6/11/2009

SHUT OUT

Boy, this is turning into a tough week.

My wife's nephew has been playing college ball for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He's been their starting catcher and their starting first baseman for most of his three years there. He's had several teammates drafted this year and last year, and this year his club was good enough to make the NCAA tournament this year . . .where they went two-and-out. In their season finale, the nephew went 0-for-3, committed an error and was lifted for a pinch-hitter, not exactly an inspirational exit. Pretty depressing...but there was the major league draft, looming on the horizon. And it's not just his hopes and dreams hanging on the thing, but all of the energy invested by his extended family in his career, with all the highs and lows.

I knew that he wouldn't be taken on the first few rounds, but we all had hopes. He has power and a sweet left-handed swing that stays in the strike zone a long time. He's one of the tougher kids to strike out in the country. I think we were all expecting that he would be taken some time during the second day of the draft.

Instead, the second day went by without him being called, triggering an emotional crisis in many members of the family. The last 20 or so hours have been unpleasant. Today, the final rounds went by without the nephew's name being mentioned. 32 teams effectively passed on him 50 times. There were over 1,500 players tabbed in the Draft, and he wasn't one of them. It's hard to credit, and hard to take. In the Big West Conference alone, more than 30 players were taken, many with comparable numbers.

It's hard to take.

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