06.13.08 10 years ago 49 Comments

Mitch Harris is a newly commissioned ensign in the U.S. Navy who just graduated from Annapolis.  He was also drafted by the Cardinals last week because he's a pitcher with a 94-mph fastball.  And in a Virginian-Pilot article annoying titled "Navy won't let sailor-pitcher pursue pro-baseball career," Mitchell plays his sad trombone about his contract to serve his country getting in the way of a contract to throw a ball:

“I completely understand the policy, but there’s got to be some kind of way you can do both ,” Harris said before the draft.

And from the AP:

“Of course we’re at war, no one can argue we’re not,” Harris said. “But what I’ve said from the beginning is that I’m not trying to get out of anything.  If I don’t get that chance (to play baseball) right now, I’ll never get it again. And to fulfill a goal of getting to the pros, it’s sad that they would take it away from me.”

Wah wah wah.  Oh, it's so sad the way the government took away your pro career when they forced you to attend the Naval Academy.  And here I was, thinking appointments to Annapolis — which universally require five-year commitments — were something people voluntarily applied for.  But if you think that's annoying, check out the lack of perspective from the blogosphere.

The Sporting Blog:

On one hand, yeah, I totally understand that he has an obligation to the Navy, but on the other hand, man, that really sucks. Harris – who has third round talent, but slipped to the 13th because of the uncertainty about his status – was at least hoping that there was someway he could be stationed near wherever he was playing, thus being able to be both in the Navy and play ball. Secretary [of the Navy] Buzzkillington ruled out that possibility as well.

Yeah, it's crazy the way some organizations actually expect athletes to honor their contracts.


I have no problem with Campbell skipping out on Iraq to play football, I'd do the same thing. But I find it curious that the Navy won't let Harris do the same thing. Especially when he's not likely to be used for anything of any value except washing decks. But hey, I'm just a civilian, I'm sure our military totally has everything figured out. I mean, clean decks are critical to our nation's goals in Iraq.

Actually, Naval officers don't generally wash decks.  Enlisted sailors do that.  And keeping the deck clean is a great way to keep the ship from rusting to pieces from saltwater corrosion and having foreign objects sucked into aircraft engines or having those objects blown into people's eyes.  No need to tell us you're civilian: it's blatantly obvious.

Sports by Brooks:

Although he hasn’t been told where exactly he’s headed (loose lips sink ships, you know), Harris realizes that his plans for a pro ball career have been washed out.

Actually, he's headed to the USS Ponce (LPD-15), an amphibious dock transport (read: Marine Corps taxi).  It's in the Virginian-Pilot article.  Get it together, people.

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