Skip to comments.Too Good to Play
Posted on 06/25/2005 6:51:06 AM PDT by kiki04
Too Good to Play Thursday, June 23, 2005 A team of 11- and 12-year-old baseball players has been kicked out of its league for being too good. Earlier this month, the Stars of Columbus, Ohio, were taken off the Canal Winchester Joint Recreation District's (search) schedule, and their $150 entry fee was refunded, reports The Columbus Dispatch. The 14 boys only joined the suburban league in early May, but since then had creamed every other team that faced them 18-0, 13-0, 24-0, 10-2 and 17-6. "I called up the league office and said, 'No way are we going to play them,'" Terry Morris, who coaches another team in the division, told The Dispatch. "I wasn't going to subject my players to that." Pretty soon, all scheduled games were canceled, and the Stars found themselves orphaned. "I don't think it's fair," said Stars catcher and pitcher Michael Allston, who at 12 stands 5-foot-8. "We always played our best, and we were just winning games." "
[Another] team told us they didn't want their boys' self-esteem battered," said Trina Cochran, mother of 11-year-old Stars player Mario Cochran. "Our boys went into this with a good attitude," said Darla Perry, whose son R.J., 11, weighs 155 pounds. "It's turned into a disaster." Opponents' parents charged that the Stars' players were older than they claimed to be and that they were actually an "all-star" team culled from across Columbus. In return, the Stars' parents began bringing birth certificates to games, as well as documents showing that all but one of the boys lived in the same ZIP code. League officials and other teams' coaches are unrepentant. "They were just beating the rec kids up," said Michael Mirones, the league's board chairman. "It's no fun for the kids that are losing."
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Here in the Allentown area, the public schools were so ticked off because the Catholic schools kicked their butts in football despite lopsided financial resources. Of course, they had to break up the league and guess what they got, mediocre games, they succeeded in destroying a great league in the Lehigh Valley.
I thought little league was about playing not winning and losing. Silly me.
Is this team going to go to the LLWS? They should get that chance.
What ungrateful, selfish, fearful fellow citizens we have in this country.
What a bunch of whiners. I coach my son's team, he's 12. He's one of the best pitchers at his age in the area. Why is he that good? Practice, Practice, and more practice. He loves the game. It's not this teams fault that while they are hitting the field to practice, the other teams are taking up space on the sofa watching spongebob.
That's probably why the left were against the war in Iraq - America was too good!!
umm guys there is a bit more to this story than just self esteem.
The kids on the all star team (and it was) was stealing bases when up by more than 15 runs. Sure it isn't illegal, but that isn't something you generally do. Winning big is one thing, but running up the score is quite another. These kids, along with their typcial little league parents (who have the typcial little league parent syndrome), were running up the scores on EVERYONE.
it IS their fault that the kids coaches wanted to steal bases when up by 15 plus runs.
The kids dont know any better, but the coaches do.
"I wasn't going to subject my players to that."
Why not? He obvisouly subjected them to bad coaching.
Ohio is being thrown to the leftist wolves. We were up there recently, just north of Columbus, union country. It was chock full of self-centered Godless leftists.
I don't know an awful lot about baseball....
I agree with that. However, there have been games where blue fails to call the game. Just because we are winning 12-2 does not mean I should tell my players to just quit trying.
But I'd also never teach a kid to quit just because he or she was either winning big or losing big, they are measuring thmeslves against one another as much as against the other team.
Besides, which is more embarrasing, being beat 16 zip, or watching the other side just screw off because they knew you'd never get close?
I see no particular claim to satisfaction in a football team of up-to 12 year olds, where the average player weighs 200 pounds.
Competition is a great thing if managed properly. I remember in High school there were Four levels of teams in most sports: 120s, 130s, Junior Varsity and Varsity, with no upward restrictions: if a player weighed 100 pounds and could hold his own or better playing varsity basketball, in he went, but the reverse was never true. No matter how bad a 7-footer 200-pounder played anything, he could never play 120. Whatever happened to common sense?
As is populalry cited, Little League is as much for the parents that are living vicariously through their kids as the for the kids themselves. The other side of this story is that a small set of parents who assembled an ego-bruising Dream Team was rputed out of the League by a bigger set of parents with bruised egos.
rputed = routed
Whats the point of standing at the plate to suffer a pitcher's perfect game? I was on a team like this in my youth, 4 of our pitchers had over 85+ mph fastballs. 3 went to play college ball. AA/AAA ball. The pitchers allowed less than 20 hits, the entire season. I was bored playing the field, we'd run out there, throw round the horn, then watch 3 kids wiff at 9 pitches, then run back to the dugout every inning of every game. Batters sometimes cried just standing at the plate.
Pitcher: Starting rotation of US Junior National team, travelled throughout Europe last year, missing months of school.
Batter: Fat Joe, who likes to play wiffleball sometimes, for like an hour, on some weekends.
Pitcher: Lowest ERA/highest K count at LLWS the previous year.
Batter: Little Paulie, a pip squeak who can barely swing a 29" bat.
We used to cheer opponents' foul tips.
Who was it that said, "I won't run up the score/steal more bases if you promise not to score any more runs yourself"?
I can only prove it by experience.
I lived in Canal Winchester and around that area for the past 8 years. The chances of pulling a team like that from an area that small population wise is difficult. Sure there is a chance it could have happened, but I have an inside source, let's say, from the area who said the coach more or less picked the players he wanted.
AS for the quitting for winning or losing, it is up to the coaches to keep their kids under control. It is called calling off the dogs. If you are smacking a team 20-0, even the players in the Major Leagues back off, and THAT is a business. Whereas in Little League, nothing gets proven by winning 30-0, when 20-0 will do.
The same inside source has explained what was going on. It was not pretty. It was never ending. The only thing keeping these games from being 100-0 is that after the 4th inning, anyone up by 15 runs wins the game by run rule.
I guess you won't understand.
It is fairly competitive there in Columbus.
I umpired little league in the city for 3 years. I WON'T do that anymore. The lack of sportsmanship between the coaches is being played out through the kids. Add to that, the horrible parents that ALWAYS accompany Little League teams.
This next spring I start umpiring high school ball. Hopefully the crowds and the coaches will be much more mature.
I agree with you on this 100%, but IMHO, you disrespect the game of baseball when you're stealing bases with a 15 run lead.
This tells me that the coach of these "all-stars" does not respect the game of baseball. Any major leaguer who pulls a stunt like that will get a fastball in the ear the next time he's batting.
I'm all for keeping score, and winning, but there's a lot to be said for how you play the game.
Somebody should tell Coach Stoops of OK, who just signed a contract for $3,000,000, that he shouldn't run up the score against Texas Tech and Baylor because it will hurt their self-esteem.
If anyone's self-esteem might be damaged, it would be the Stars from Columbus. They may have grown up to be the next Clemens and A-Rod, but now might feel dejected and spend the next few years getting involved in mischief.
The crowds and coaches will be older, but more mature?
I would think that the HS coaches would have a greater appreciation for the traditions and nuances of the "great game".
It's just when the parents wait in the parking lot to try to get you to fight them that I won't miss. It happened 2 times in Westerville and one time in Columbus. I was right all 3 times, but some of the parents couldn't help it. I didnt even get an argument out of the coaches on ANY of the calls.
You generally don't see that in high schools here in Ohio. At least not in the years I have been here. The coaches have a much better control and add to that, it is generally on school property.
As for the coaches, they generally DO a much better job of that. They also substitute when they are up big and won't rub the score in the other teams face. something lacking in this case.
The families of these boys should have been looking for more of a challenge. When I was playing Babe Ruth (13-15), I was maybe 5'2", and 120 lbs. I also played catcher and have not so fond memories of 80 mph fastballs ricocheting off my cup.
The teams that I played on won very few games, but our opponents did not disrespect the game. They played hard every inning, made the most of each at bat, but they did not attempt to steal bases with a 10 run lead.
What boost is there to one's self-esteem when you're beating clearly inferior teams like a drum? I recall what my beloved stepfather would say when I told him we won our game by a lopsided score: "So who were you playing? A bunch of girls?"
My husband is from that area, we read M-C online, but I missed that story...
yep pretty much...
one correction though, Babe Ruth is now Cal Ripken baseball :)
I played Babe Ruth myself in Hagerstown, MD. I was one of the guys throwing 80+ MPH fastballs :)
In most sports you have two or more levels of play. I coach ice hockey, where locally we have house/rec[reational] leagues and travel (competative) leagues (I coach in both leagues). Rec leagues are generally pick-up leagues where players are randomly assigned to teams (with a few kids placed with their friends, etc.) and generally balanced skill-wised, because the purpose of the league is for less-talented kids to have fun playing a sport. Some more talented kids do play, but they are spread out among the teams in order to keep the teams balanced. I can't stress enough that the purpose of these house leagues is to have fun, and so we coach them like that. Every kid plays, once you are up a certain number of goals you make your good players start passing to the weaker ones instead of shooting, etc.
Then there are the travel leagues. These teams are built through tryouts, have regular practices, and are about developing player talent. You win, period. Weaker players get benched or short-shifted, your kids play all-out all the time, and your main goal is to teach your team all of the skills necessary to win at this level and be prepared for the next level.
I will guarantee that this team is a travel league team that was using this rec league as an off-season prep, either for its own league or for tournaments. We see cases of sandbagging (playing in a league significantly lower than your team is able to play) all the time (Travel hockey around here has four power-ranked divisions: B, A, AA, and AAA. It is not unusual for a mediocre AA team to drop down to A for a year, win the title [just so they can win a championship], then go back up to AA the next year with exactly the same roster).
What you have is a case of teams composed for two different purposes. The team that has been built to win is dominating teams of kids (usually who aren't very good or just started learning the sport) that were built to have fun. What they are doing is patently unfair, as they are violating the spirit of the league they entered. Let this "all-star" team move up to a travel league like it belongs, and we'll see how they fare (which is probably the reason they are sandbagging in the first place)...
It's still Babe Ruth here in beautiful Potter County,PA.
CAL RIPKEN, JR. BESTOWED HIGHEST HONOR
BY BABE RUTH LEAGUE, INC.
Baltimore, MD, July 6, 1999: Babe Ruth League, Inc. announced today the renaming of its youth baseball division from the Bambino Division to the Cal Ripken Baseball Division.
12-2 is much different that 24-0, dont you think?
You missed my point completly. If my team is up 12-2 in the 3rd, am I supposed to tell my kids to quit trying?
No. It is when you are outside of the run rule that you should tell them to quit stealing bases constantly. Something that this hand picked team WAS doing.
You don't stop the kids from playing the game, but you don't encourage them to take the extra base or get into rundowns on purpose or any of that crap.
I don't follow baseball, so I don't understand this running up the score stuff. I would think, as a non-fan, that the goal of any sport is to score as many points as is possible while preventing your opponents from doing the same. Is that somehow not the case?
I agree with you on that point. However, I also feel the guys in blue have a part in the blame for this.
how do you figure?
If the game was a hit-a-thon or a walk-a-thon, then how can the umpire do anything but his job? You don't call strikes on balls 5 feet over everyone's head because the score is 20-0.....
Tell 'em to join the soccer geeks if they can't take getting their asses kicked.
Back to the basketball analogy. Would it really make sense to limit the game to those of average size? What would be next? Taller gymasts because the tiny ones have too much of an advantage? Fatter jockeys? Nature blesses some with gifts, including size and weight that are beneficial when playing certain sports. That's just life.
it was a damned rec league. Running up the score has no use and it just gets the winners thinking they are untouchable.
I bet you are one of the Little League parents group. Tell me, how many umpires have you threatened?
Why? Explain this to me. The idea behind a sport is to win by the largest margin possible. Hell, betting is even on point spreads.
The Babe Ruth here is 13-15 year olds.
I was comparing apples and oranges.
well their Bambino league (which is the Little League equivalent) is now the Cal ripken league.
he is building stadium replicas for their world series.