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Rick Reilly raises ethical dillema in youth sports

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

  1. Ashy Larry

    Ashy Larry Active Member

    Really?  I can't recall one intentional walk in Little League, in any situation.  My biggest problem is the age of these kids.....9 and 10 years old, a perfect opportunity for the coach to a make decision bigger than the game.  If the cancer survivor came to bat instead of the "superstar", I agree you pitch to him like any other player.....but to walk to a batter in order to face the 10 year old cancer survivor is bush league.
  2. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    But if Johnny Slugger hits it out, that's OK for the kids on the other team.

    It's baseball. People got intetnionally walked in my little leage. Not often, but it happened.

    What about singling out one kid to be the pitcher? Should we stop that, too?

    Parents will try to turn baseball into soccer if left unchecked.
  3. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    I'm a big believer in sports being more about learning than winning for young people.
    I still think the coach did the right thing.
  4. beefncheddar

    beefncheddar Guest

    They're 9- and 10-fucking-years-old.

    Roll a baseball out there. Load up on Big League Chew and ice water. And fucking let the kids swing for the fences.

    Provide instruction. INSTRUCTION. Show a kid how to hold the bat. Teach the kids how to stay down on ground balls. Give pointers on how to throw the ball and make it go where you want it to.

    No IBBs. No bunts. No goddamned strategy, for the love of all things good and decent. There will be plenty of time for that. PLENTY.

    Coaches, stay the fuck out of the way.

    EDIT: Can't belive I forgot this one ... NO CURVE BALLS YET, ASSHOLES.
  5. farmerjerome

    farmerjerome Active Member

    Are you fucking kidding? My soccer league was pretty brutal.
  6. Ashy Larry

    Ashy Larry Active Member

    I agree...at that age these kids should be learning life skills, like how to interact with strangers and new teammates, working towards a common goal, etc.  None of these kids will be professional players, so why instill the "win at all costs" attitude at ten years old?  Half the Yankees will probably be skateboarders in 3 years......

    And in all honesty.....I picture the cancer survivor as much smaller than his peers, bald from chemo, ecstatic to be living, let alone playing ball.......and intentionally put the league championship on his shoulders knowing he's outmatched just seems to add to a life thats been dealt enough hardships for an adult to handle.
  7. RedCanuck

    RedCanuck Active Member

    It's still a detriment to the way I can play the game, and it is still something that as a nine year old, I probably couldn't control.  It's not like I was a little pig of a kid, fat can be genetic and fat can be an issue with a thyroid gland .

    What 's your line for what deserves sympathy and what doesn't?  If I have eye trouble, do you treat me differently?  If I have a gimp leg?  If I I have an irregular heart beat? Like someone else said, soon we're going to be keeping books about kids on the benches.

    That coach, Farr, was right.  Coaches do put their weakest kids in positions that are beneficial to them at all levels.  Coaches generally make a batting order with some inkling for why they're doing it.  Maybe the Sox coach didn't, but many do.

    Seems like the kid's attitude about this is, as always, better than any of ours.  He cried that night as any kid probably would - cancer or not - and he said the next day, "I'm going to work on my batting so they'll walk me. "  Seems to me, that kid accepted the strategy and didn't want his cancer to be an excuse or a crutch. I'd imagine most survivors would relate with him.
  8. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    BNC --

    I'd agree 100 percent but you'd have to add at least two things to that list:

    1. Don't play a playoff system or a championship game...

    2. Don't allow parents -- or anyone else, for that matter -- to watch.

    I'll be the first to defend such a system. Believe me. But with the system the way it is, strategy is part of the game. Not as important as instruction, but part nonetheless. We can debate how much, but we'll never all agree.

    EDIT: One more thing. You should teach them to bunt from the time they learn to hit. If you've ever watched how pathetic the average HS/Legion team is at bunting -- even to sacrifice -- they need to start as early as possible.
  9. farmerjerome

    farmerjerome Active Member

    I think any life-threatening illness just about covers it.

    Look, I've been fat it sucked. But it was a lot worse when I heard the words "brain" and "tumor" coming out of my doctor's mouth.
  10. Ashy Larry

    Ashy Larry Active Member

    RedCanuck.....you were fat at 10 years old, ....were you being treating by doctors with chemo and radiation to stop a disease?  A disease that could have killed you without that treatment?   Was death a distinct possibility of you didn't get your weight in check within a year or 2?

    Theres a big difference, HUGE difference.  Equating being overweight with child cancer is absurd.
  11. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Folks, he's equating being fat, or just being a shitty athlete at that age with this kids situation in that THEY WERE BOTH EASY OUTS.

    The point being, every little league team had one. People are just hung up because the cause of this kid's poor performance was cancer.

    But it doesn't make the pain he feels from striking out any different from that felt by millions of fat, unathletic, ashtmatic, absent-minded, near-sighted kids who have done the exact same thing over the years.

    He struck out. He beat cancer. Which is more important? Think he knows the difference?

    I bet he does.
  12. beefncheddar

    beefncheddar Guest

    As to 1, I've got no problem with competition. I love it. I just think the parents and coaches should STFU and stay out of the way, except to cheer and provide instruction AT THAT AGE. There should always be a winner and a loser. And kids love trophies.

    As to 2, parents should be there and should cheer, and provide encouragement, for their children. And the second a parent says anything even remotely jackassish, they should be run.

    As to what age to begin playing Tony LaRussa baseball, I don't know. We could probably argue that one all day and night. I'll never agree, though, that it's at the 9/10-year-old level.

    And I'll bow to you on the bunting -- though I don't think kids should be forced to do it at that age in a game. Let them eat ice cream and swing for the fences.
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