After entering priesthood, Grant Desme doesn't regret giving up baseball

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A’s prospect Grant Desme made headlines back in January for abruptly quitting baseball to join the priesthood and when Mark Emmons of the San Jose Mercury News caught up with him earlier this week the 24-year-old former outfielder said: “I didn’t even realize it was Opening Day.”

“I know it’s hard for some people to understand, and I don’t think there’s any perfect way to explain it because it’s such a personal choice,” he said. “All I can say is that when God speaks to you, it gets your attention.” As he became emotional while speaking to a San Jose Catholic professional group Thursday about his decision, one thing was clear: He doesn’t miss baseball. …



Desme says he was conflicted when he accepted the St. Michael’s invitation. “I saw everything that I might do in baseball pass before my eyes,” he said. But he came to view his baseball success as a final test–this is what you will be giving up. It wasn’t the only test. “Once you start considering the priesthood, the most beautiful Catholic women start showing up,” Desme said. “That made my decision interesting.”

It never occurred to me that someone could join the priesthood for the chicks, but I’m never one to rule out any options. Anyway, instead of kicking off his season at Triple-A, here’s what Desme is up to:

St. Michael’s is a community of 70 members who live like monks. The process of becoming an ordained priest in the order takes about 10 years. When he arrives, Desme will give up all the trappings of modern life. He won’t be allowed to use a cell phone or the Internet, watch television, listen to the radio, read a newspaper or go home during the first two years.



He will join the other abbey members as they spend about three hours a day singing their prayers in Gregorian chant. “I’m just trying to learn how to read music now,” said Desme, conceding he doesn’t have much of a singing voice.

The whole article is definitely worth reading, particularly if you’re like me and don’t really understand (or at least can’t comprehend) Desme’s decision.

The Cubs are in desperate need of relief

Associated Press
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Tonight in Chicago Yu Darvish of the Dodgers will face off against Kyle Hendricks of the Cubs. If this were Game 1, we’d have a lot to say about the Dodgers’ trade deadline pickup and the Cubs’ budding ace. If this series continues on the way it’s been going, however, each of them will be footnotes because it has been all about the bullpens.

The Cubs, you may have heard, are having tremendous problems with relief pitching. Both their own and with the opposition’s. Cubs relievers have a 7.03 ERA this postseason, and have allowed six runs on eight hits and have walked six batters in seven innings of work. And no, the relief struggles aren’t just a matter of Joe Maddon pushing the wrong buttons (even though, yeah, he has pushed the wrong buttons).

Maddon pushed Wade Davis for 44 pitches in Game 5 of the NLDS, limiting his availability in Games 1 and 2. That pushing is a result of a lack of relief depth on the Cubs. Brian Duensing, Pedro Strop and Carl Edwards Jr. all have talent and all have had their moments, but none of them are the sort of relievers we have come to see in the past few postseasons. The guys who, when your starter tosses 80 pitches in four innings like Jon Lester did the other night, can be relied upon to shut down the opposition for three and a half more until your lights-out closer can get the four-out save.

In contrast, the Dodgers bullpen has been dominant, tossing eight scoreless innings. Indeed, Dodgers relievers have tossed eight almost perfect innings, allowing zero hits and zero walks while striking out nine Cubs batters. The only imperfection came when Kenley Jansen hit Anthony Rizzo in Game 2. That’s it. Compare this to the past couple of postseasons where the only truly reliable arm down there was Jansen, and in which Dodgers managers have had to rely on Clayton Kershaw to come on in relief. That has not been a temptation at all as the revamped L.A. pen, featuring newcomers Brandon Morrow and Tony Watson. Suffice it to say, Joe Blanton is not missed.

Which brings us back to Kyle Hendricks. He has pitched twice this postseason, pitching seven shutout innings in Game 1 of the NLDS but getting touched for four runs on nine hits while allowing a couple of dingers in Game 5. If the good Hendricks shows up, Maddon will be able to ride him until late in the game in which a now-rested Davis and maybe either Strop or Edwards can close things out in conventional fashion, returning this series to competitiveness. If the bad Hendricks does, he’ll have to do what he did in that NLDS Game 5, using multiple relievers and, perhaps, a repurposed starter in relief while grinding Davis into dust again. That was lucky to work there and doing it without Davis didn’t work in Game 2 on Sunday night.

So it all falls to Hendricks. The Dodgers have shown how soft the underbelly of the Cubs pen truly is. If they get to Hendricks early and get into that pen, you have to like L.A’s chances, not just in this game, but for the rest of the series, as bullpen wear-and-tear builds up quickly. It’s pretty simple: Hendricks has to give the Cubs some innings tonight. There is no other option available.

Just ask Joe Maddon. He’s tried.