The Boston Red Sox may lose one of their most promising young pitchers for the next two seasons. Prospect Noah Song attempted to obtain a waiver that would allow him to delay his military service time so he could pursue a career in baseball. The Navy denied that request, according to Bill Wagner of the Capital Gazette.
If that ruling holds, the 22-year-old Song will spend the next two years in active service. Song is planning to report to flight school in Pensacola and will not be able to re-apply for a waiver until those two years are up.
Song had hoped to delay that service after President Trump pushed the Department of Defense to create new guidelines that would allow athletes at military academies to play professionally after they graduate.
Trump argued that athletes only have a limited amount of time “during which playing professional sports is realistically possible.” Under the new guidelines, military athletes would either have to eventually fulfill their active service obligations in the future, or pay back the cost of their education, according to the Gazette.
Those new guidelines, however, did not apply to Song. They were set to go into effect for the class of 2020. Song graduated in 2019. Song hoped he could convince the Navy to retroactively apply that waiver to his situation, but that strategy did not work.
The Red Sox selected Song in the fourth round of the 2019 MLB draft. In his brief taste of professional baseball, Song posted a 1.06 ERA in 17 innings in Short-Season A ball.
While Song is planning to report to flight school in January, there’s a chance the ruling could be overturned, according to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe.
I’ve heard from elsewhere that the Secretary of the Navy and then Secretary of Defense *could* still review Song’s case and decide to grant a petition to treat Song like those students covered by the new policy.— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) December 17, 2019
Should Song return to the Red Sox in 2020, he would likely be placed in the lower levels of the minors. Song ranks as the team’s No. 15 prospect according to MLB.com.
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