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!

Rick Reilly raises ethical dillema in youth sports

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

  1. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    If that's the case, the fault lies with putting the kid in the situation in the first place.
    The kid has been through a lot. Sports include success and failure. If you don't think the kid can handle the latter, take him out of the sport.
  2. RedCanuck

    RedCanuck Active Member

    How many of those same kids would have watched ball on the weekend and witnessed pro teams intentionally walking David Ortiz or Barry Bonds? If the major leaguers are setting that example, I'm sure they'd ask why coach wouldn't  do the same thing to help them win.  That's impressionable youth for you.

    The question about the other team's lineup is a valid one.  I'd imagine the Sox coaches knew just how competitive the Yankees coaches were, and you almost wonder if they didn't stick the weak kid behind the slugger just because they figured the Yankees might not have the guts to pitch around slugger due to that image.  They did.

    As for Reilly's ethics, certainly we've talked about it for five pages here, so it was a hot-button issue.  It raises awareness, like any good column should do, and I think it's clear enough through the column that readers can and should make their own call.  I'm fine with that.
  3. doubledown68

    doubledown68 Active Member

    Someone get this man in charge of a little league.. immediately. And double second the no curves. I can't wait until someone in the LLWS needs Tommy John surgery before he can vote because the coach blew out his arm by repeatedly calling for the bender. If you can teach a kid to throw an offspeed pitch with a different grip and no breaking of the wrist, fine. If not, just let the kid throw the gas.
  4. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    These are 9 and 10 year old kids. It SHOULD be about participation--EVERY kid being able to play--not about a win at all costs mentality. GOOD youth sports leagues have mandatory minimum play rules. If a "win is a win is a win," why not let just the kids who are good play? Better yet, why not let the coaches recruit kids and bribe them with new bikes and candy?

    I think some of you are losing sight of how young a 9 or 10 year old is. Team sports can teach you a lot of great lessons. Those kids got a raw deal from their coach. At best, he robbed them of the opportunity to gain a meaningful victory acheived by challenging the other team's best player. At worst, those kids now thing that winning is more important than winning with honor.
  5. dog428

    dog428 Active Member

    God, is this really how far gone we are? That there are a board full of people on here arguing that these coaches did the right thing by intentionally walking the best player to get to the weak player -- and forget about the fact that this kid has cancer, that's meaningless. How is this supposed to be some great lesson for the kids?


    I think, once again, the involvement of parents in youth league sports has been misinterpreted. Let me make this clear: If you're coaching your kid's team, your responsibilities include teaching them the rules, teaching the fundamentals, ensuring some measure of order and organizing practices.

    You are an overseer. You're not there to prove to everyone how great of a baseball mind you have. The Yanks or Sox aren't gonna hear about how you led the Manny's Pizzeria 10-year-old team to the city title and come calling. You are a guide, the kids are the stars. You are there to make sure they have fun, that everybody gets a turn and that they follow the rules. That. Is. All. Nobody gives a shit that you have so little of a life that you'll spend time "scouting" the opponent for weaknesses. This game isn't about that. It's about kids learning teamwork and discipline. Nothing more.

    That you walked the star to get to the weak player teaches these kids one thing about life -- that there are weak assholes in it who will use every bullshit approach they can find for avoiding situations where they might fail.

    By not throwing to the star, not only are you not teaching your kids anything meaningful, you're teaching them that it's OK to take the easy way out.
  6. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    And I'll repeat that they are still 9 and 10 year old kids. This isn't a pro team. You tell them you don't intentionally walk the kid for the same reason that everyone gets to bat, there is no stealing until the ball crosses the plate and they are only allowed to score four runs an inning.
  7. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    I'd have ordered a walk and a high and tight pitch to the next batter.

    You play to win.
  8. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    I have not, and will not be able to, read 5 pages of this tonight. (Or however many pages y'all make this before the night is thru.)

    I will just say this: Let kids be kids. That is all.

    Let kids be kids.
  9. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    And Joey's dad, the coach, would've called timeout, walked to the mound, yelled at Joey for throwing at Englepuke's head, and when Joey denied this, slapped Joey in the face, whereas Joey the pitcher fields Englepuke's comebacker, and to spite his dad, the coach, for slapping him in the face in front of everyone, holds onto the ball and lets everyone score, before walking off the field, dropping the ball at his dad, the coach's, feet and leaving the complex with his hotbox mom, whose wearing some tight-ass bellbottoms.
  10. qtlaw

    qtlaw Well-Known Member

    I was the volunteer league "president" for my local 9 and 10 yr old Pony League Division (Mustang) because my kid was in another division. Its not totally noncompetitive. In fact my coaches were very competitive but they did a great job of not having it go to an extreme.

    first off, let me remind everyone of the tremendous time commitment the coaches give. They have to be at practice at 4:30 pm twice a week and then commit to games 1 or 2 a week; that's 3-4 days/wk. That does not even count all the administrative time off the field making out lineups, etc. Its an awesome gift to the kids and their families. I wish I could coach but just could not get out of the office that much, that early.

    Secondly, yes some coaches appear to be overly competitive but most by and large care about the kids.

    Lastly, it is appaling the "need to win" which pervades the game. These are 9 and 10 year old kids who know what it means to win and to lose but who still need to learn how to excel without embarrasing the opponent. What the coach did was awful because it embarrased the cancer kid. Intentional walks do not need to be a part of a 9 and 10 yr old game. If the pitcher is smart enough to pitch around the stud, so be it, but do not openly draw attention to the fact that you are going for the weak link, that crosses the line to embarassment.
  11. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Any coach who ever orders an intentional walk in kids' baseball should be immediately forced to stand on his head at home plate, remove his pants, and pull them down over his own head, and coach the rest of the game wearing only jockey shorts.

    I coached kids' baseball/softball for quite a few years. And I  never  ordered an intentional walk. Never, ever.

    Get. The. Batter. Out.
  12. qtlaw

    qtlaw Well-Known Member

    BTW, this is how the order was apparently communicated:

    " C) Scream across the diamond to intentionally walk the hitter because the cancer victim is too weak and frail to hit the ball. That way your team can get the easy win, and everyone will commend you for what a brilliant coach you are."

    according to http://www.clippertoday.com/print_this_story.asp?smenu=4&sdetail=15583
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page