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A bit more about Grant Desme

Jan 25, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

Desme.jpgThis morning Buster Olney said — I think in response to a question a lot of us had, but were too respectful of the man’s decision to ask — that the A’s have no expectation that Grant Desme, the prospect who is
leaving baseball to become a priest, is going to change his mind.

I think Aaron covered most of the relevant angles on this the other day, but let me throw one more thought out there: the people who are saying “well, why couldn’t he have waited until after his baseball career was over to have done this?” don’t really have a handle on what becoming a priest really entails.

I’m not talking about the spiritual commitment here — I’m way out of my depth commenting on that. I’m referring to the academic commitment. The logistics and mechanics of seminary school. As the Columbus Dispatch’s Todd Jones* reported in a fabulous six-part series last summer, it is an extremely demanding undertaking. It certainly does not sound like the sort of thing one would be able to slide into easily after several years following some other pursuit.

Upshot: it’s more likely that Desme could wash out of seminary school as a result of its rigorous demands and get back into baseball than it would be for him to play out his baseball career and commit to seminary school.

*Jones is actually a sports reporter by trade, and a good one at that, so I’d be pretty interested to hear his take on all of this.

  1. smsetnor - Jan 25, 2010 at 11:38 AM

    Being engaged to someone in seminary… It’s something that takes up your entire life. It’s a life-style in itself. And it’s a calling that is hard to deny. A ton of my fiance’s classmates passed up medical/law/whatever school to make way less money by committing themselves to seminary. Also, a lot of the people quit lucrative jobs to do the same for such little money. But they love it. It’s refreshing to see.

  2. Wells - Jan 25, 2010 at 11:51 AM

    I’ve always wondered if priesthood – I’m assuming Catholic priesthood – Catholics are the only ones who have quote unquote “priests”, right? – provides health insurance. I’m guessing so.

  3. Old Gator - Jan 25, 2010 at 12:05 PM

    My neighbor here in Macondo taught me how to sacrifice goats and chickens way back when my neighborhood was all mango groves and cockfighting pits. I’ve gotten pretty much everything I’ve always wanted out of life for the expenditure on a good whetting strap and a brief clucking or bleating – and not half bad servings of cabrito and pollo asado out of it as well. So I can’t really empathize too much with Desme. Meanwhile, I think I’ll grab a bag of popcorn and a tall cold glass of cranberry juice and soda, kick back and watch The Boys of St. Vincent on the DVD player.

  4. ecp - Jan 25, 2010 at 12:08 PM

    I really can’t believe what people have been saying about such an intensely private decision – everything from the example given (“why couldn’t he wait until after baseball”) to “good ballplayers have an obligation to play ball at the exclusion of all other occupations.” And this isn’t even intensely personal because of Desme’s chosen field. Anybody who is unhappy in their present occupation, or knows they would prefer an alternate occupation, should be free from criticism from others when they choose to change their profession in pursuit of their personal happiness. It’s nobody’s business but their own.

  5. Wooden U. Lykteneau - Jan 25, 2010 at 12:49 PM

    Um, Craig – The Columbus Dispatch’s “Todd Jones isn’t the pitcher of the same name.

  6. Wooden U. Lykteneau - Jan 25, 2010 at 12:50 PM

    Sorry – HTML tag broken:
    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/todd-jones/15/328/a12

  7. Wooden U. Lykteneau - Jan 25, 2010 at 12:54 PM

    Arrgh – Need a preview button!
    Here’s the link: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/todd-jones/15/328/a12

  8. Craig Calcaterra - Jan 25, 2010 at 12:55 PM

    Dude, I know. He’s a reporter for my local paper. I’ve been reading him for years.

  9. Joey B - Jan 25, 2010 at 1:35 PM

    As others have said, it’s odd that anyone would question his decision. Getting rich is not everyone’s goal in life. I’m pretty sure that virtually everyone that joins the Peace Corps, the Salvation Army, virtually any religious job, vitually any non-profit organization, have all passed up better money elsewhere. People build houses for Habitat for Humanity that could probably be $30/hour in their spare time. People volunteer for soup kitchens that don’t even get paid.
    Is it really so foreign a concept that one could think of better ways to live their lives than to make the most money they possibly can?

  10. Rays fan - Jan 25, 2010 at 1:42 PM

    I would, likewise, presume it Roman Catholic priesthood Desme will be pursuing & I’m pretty sure that, yes, healthcare benefits are included. However, no Catholic churches are not the only one with priest–so do Anglican (Episcopal) and Orthodox churches.

  11. Wooden U. Lykteneau - Jan 25, 2010 at 2:53 PM

    Just making sure, since it wasn’t clear that you did.

  12. Will - Jan 25, 2010 at 5:40 PM

    Honestly, Joey, I think most of the questions about the decision are from people that are either uncomfortable with or hostile to religion. The subtext in several of the comments in the previous thread boiled down to “Why would a young talented athlete turn his back on fame, fortune, and hedonism in order to join a backward, superstitious, cult?”

  13. Pat Hajovsky - Jan 25, 2010 at 9:17 PM

    To put this in a perspective for those guys who are looking at it from a money angle, I’m Catholic and the pastor of my parish is paid $20,000….PER YEAR! Before we built him a rectory, he lived in an apartment with his Parochial Vicar (the second in command priest) and they had bunk beds. And this ain’t no small town parish. This is in Houston and he’s responsible for 5,000 families – often working 70 hour+ weeks. Example – he had to beg off our Fantasy Golf Draft because a parishioner had a child die of SIDS and he had to help them.
    Next time any yahoo out there is disappointed that they can’t watch Desme play baseball, tell him to piss off! And think about the entirely better things he’ll be doing for people, with no pay and sometimes little appreciation.

  14. smsetnor - Jan 26, 2010 at 12:20 AM

    You are so right, Will. People are so put off by certain sects and churches of Christianity (I’m looking at you, annoying extreme evangelists and televangelists) that they’ve renounced all Christianity because of it. Not only do people not believe, they can’t stand being around it. It’s a shame that such a small, corrupt sample tarnishes the greater whole.

  15. be a mountaineer - Jan 30, 2010 at 1:58 PM

    Hey, I’ve been lurking around your blog for a few weeks. I absolutely love your writing and your whole blog! Thanks!

  16. Great - Feb 27, 2010 at 10:09 PM

    Good show sir, Good show indeed!

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