Sports Outside the Beltway

Holy Mackerel- Oakland A prospect retires in order to study for the priesthood

I agree with ESPN’s Rob Neyer, who calls this the oddest baseball news.

Oakland Athletics prospect Grant Desme is retiring from baseball to enter the priesthood.

Desme was recently selected the 2009 Arizona Fall League MVP and was considered one of the top prospects in Oakland’s system.

“We respect Grant’s decision and wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors,” A’s general manager Billy Beane said in a statement.

The 23-year-old outfielder batted .288 with 31 homers, 89 RBIs and 40 stolen bases in 131 games at Class-A Kane County and Stockton last season.

1950′s and 60′s baseball player Frank Thomas supposedly studied for the priesthood before becoming a professional baseball player.

Rob Neyer’s blog post said Desme, who played college ball for Cal Poly, wasn’t a top prospect. In part because of his age and high strikeout rate

Yes, that sounds terribly pessimistic. The point is that Desme wasn’t a sure thing — not a Grade A prospect. He was a Grade B prospect, or maybe a B+ for the people who really loved him. The A’s need star hitters if they’re ever to get somewhere, and Desme didn’t look like a future star.

Coincidentally I’m leaving for a Catholic Men’s retreat in only minutes. This will be my last blog post till Sunday.


John Madden retires after 30 years in booth

He was a Hall of Fame coach with the Oakland Raiders before that. From ESPN-

John Madden, a fixture in NFL broadcast booths for 30 years, has decided to retire, he announced Thursday in a statement released by NBC Sports.

Madden, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and former Super bowl-winning coach of the Oakland Raiders, has been a game analyst and TV personality since walking away from coaching in 1979.

“It’s time. I’m 73 years old. My 50th wedding anniversary is this fall,” Madden said. “I have two great sons and their families and my five grandchildren are at an age now when they know when I’m home and, more importantly, when I’m not.”

“It’s been such a great ride,” he added. The NFL has been my life for more than 40 years, it has been my passion – it still is. … it’s still fun and that’s what it makes it hard and that’s why it took me a few months to make a decision.

Madden played college ball at Cal Poly and had a brief career as a player with the Philadelphia Eagles. Before being hired by the Raiders as a defensive assistant, Madden was a assistant coach on the college level with Buffalo State and San Diego State(Under Dan Coryel). Sadly Al Davis the owner of the Oakland Raiders hasn’t been able to make a similarly brilliant head coaching choice of late as to when he promoted Madden to the job in 1969.

Enjoy your retirement coach.


Former NFL LB Mel Kaufman dead at age 50

He had an eight-year NFL career and played in three Super Bowls. RIP


Ellerson leaves Cal Poly to take over at Army

Three of his family members went to the US Military Academy. From ESPN-

Rich Ellerson, who led Cal Poly to the FCS football playoffs this season and is considered one of the top coaches in the country at running the triple-option offense, has been picked to rebuild the Army football program.

Ellerson, 60-41 in his career as a head coach and 56-34 at Cal Poly, takes over for Stan Brock, who was fired on Dec. 12, days after the Black Knights lost to Navy 34-0.

Army went 3-9 in 2008 for the third straight season. Brock was 6-18 in two seasons as head coach.

“One of our primary goals of the search was to find someone capable of turning around our program immediately and we are confident Rich is the perfect individual to accomplish that,” Army athletic director Kevin Anderson said in a school-issued news release.

Ellerson’s offensive philosophy of running the triple option is appealing to Army, which uses the option as a base offense. He also has family ties to West Point.

Army hasn’t had a winning season in over a decade. Ellerson has his work cut out for him.


Dallas Cowboys Draft CB Courtney Brown

Dallas Cowboys CB Courtney Brown Photo NFL Draft Logo 2007 The Dallas Cowboys have selected Cal-Poly cornerback Courtney Brown with the second pick of the 7th round (212 overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft (a pick acquired in trade from Detroit through the N.Y. Jets).

He’s tall (6’1″), big (196 pounds), and extremely fast (4.39) but has poor technique and went to a school that competes well below the highest level. The gang at The Ticket note that he wasn’t even invited to the Combine and that the 4.39-40 was run in a campus workout.


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