Apparently, there is some controversy about whether or not Mississippi State’s dandy of a shortstop Ryan Gridley should miss a baseball game Saturday in Starkville to attend his sister’s wedding in Nashville.

Important to note: The controversy doesn’t come from inside the program. No, everybody inside the State program is fine with it. His coach, Andy Cannizaro, says it’s a “no-brainer” that Gridley should go to the wedding.

But from outside the program – talk radio and such – people have questioned whether Gridley should skip a conference game against Alabama to attend a wedding.

Rick Cleveland Credit: Melanie Thortis

Horse hockey. Perhaps a little math is the best way to examine the situation. Mississippi State plays a 55-game schedule every season and this is Gridley’s third. His sister, Samantha, has one wedding. How much more simple can it be?

College coaches and players talk all the time about “family,” meaning the program. And that’s great. The best, most successful programs are like family.

But seems to me that everybody should understand that your real family, blood family, always comes first.

Period.


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Rick Cleveland, a native of Hattiesburg and resident of Jackson, has been Mississippi Today’s sports columnist since 2016. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s in journalism, Rick has worked for the Monroe (La.) News Star World, Jackson Daily News and Clarion Ledger. He was sports editor of Hattiesburg American, executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. His work as a syndicated columnist and celebrated sports writer has appeared in numerous magazines, periodicals and newspapers.
Rick has been recognized 13 times as Mississippi Sports Writer of the Year, and is recipient of multiple awards and honors for his reporting and writing.