The Navy Crushes Young Pitcher's Dreams

↵Meet Mitch Harris, a 22-year-old ballplayer from North Carolina who was drafted last week in the 13th round by the Cardinals. Armed with an outstanding fastball -- which enabled him to win 20 games in college this season and K 11.9 batters per nine innings -- Harris has the potential to be a big leaguer. The only problem is that he went to school in Annapolis and has a five-year obligation to the Navy. An obligation that he can’t get out of – or even work around: ↵
↵⇥Through a spokesman, Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter ruled out that possibility. ↵⇥

↵⇥“We are a nation at war, and we believe it’s inappropriate to allow Navy and Marine Corps personnel to be released from service obligations to play professional sports at the same time that other sailors and marines are carrying out their service obligations.” ↵⇥

↵
↵ ↵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 Buzzkillington ruled out that possibility as well. ↵

↵What’s worse for Harris is that had he gone to West Point, this wouldn’t be a problem. The Army has something called an “Alternative Service Option,” which allows West Point grads to fully pursue their sporting careers while also being on active duty. You know, like that Caleb Campbell guy who was drafted by the Lions this year. ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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