Part of the deal

So, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Shawn Green is going to sit out at least one game this weekend for Yom Kippur.

As a former player, I don't get it.

Then again, I am not Jewish and can't begin to know the importance of this holiday. All I can go on is my Christian background, and I guess Christmas being our big day … well, if I had a game scheduled that day, I'd play.

Oh well, bad news for the Dodgers.

I just hope that the Giants, whom L.A. faces in a crucial three-game series in Los Angeles, don't win the game (or games) that Green misses and take over the NL West lead and carry the topic of religion into the offseason.

We should all remember that this job is not a regular job. These athletes are paid tons of money and, unlike in other professions, are expected to:

1. Be ready to play baseball every day from February until October.

2. Don't take days off because "they want to" or are "caught up with their work."

3. Show up to work despite injury and sickness.

4. Show up to work despite family crises and/or family events.

Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

When athletes sign a contract, they know what is expected of them. I don't know what it is like to be a teammate of Green's, but if I was playing for the Dodgers, I know I would be disappointed (to put it mildly) if our team was in position to make the playoffs and this religious holiday took precedence over showing up with our teammates to fight for a division title.

I respect personal beliefs and respect anyone who stands up for what he believes in. I just think that the job of a professional athlete is two-sided. We love the money and the fame and the perks, and we also know what is expected in return. There are no surprises.