Because I not only attended important Northeastern schools, but also because I want other people to know that I attended important Northeastern schools, a thing I like to do is be seen in public reading The Atlantic in either its print or electronic form.
For readers who possess similarly vain aspirations — and who also give one or more damns about baseball — the magazine’s profile of the Arizona Fall League is worth some attention, in which it (i.e. that League) is referred to by author Chris Arnold as “‘graduate school’ for top prospects.”
Here in the Arizona Fall League, far from the flashbulbs of the World Series, the future stars of Major League Baseball are trying to make the final leap to the big show. For 20 years, the AFL has served as an off-season “graduate school” for top prospects. In some ways, it feels like the culmination of an antiquated system: While football and basketball have relatively straightforward paths to the pros—paths that lead through the NCAA—baseball stands apart with its scaffolded leagues of minor-league farm teams. But spend some time with the players and scouts at the AFL, and you start to get a sense for how that grueling, long-odds system is uniquely suited for this grueling, long-odds sport.
The grad-school metaphor is pleasant enough that I feel little compulsion to unpack it. I will say this, however: the AFL participants probably read way less Derrida than actual grad-school students.
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