We always see baseball players point to the sky as the cross home plate, but one highly touted prospect has preempted that celebration by retiring from professional baseball to join the priesthood.
Foxsports.com is reporting that Oakland A’s outfield prospect Grant Desme is retiring from the ranks of pro ball to pursue a life in the priesthood. (An aside: kudos to Foxsports for the unbiased article title of “Touted A’s prospect leaving baseball for…priesthood?” Nice.)
It’s not for a lack of talent, as Desme’s play in A ball last year and the Arizona Fall League garnered him some serious acclaim. He spent one season at San Diego State before tearing things up at Cal Poly (a public school, by the way) and earning the 2007 Big West conference Player of the Year award. He was drafted in the second round (74th overall pick) by Billy Beane’s notoriously thorough scouting department.
Desme got a taste of minor league ball in 2007, but was limited to just 14 games total between ’07 and ’08 due to injuries. He rebounded for a huge year in 2009 between Kane County (Northwest League, short-season A) and Stockton (California League, high-A), batting .288 in 131 games with 31 homers, 89 RBIs, and 40 steals (the only 30 steal-30 homer player in ALL of minor league baseball). He continued to rake in the Arizona Fall League, taking home league MVP honors thanks to a .315 average, 11 dingers, and 27 RBIs 27 games. Baseball America ranked Desme as he A’s eighth best prospect. Continue reading
We’re a little delayed this week thanks to last night’s game between St. Joe’s and Towson (read more below), but here we are with this week’s edition of Hot Reads. As we celebrate Martin Luther King Day (Doc Rivers has a nice quote at the Boston Globe) and rue the return of classes, the sporting world is gearing up for what promises to be a scintillating week of Conference Championship games after a decidedly underwhelming Divisional round.
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In the AFC, the Colts and Jets will do battle for the Lamar Hunt Trophy in a tantalizing rematch of Super Bowl III. The game is rife with story lines, starting with the Colts’ Week 16 resting of starters against the Jets to allow them to crawl back into the playoff picture, despite the somewhat misguided view of CBS analyst Dan Dierdorf. The NFC Title game is a matchup of two teams in the Vikings and Saints who have never lifted the Lombardi Trophy, and pits Southern posterboy Brett Favre against the team he cheered on a kid growing up in Mississippi. Continue reading
It’s been a busy weekend, giving us plenty to write about, and that’s even without contemplating the changes the Eagles will be making in the coming months.
As we sift through the fallout from Mark McGwire’s big announcement today, I managed to find two pieces of commentary that reflected my thoughts on the matter: Gene Wojciechowski’s call for honesty, and Rob Neyer’s view on McGwire’s Hall prospects.
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Jumping continents, we find resolution in the Togo men’s national soccer team tragedy. The Sparrow Hawks, which originally said they would withdraw from the Africa Cup of Nations, decided as a team to play in memory of the deceased, before changing their mind again and jumping a plane out of Angola. There were reports that they were hoping to return to the tournament later on, but any chance of that has been squashed, as African soccer’s governing body, the CAF, has diqualified them from the tournament for missing their scheduled opening game. With Togo’s track record of recieving hospitality (or basic humanity) this week, I wouldn’t be surprised if the flight attendants spit in the peanuts on the flight back. Continue reading