Shawn Roof in Spring Training

Former Illini and current member of the Detroit organization Shawn Roof shot me an email update tonight.  I always enjoy hearing from Shawn but now that he’s in his first spring training, I was anxious to see how things were shaking.  Not surprisingly, Roof was one of the first ones down there:

“I’m down here in Florida right now.  I’ve been down for about a week working out with some of the other guys that have gotten down here early.  I am having a blast.  The weather is beautiful and its nice to take ground balls on a real field again.  Anyways its almost like the circus came to town down here with all the excitement from the trades the Tigers made.  We pretty much have an All Star at every position.”

Baseball runs in Shawn’s family.  Brothers Eric and Jonathon both play for Michigan State.  Jonathon was drafted by Boston out of high school last year.  There’s seems to be a rivalry among the three that can only exist between brothers.

Illini SS Shawn Roof dogging baserunner Eric Roof from MSU during a 2007 Illinois-MSU game

Fortunately, Shawn was able to catch Eric and Jonathon in action when MSU played a tournament in Deland, Florida last weekend.

“I had a great opportunity to go and watch Michigan State play down here this past weekend.  I got a chance to see my little brothers play, and its hard to believe that they are all grown up and not the little turds I remember in the back yard.  Eric is strong as an ox now, and hit the ball very well this weekend, and he’s going to catch quite a bit as well.  He has really turned himself into a good player.  I also got a chance to see the little brother Jonathan, hit his first career home run, so now they have both one upped my career home run total of 0, but he looks like he has a chance to have a very good year, and a chance to be an unbelievable player down the road.  He made one fine catch up the middle that made me pretty jealous.  I know I’m bragging on them, but I’m pretty proud of how they have come along, not to mention the Spartans look like a decent team as well.”

“Little turds”… how affectionate. 

Roof said he expects good things from the Illini this year.  He and last year’s Big Ten Player of Year Lars Davis were both in town working out with the team before the season started.

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