Whiter than Rice

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Why I Hate People

Only Real Men with Real Balls Do This

This actually happened. Your job is to decide whether it should have.

In a nine- and 10-year-old PONY league championship game in Bountiful, Utah, the Yankees lead the Red Sox by one run. The Sox are up in the bottom of the last inning, two outs, a runner on third. At the plate is the Sox' best hitter, a kid named Jordan. On deck is the Sox' worst hitter, a kid named Romney. He's a scrawny cancer survivor who has to take human growth hormone and has a shunt in his brain.

So, you're the coach: Do you intentionally walk the star hitter so you can face the kid who can barely swing?

Wait! Before you answer.... This is a league where everybody gets to bat, there's a four-runs-per-inning max, and no stealing until the ball crosses the plate. On the other hand, the stands are packed and it is the title game.

So ... do you pitch to the star or do you lay it all on the kid who's been through hell already?

Yanks coach Bob Farley decided to walk the star.

I've been engaged in a 4 page discussion with regard to this topic... so I'm going to break it down into the POSSIBLE avenues this douchebag could have taken:

1) Coach goes with the hands off approach:
a) Kid pitches to the slugger
i) Pitcher gets slugger out
Coach: "Good job kid. I knew you could do it. Ice cream for everyone, we just won the championship!"

ii) Pitcher doesn't get slugger out, the team loses the game
Coach: "That's alright kid, you did your best, and you faced him like a man. That's the important thing. We still finished second, ice cream for everyone!"

b) Kid walks the slugger on his own, gets the cancer kid to win the game.
Coach: "I didn't like what you did out there, but I understand you did it for the team. You may not always get to "pitch around the batter" in life. I want you to go and think about what you did. I want you to know that you can be better."

Edit: To qualify the following article, I'll have to admit that a) I have been constantly pitched to my ENTIRE LIFE and b) When I was 10, I'd be the first guy on the team to propose to pitch around and find the cancer kid.

This is what little league is about. Not trophies for dumb White guys with bruised egos trying to relive their childhood through kids. It's about the unadulterated spirit of the game, fair competition, kids dealing with their decisions, and fun for everyone. Don't take the ball out of the kid's hands. Let HIM make the decision. STAY OUT OF THE DECISION MAKING.

That being said, if the kid DOES get flak for walking the slugger, it's the ADULT'S job to come out and take responsibility and say "I let my kids make their own decisions, but in the end, I'm the adult, and the buck stops here. If you have a problem with the way my kids play, you come talk to me, not the kid."

Of course, this guy goes with plan C: Be the biggest douchebag possible, SPECIFICALLY ORDER an IBB

As you know, I am not a "THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!1111 OH NOES!!!" person, but seirously, what kind of a message did this tool send to his team? What does this asshole did was tell his pitcher the following:

"No, YOU'RE not good enough, we don't believe in your abilities, I want you to beat up on your weaker peers, but it's clearly the best way to get to places in life!"

10 year old kids have... i don't know, SELF-ESTEEMS to build. You wanna know what's going to happen to this pitcher when he goes back to school during recess:

"Hey look, there's the chicken who was picking on the cancer kid!!!"

Still, the best part was the coach's defense of his own douchebaggery:

"Isn't that strategy?" he asks. "Isn't that trying to win? Do we let the kid feel like he's a winner by having the whole league play easy on him? This isn't the Special Olympics. He's not retarded."

You may think a man who does the right thing by facing challanges has balls, but you'd be wrong. It takes a REAL MAN with REAL BALLS to make a wrong decision for petty personal gain, be ready to face the scorn of an entire nation, and then BLAME THE VICTIM afterwards.

Using strategy to win? Sure, but again, if you RTFA, there's a 4 run inning cap, everybody has to bat, so you couldn't even pinch-hit for the cancer kid... I mean, sure it was "comptetive", but the context of the game came NOWHERE CLOSE to calling for an IBB.

By the way, the next morning, Romney woke up and decided to do something about what happened to him.

"I'm going to work on my batting," he told his dad. "Then maybe someday I'll be the one they walk."

Apparently I undervalued 10 year old kids. There is a silver lining in this whole fiasco after all. This is a tough kid. He's learnt something from this. If he can fight cancer, than he can survive the douchebaggery of this planet.

Edit: Why the cancer kid was hitting behind the good kid (from BBTF):

If, in this league, teams typically approach their 4-run limit in a given inning, then spreading the "outs" is, in fact, a wise move. It doesn't make sense to frontload your lineup with your seven best hitters, see all but one get on base and score the maximum number of runs, then watch your seven worst hitters fail to score in the next two innings. Since Reilly doesn't provide the final score, we don't know the particular run environment to determine whether spreading his lineup was the proper call.


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