will miss at least one game.''

Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, starts at sunset Friday, and the three-game series at San Francisco begins that night. Saturday's game was given a 1:05 p.m. PDT start because it will be televised by Fox, and the Jewish Day of Atonement does not end until sunset that night.

Green wants to make a final decision by Thursday.

``I'm totally committed to getting to the postseason and winning, and at the same time I'm committed to my religion and what I stood for in the past,'' he said. ``I wish there was an easy solution, but there's not.''

Asked if he's feeling pressure or support from the organization, he replied: ``Just support. Whomever I talk to has been supportive and the more I think about it, it's a really tough situation,'' Green said. ``I wish Yom Kippur could be in April, but it's not.''

Green has missed only 10 of 798 games in five seasons with the Dodgers, including Sept. 26, 2001, when he observed Yom Kippur and ended a streak of 415 consecutive games played.

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