The Marlins have had a hell of an offseason—grappling with the September death of their best player, José Fernández, coupled with a series of rather insane political and business rumors about team owner and disgusting rich person Jeffrey Loria. So it’s perhaps not surprising that they felt the need to try something bold when it came to getting the team inspired at spring training:

Yep, that’s manager Don Mattingly willingly laying down with a cinderblock on his chest, waiting for someone to take a sledgehammer to it while the team gathers round to watch. Inspiring! (?)

As it turns out, it’s not difficult to find someone for hire when it comes to swinging a sledgehammer at the cinderblock on your chest; in fact, there’s a ministry specifically dedicated to the practice. The Marlins turned to Radical Reality, a group that tours the country talking to churches and schools. The ministry of the hammer-yielding Donnie Moore pictured above, it counts the following among its special offerings:

“We can bring hope! For every bad side, there is a good side, and that is where Radical Reality comes in... They break bricks and bats, bend steel bars, rip phone books in half, and share a life changing message of hope!”


Per his website, Moore claims to have worked with professional baseball players since the 1980s, though he doesn’t include the phone-book-ripping or steel-bar-bending in his description of that work: “What started as a chapel service with the Oakland A’s has grown into the opportunity to speak each year to every team in the American League, as well as many in the National League.... The Gospel is being preached and lives are being changed.”

But back to the cinderblock-smashing, because the Marlins aren’t the only team to try it this spring:


Inspiring, truly.