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Rick Reilly raises ethical dillema in youth sports

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by suburbia, Aug 9, 2006.

  1. Pitching to the weakest batter is no different than stealing a base on a bad catcher.  The fact that he was recovering from cancer shouldn't change the situation.  If he had recovered enough to play baseball, than you shouldn't treat him differently.
  2. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    Baseball's a situational game. That one of the things the kids are learning.
    When the kid's parents signed him up and kept him in baseball, they should have considered that disappointment is often a part of sports.
  3. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Ashy, no offense, but that's fucking stupid beyond belief.

    If I was a player on the team and we needed one out and could pitch to either their best player or their worst player, I wouldn't have even looked into the dugout. I'd have stood up, put my hand out and walked the kid myself. And if my coach had come out and said we had to pitch to him out of some misguided code of honor, I'd have told him he was an idiot.

    What about the pitcher if he gives up a home run to lose the game? He doesn't count because he doesn't have cancer?

    Each coach looks out for his own players. The other coach fucked up by having his lineup configured the way he did at the end of the game.

    End of story.
  4. beefncheddar

    beefncheddar Guest

    I agree in the sense that it's not about the kid having cancer. Frankly, he's probably used to making outs.

    Maybe the league I played in was different. Or maybe my memory is just shot. But I can't remember anyone ever getting an IBB until I was in much older leagues.

    I mean, seriously. No IBBs. No bunts. None of your freaking major-league strategy. They're 9- and 10-year-olds. Let them play the fucking game and stay the fuck out of the way. What's next? Drilling kids on purpose? Oh yeah, we've already had that, too, huh?

    I love sports as much as anybody, but I'm DREADING getting my kids involved. Just because of jackasses like these guys.
  5. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    I bunted for hits in little league all the time, especially if I knew the other team was hiding a shitty fielder at third. And I did it on my own.

    One thing conspicuously absent from this story: Reilly mentions that everyone has to play. I'm wondering if the opposing coach had the option to hit for the kid with cancer, or if he threw him out there in the last inning and thus had to let him hit (that would go a long way toward explaining why he had his worst hitter hitting behind his best).

    Something tells me Romney's coach is the one who screwed the pooch here...
  6. Ashy Larry

    Ashy Larry Active Member

    I'm sorry if its "stupid beyond belief".....I fail to think so when dealing with kids.  

    Pitch to the best kid, let him try to beat you.....I'd prefer that a 10 year cancer survivor doesn't need to feel like he let his whole team down.  But you know,....I guess he should just suck it up right.  Fuck, everyone's got problems....tough luck with the cancer, but man up and get a hit right?
  7. beefncheddar

    beefncheddar Guest

    How old were you when you were bunting for hits?

    And, FWIW, I'm stunned this was even a pitching league. I could be way off, but I don't remember full kids-pitching leagues until around 12-years-old or so.
  8. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    He, or his parents, signed up for baseball.

    If he's that sick, he shouldn't play. If he's well enough to play, play.

    I suppose none of the other kids on any of the other teams in the league have problems or illnesses. Is every team supposed to keep a book and devise special rules so as not to emabarass them?

    I'm sympathetic to not humiliating the kid, but what's humiliating about this? It's baseball. People strike out all the time. And, frankly, the kid had a perfect attitude about it. He's going to be a better hitter. Good for him.

    I hope the next time, he hits one out.
  9. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    BNC --

    Little League, which was, IIRC, 10-11-12 in my hometown.

    It went T-ball, one year of coach-pitch/ lob ball and then kids pitch.

    And let's face it, those leagues can be brutal. I caught kids who couldn't find the plate to save their lives. We didn't have run-rules yet, and I crouched out there for several 10+ run innings without the benefit of a hit.

    I couldn't believe that league had a maximum of four runs per inning. Leagues around here are 10.
  10. broadway joe

    broadway joe Guest

    I've been in a similar situation. Coaching Little League, 11 and 12 year olds. Tie game, last inning, the stud comes up with a runner on third. I don't believe in intentional walks at that age, so I told my pitcher not to throw him anything in the strike zone. He throws one way outside and the stud reaches out and hits it halfway to Neptune to beat us. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't change a thing.

    The slugger in my game and the one Reilly describes deserved a chance to be the hero. Every kid should get the chance to swing the bat, because that's what they're there for and that's how they get better. At that age, that's more important than my getting to pretend I'm Tony LaRussa. That coach should have pitched to the stud -- pitch to him like he's Pujols, but pitch to him -- no matter who's up next.
  11. prhack

    prhack Member

    I'm blue state to a fault, but the righteous indignation being thrown at these coaches seems a little silly to me. If the kid was well enough to play, then he was well enough to strike out. When you put a kid, any kid, into a game, there's a chance it won't end with him running around the bases and jumping into the arms of his teammates. That's sports, and it's also life.

    Has it ever occurred to anyone that by "protecting" this kid, you're also robbing him of the opportunity to succeed. Is that really the message you want to send? "Hey kid, better to be left standing in the on-deck circle of life than to swing for the fences and come up short."

    My bet is, if this kid's got the stuff to beat cancer, he's got the stuff to shake off a little disappointment on the baseball diamond. If that last quote is any indication, he's already showing 10 times the guts of his would-be protectors.

    God forbid I ever face this situation, but if I do, and it's my kid standing there waiting to hit, I hope he gets his chance.
  12. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Another good point.
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