1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Little League Dilemma

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by HeinekenMan, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    I am coaching Little League for my third year (fifth season). Last fall, I was searching for the league web site and found a Topix forum where someone had copied and pasted an arrest report from the local newspaper. The vice president of the league was arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. In other words, she was accused of dealing drugs but was not caught in the act of selling. I mentioned this to a few parents. I thought she probably didn't need to be involved. But I had more pressing concerns. Such as teaching kids to stay on a pop up.

    And we skip ahead to last spring. I had a kid on my team who had serious psychological issues. His father died about two years ago. I was never given any details. His mom is best friends with the board member who had been arrested. His mother often left the park during practices and games, and the kid eventually warmed to me. He was 7 or 8, and he even gave me a few hugs during games. But he also was a handful. One day, I checked to see what had happened to his mother, and I discovered that his mom had been arrested for trafficking oxycodone just a few months after his dad died.

    And now we come to this fall. The league president recommended that I join the board. The league needs some help for sure. So I figured this was my chance to pitch in. They don't really let people volunteer much unless they are board members. So I agreed to throw my name into the hat for the new board.

    Elections were held about a week ago. I did not receive enough votes to be an automatic board member. But the other board members voted to bring me in two fill a vacancy. The same week, the mother of my former player was arrested for her involvement in a drug ring that distributed oxycodone with the help of a few crooked local doctors.

    Last Sunday, I got a call telling me that I needed to talk to the league president. I was a little concerned. On Monday, I went to the park. I happened to pick the worst possible time. The board was holding an emergency meeting. Apparently, the board decided that it didn't want the accused drug dealer with a drug dealer best friend to be on the board. So they more or less gave her spot to me. I don't know if they replaced any others. Most of the board is the same, I believe.

    Well, this woman was at the meeting when I walked into the room, and she had just finished throwing a raging fit when she learned that was no longer a board member. She contested the election. Apparently, the board held a meeting without a quorum. So the board agreed to hold new elections.

    And that brings us to the current situation: The board members still want me, and the board does not want her involved at all. To be elected, though, I have to make sure that people vote for me. I need 51 percent of all voters to select me. Voters are allowed to select any number of people shown on the ballots. Even if I'm elected, there's also the chance that this woman, who is motivated to show up the board, will get enough votes to keep her spot on the board.

    I'm not that concerned about my own fate. For some reason, though, I really want to make sure this woman is not not the board. As I've mentioned, the board has lots of problems. It needs some new leadership. And I'm taking an educated guess that drug lady is part of the problem. For the record, the charges against her were dropped. But I have an inkling that she might have ratted on some people. That's how a lot of these drug cases go. I can't imagine any other scenario. I mean, it's pretty cut and dry. You have pot. You have enough to warrant trafficking charges. I assume she was in her own vehicle. I can't imagine any other way she'd wiggle out.

    In any case, I'm not sure how to approach the situation. I can campaign for myself. I can tell people to vote against the woman. I prepared campaign literature that talks about the woman's arrest (and the dropping of the charges) and her friend's arrest. But I can't decide whether I want to go there.

    So...what would you do?
     
  2. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I'd run away screaming. The fact that you have not done that already proves you have more patience than I do.
     
  3. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I cannot imagine in my wildest dreams campaigning to be a Little League board member.

    If the other folks want a woman accused of selling drugs and who throws a raging fit to be on the board, I guess you can determine if that's a group you want to be a part of.

    Or maybe you can feel like you would have some control if you are a board member.
     
  4. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Just say you're with the Tea Party, and that you're not a witch.
     
  5. Campaigning? Campaign literature?? For a Little League board???? Really?!

    If you really want my opinion, and you probably don't, you're in way, way too deep and you (and possibly many others) need to take a deep breath and a step back.

    If there's a child molester or something on the board, raise holy hell; otherwise, I would mind my own business. If they want you to serve and you can endure what seems like an insane organization, go for it. But otherwise I would do my best to sit on the sidelines and preserve some shred of dignity.
     
  6. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Anything that has any hint of politics, and unfortunately, that applies to schoolboard and coaching and church jobs, I stay the hell away from.

    I signed up to teach Sunday school last year. They were begging for teachers and they called and asked me and I said I would do it.

    Then, one of the women was mad that I was asked before her husband was and threw a fit about it. I've never met the woman or her husband. As soon as I heard about it, they asked me to call her and assuage the matter. I said, "I want nothing to do with it. Give him the job."

    This year, they asked me to teach again and I said. "Hell, no." No, actually I politely said no. But there is no way I would volunteer for something that involves unnecessary drama.
     
  7. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    I am definitely hearing what you guys are saying. I just needed someone else to say it. When you are involved, emotions run high. Don't get me wrong. I'm not a raging lunatic. I wrote the campaign literature because I think the parents should know that drug dealers might be involved in managing their kids' league. But I took some time to reflect, and I have been leaning toward staying out of the mess.

    I'll just pray that the insane woman doesn't get enough votes, and I'll casually remind my kids' parents about the new election. And if the board wants me, I guess I will make a decision on that when the time comes. My hope is that I can fulfill my original intent to help the league grow and do a better job of managing things.

    If I'm not elected, I can live with it. If she is elected, then I'll have to make a decision. I don't really want my kids out there with trash. The parents this fall are great, but last spring's parents included the oxycodone distributor, a woman who came to a 10 a.m. game drunk as a pirate and two other sets of parents who were clear target customers for the oxy dealer. If high school athletes can fudge on their home address, I imagine I can get a 7-year-old into an out-of-zone league next spring.
     
  8. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Look at the situation you just described. And you want to be a part of it?
     
  9. albert77

    albert77 Well-Known Member

    I agree with slappy. Walk away. There is a much greater chance of this cesspool dragging you down than you have of lifting it up.
     
  10. WolvEagle

    WolvEagle Active Member

    I would run away as fast as I could. It sounds like a bad situation that isn't easily fixed, and there have to be better situations out there.

    If you choose to try to fix the situation, good luck dealing with the druggies.

    For your sake, please run away.
     
  11. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Coaching on that level takes an unbelievable amount of patience, and that's because of the parents, not the kids.

    My kid is just finishing his first round of little league. It's run about as well as a league can be with 4, 5 and 6 year olds. Everybody bats and essentially everybody hits a single every time up. It doesn't matter if you hit it to the outfield or if it dribbles back to the pitcher and you get thrown out. It sounds cheesy, but it works, and the kids love it. They also rotate the batting order and rotate which positions kids play.

    After Tuesday's game, one of the fathers stops the coach as the coach is getting into his car to leave and starts chastizing him because his kid has not played shortstop yet. This wasn't just a "Oh, hey, if there's any way..." This guy had a crazed look to him and myself and three other fathers jumped in before this guy could take a swing at a coach, who as far as I'm concerned, is a saint.

    Insane.
     
  12. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    It really is unbelievable. Last spring, we had a grandparent yelling at my assistant coach about his pitching. He wasn't throwing the ball well. But the guy had no right to yell at him. The coach is a state trooper. When grandpa heard that, he shut his mouth. My guess is that the guy is up to a lot worse than yelling at a baseball game.

    I'm the only coach at our level who makes all of the kids play the outfield at least once during the season. When it happens for the first time, I sense some angry parents. Once they figure me out, though, they start to get it. I've played some coaches who were fairly confrontational and a few who took advantage when they saw that I can be easy to manipulate. For one game, we only had six kids. It was the Friday before spring break. The third base coach for the other team sent the runner home even if the shortstop had the ball. We didn't have a catcher. So she knew there was nothing we could do.

    I had to deal with another coach who threw a fit because he said our players were running out of the baseline to avoid the tag. I hadn't even been watching. I told him that it was a judgment call, and we don't use umpires for our 6-8 kids. So I just shrugged my shoulders and said that I didn't have a rulebook and would need to see the exact rule before I could even begin to comment. The guy has a history of being an a-hole, and he screams at his players. I had adjusted my defense just to give his team a chance to score some runs, and he responded with that BS. He also asked me a few times to tell him what score I had. Hell, I don't keep track. I had to check with our scorekeeper every time he asked.
     
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page