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Parent infighting destroys LLWS hopeful

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by LongTimeListener, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member


    Woodcreek Little League in Roseville (near Sacramento) has won this age group's Northern California district every year, and now those boys are 12 and supposedly have a great shot at the Little League World Series. At the least it would be a major upset if they didn't make the West Regional near L.A.

    Except the board, for reasons it won't divulge other than to say there was a history of safety violations and complaints, denied approval to the coach, Tommy Bryce (who has won 11 district championships with the league). It snuck the motion into the end of an otherwise routine meeting. When a dissenting board member asked to see the supposed "documentation" that existed, he wasn't allowed to see it. At a follow-up meeting where families came to protest the decision, the board stood firm with the decision and with not explaining it.

    So ... his coaching partner is the father of the best player in the league. Dad pulls kid, as does as the father of another player. And without them the team has basically no chance to go to the regionals.

    I don't know what was wrong with the coach, it sounds like some parents just didn't like him. I don't know why the kids couldn't just stay in the league and play for another coach, it sounds like their dads are pretty used to getting their asses kissed in the near-constant recruitment of travel ball. The one kid, Susac, is considered one of the best 12-year-olds in the state. (Leave aside for a moment the absurdity of state rankings for 12-year-olds.)

    But I do know this is one big slice of apple pie topped with a steaming turd.
  2. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    If the reasons for Bryce's banning were really trivial, you would think he would leap on a soapbox and shout them out in full detail to any news organization who was willing to listen.

    That would force (well, pressure them anyway) the league to document what the violations really were.
  3. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    This scenario is being played out on smaller stages from coast to coast. Many times. Every year. The chances of it happening somehow coincide with the percentage of douches among a Little League's parents.

    And they all now have the bargaining chip to hold over Little League -- travel ball. You see where the top two players are going. Previous generations generally didn't have that option. You played for Hometown Little League. Or you don't play.

    But you know, my main reaction to this story surprised even me, because I've been a Little League apologist in the past. But my first thought was that it's a pretty messed-up deal when a bunch of 11- and 12-year-olds are charged with putting a city of 126,323 "on the map."
  4. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    There isn't a good guy in the bunch. Youth sports politics is the WORST.
  5. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    Yeah, but poin, what happens then is that everybody who does good things for the kids -- and there are thousands and thousands of them -- are painted with the same brush because it's easier.

    Youth sports politics ARE the worst. But not everyone indulges in them. It's the squeaky-wheel syndrome. You hear about the bad ones.
  6. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    At least the locals are staying calm in the comments section.

    Zach Conquistador Armenta · Works at Walmart
    This is bull. I played for tommy and hes a great coach and better person. I owe a lot to him. He helped me become a better player. Huge loss. Its like alabama losing saban.
  7. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    Exactly. I've coached (and been a youth sports parent) for 10 years, and while I've certainly had issues with parents (who had issues with me) from time to time, for the most part people have been good. Of course, I haven't coached at a highly competitive level. I suspect if I were coaching travel ball, there would be a lot more shit. Then again, that (and the inability and lack of desire to devote my full spare time to little people sports) is why I don't coach travel ball.
  8. jackfinarelli

    jackfinarelli Member

    I coached a Little League team for ONE season and would not do that again for any reason. You would be amazed at how many future Hall of Fame talents I had on that team - if you believed what their parents had to say about them and their playing time and their position in the batting order and ...

    One parent had been argumentative about everything we did as a team for most of the season and then he confronted me with what he thought was the great put-down of all time. He said, "You're not teaching my kid to play baseball the way the play it in the major leagues."

    I calmly replied that the reason I was not doing that was because I did not know how to do that and if I did the last place I would be working is with a Little League team. He clinched his jaw; called me a dumb asshole and stomped off to his car to drive his kid home.
  9. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    National tournaments for kids teams should be fuckin' banned -- or failing that they should be disparaged, degraded, ridiculed and reviled as utter absurdities. Winning those tournaments, even the LLWS, means nothing.
  10. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    Not even going to agree with that. Seen too many smiles in South Williamsport to follow you down that path.
  11. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    I'd exempt the LLWS for the reasons you mention, shottie -- but I'd make sure it was an actual all-star team based on league play and not a predetermined year-round travel team.

    Other than that, I would love to see a rule that nobody under age 13 is allowed to play any sporting event more than 75 miles from his or her home.

    Also, I sent that link around to some people I know out here who are way more connected to the baseball scene. They say in addition to the Susac 12-year-old, he has an 11-year-old brother who is one of the best players (and pitchers) in the state too, and probably would have been on the team. Pops might be feeling especially entitled because of that.
  12. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    I couldn't agree with you more on weeding the travel teams out of the LLWS. The concept, though, is as ingrained overseas as it is here. You know the Taiwanese kids are doing infield drills in January.
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