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Thread: Just Let Them Do Their Thing

  1. #1
    To me at all ghettochild's Avatar
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    Just Let Them Do Their Thing

    Just let them do their thing.
    ghettochild
    Saturday, November 4th

    I come to you, my friends, a disgusted man.

    Not by world politics, Reds baseball, or how messy my room is (ok well kinda).

    No. I am disgusted on how little league baseball has become.

    For Instance:

    My ten year old brother plays baseball. For the Cubs. He's a left handed pitcher who also plays first.

    Last night, before I went bowling, I decided to goto his game. I brought along my glove and ball to play catch with him and possibly get a game going with all the kids who aren't on a team on one of the empty fields. After I'm done playing catch with Jack, my brother, they go off and do some BP. My Dad and I go off and watch some of the 16-18 year olds play. There are games going on all over the place. A lot of them pretty good, too.

    But instead of watching baseball just for the sake of watching baseball, what do these parents do? They sit there and watch their kids take BP, or lack there of.

    One of the games that we're watching ends and so I decide to goto one of the bigger fields to dust off my pitching mechanics. Out of 40 pitches, 27 strikes and 13 balls. Not bad, I suppose. But on my way back to the game another game ends, and one of the mothers made this comment - "[Kids Name] Why did you use someone else's bat? You hit over half those balls at the batting cages yesterday in the 50 MPH cage. From now on, you only use your bat! YOUR BAT!"

    I turned around and started cracking up. God I'm such an ass.

    But the fun does not end there! Oh no! We still have the one hour and fifty minute game my brother is about to play. And I am still completely oblivious to the reason why I stopped coming to little league games.

    It took me less than five minutes to realize why I did.

    You see, my brother Jack isn't the lightest of people. Consider him David Wells, per say. Really, really chunky for his age, but not to where he's wobbling like a penguin. He's got a really good bat for a left hander.

    He bats 11th. Out of 12.

    It dawns on me as I hear the lineup being announced that the coach is starting from the most skinny person to the most obese.

    I'm thinking to myself, "ok, so he wants speed at the top of the lineup. Makes sense, right? I'd probably do somewhat the same thing, but I'd also put my top hitters up there too. So these guys must be the complete package, speed and hitting. Should be good, right?"

    WRONG!

    First batter strikes out on a nasty up and in fastball.

    This isn't even out of the first inning and the coach is flipping nuts. "GET BACK IN THE BOX, I WANT YOU TO HIT THE BALL. SEE IT, HIT IT."

    "God Damn," I'm thinking, "Just let them do their thing."

    Well they tack up a four spot in the first inning, not bad.

    Bottom half comes up and this is where I almost lose it.

    The pitcher who is pitching is a lefty, decent stuff for a 10 year old. His dad is one of the coaches.

    After every pitch every one of them coaches, especially the dad, is yelling commands to this kid. He's got so much going through his head that its obvious he's not mentally in the game. And for a pitcher, if you're not mentally in the game, forget about it.

    4-2 Cubs after 1.

    Lets fast forward to the 4th inning.

    Its only got worse. Its like first inning times one thousand. Now the parents are getting into it.

    The score is 9-6 Cubs. Same pitcher who started the game is in there. He's obviously fatigued physically and mentally.

    Runners on first and second. The runner on second is out there with about a seven step lead, which is smart because this team hasn't learned how to pick off runners at second yet. But the pitcher tries it anyway and throws it into right field.

    9-7 Cubs. Runner on third.

    "Watch, they're going to blow this game, and all hell is going to break lose." My dad comments.

    Walk. Stolen base.

    Runners on second and third.

    We have 8 minutes left in the game. If the game is tied after those eight minutes there will be no extra innings.

    Another walk, bases loaded, one out, six minutes left. Coach makes a pitching change, a wise decision, one would say. But time is stopped during a pitching change. So a pretty worthless change.

    The pitcher gives up a single. Tie game.

    The crowd is starting to get rowdy. r-o-w-d-y rowdy.

    And now, a PBP moment by ghetto.

    "Its a chilly night here in Allen, with the yanks and cubbies tied here in the bottom of the fourth. Two outs and runners on second and third. The pitcher is set in his stretch and is ready for the pitch. Checks the runners, and the pitch, LOW AND OUTSIDE A WILDPITCH! THE RUNNER ON THIRD IS GOING! THE TOSS TO THE PITCHER AND HE IS....SAFE! YANKS WIN 10-9 ON A WALKOFF WILDPITCH!"

    "HE CALLED HIM SAFE BEFORE HE SLID!" Says one of the coaches. Which wasn't true, he was clearly safe.

    It was a fine game.

    Well, until I look at my brothers team and, well, everyone but my brother is in tears.

    I started cracking up. God I'm such an ass.

    So did my brother. God he's such an ass.

    "We played better than the outcome, guys."

    Ha.

    Is there such thing in baseball?

    That is the last little league game I will ever watch again.

    Where do I start.

    These coaches, parents, uncles, everyone, they're putting so much pressure on these kids that they're worried that if they don't do what their parents or coaches are saying, they're going to be due for a trip to hell. While, in reality, all they have to do is what they've been doing all their life.

    Just let them do their thing.

    Baseball is a sport that everyone who plays needs to have fun. Don't worry about having to get the game winning hit, or pitch a perfect game, or hitting a home run. Everyone who plays gets a chance to play the wonderful game of baseball.

    If I were a coach in today's little league baseball, which after last night I am seriously considering, I would just sit there. I would tell my coaches to let them do their thing. Just let the damn kids play baseball, man. Thats why they're here in the first place, no?

    I encourage all you parents out there, and future parents, if you're going to put your kid in a youth baseball league, please, PLEASE let them just play. I can assure you that if you've given them enough guidance in the game of baseball they know what their doing. Let them play on a clear mind. Not every kid can be brought up the Tiger Woods way. Not every kid is going to be the next Nolan Ryan, or Albert Pujols.

    But what they will be doing is be playing baseball. And I can guarantee that, with your support, they will be driven into the game of baseball. And you'll never regret it. Baseball is meant for everyone. Everyone can play. But if you keep telling them what to do and not letting them develop on their own, they will lose interest and never want to play again.

    I am still disgusted, but with everyones help, maybe I can enjoy a little league game again. Until then, you'll never see me watching it again.
    i'm scraped and sober but there's no one listening
    [myspace][podcast (10/13)][article]

  2. #2
    Very well said and if any post deserved some rep, it's this one. Mirroring my thoughts on some Little League parents.
    http://strike3forums.com/forums/phot...pelbon2006.jpg


    Then out of fairness to the others you will be Slagathor.

  3. #3
    i lead my team dang it nick's Avatar
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    well put. little league is a joke 90% of the time. I play in a 13-18 year old league as one of the lone 18 yr olds (17 last season, but this upcoming season I'll be 18 and then 19 for the end of the year), and it's pretty bad. It's not the level of play, because as a pitcher, I can honestly and probably a little embarassingly say that some 13 yr olds have whacked me around on their given days. Truth be told, having arm and mechanic problems last year I only had a handful of good outings.

    but that's not what made it bad. Parents and coaches just took ALL the fun out of it, with their politics and never ceasing to shut up. Near the end of the year, after I had even gone off on the coach a few times inadvertantly, it got better because I think he actually realized. The year ended very nice, with our team improved tenfold and player-coach relationships much better. But it was still for the most part an annoying expierence. Still, if that's what it takes to play ball at my age, I'm going to go through it until I'm too old.

    Oh yeah, it probably doesn't help that albeit me living in a rich white neighborhood, this league is centered completely in one of the ghettos of Chicago. So far in that a kid on one of the opposing teams was shot by a gang member admidst a practice or something.


    +rep though, nicely written ghettochild

  4. #4
    To me at all ghettochild's Avatar
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    thanks, i think this is something that shouldn't be taken lightly. i know real sports did a story on this and now i think it needs to go national media. and its not only baseball either its all sports too.

    i encourage all major baseball fans out there to atleast coach a team for fun. let them play their game and "don't sweat the big stuff". of course teach fundamentals but don't sit there and turn a game into a practice.

    my did this and it was the best time my friends and i ever had playing baseball. we played baseball our whole life and had coaches doing this, sitting us cause we weren't "par", and my dad just let us play. even though we lost quite a few games, we played the game that we love.
    i'm scraped and sober but there's no one listening
    [myspace][podcast (10/13)][article]

  5. #5
    59 W, 678 2/3 IP, GOAT Dry1313's Avatar
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    The only thing I got out of this is that your brother is fat and sucks...

    It's people like you who make excuses for why your teams suck that ruin the game.


    Just ****ing with you...

  6. #6
    To me at all ghettochild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dry1313
    The only thing I got out of this is that your brother is fat and sucks...

    It's people like you who make excuses for why your teams suck that ruin the game.


    Just ****ing with you...
    don't shit on my thread
    i'm scraped and sober but there's no one listening
    [myspace][podcast (10/13)][article]

  7. #7
    I covered the county championships for rec football this past weekend, and understand exactly where you are coming from. I covered the first three games, 75, 85, and 95 pound games, and each game, the coaches and fans (parents) got progressively worse with their shouting and criticism.

    When I played baseball, I was lucky that my father coached on my early teams, and helped me out a ton when we didn't. I can't count how many times we went to a batting cage, or went to the field up the street. It also helped that he is a high school football coach, and my grandfather was a high school football coach, and coached many other sports, and it let me keep a clear head, that I didn't have to impress anyone but them. I agree, let the kids play the damn game. It isn't that important.

  8. #8
    To me at all ghettochild's Avatar
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    thanks, this isn't something that should be taken lightly. baseball as kids should be fun, not somethign to where they need to be worring about wheather or not they'll get yelled at.
    i'm scraped and sober but there's no one listening
    [myspace][podcast (10/13)][article]

  9. #9
    My kid is 6 right now. When he is 11 or 12 if he pitches i will teach him the art of throwing chin music. If he does not comply with commands to bean hitters or dust them off i will give him a black eye.
    What is the worst source of diarrhea ?
    A)A bowl of chili, or
    B)Curt Schilling's mouth

  10. #10
    Hall of Famer Slyder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yhova
    My kid is 6 right now. When he is 11 or 12 if he pitches i will teach him the art of throwing chin music. If he does not comply with commands to bean hitters or dust them off i will give him a black eye.
    Nothing wrong with a pitcher dictating what "his area" is. Just becareful dont want to see any brawls . So for the safety of all teach your kid the Shawn Estes approach... Miss completely .
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  11. #11
    Florida Fanatic Blue0ctane's Avatar
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    I've been playing rec, travel, school, camp, and all other sorts of baseball for five years. I've had my (un)fair share of good and bad coaches, and to tell the truth, most of them were bad. It's hard to find a good Little League coach because most of them are wrapped up in their own ego. The game is a showcase of personal talent for them, not a ballfield for kids to have fun.

    I suggest you pick up the book Little League Confidential off of Amazon. It may be $15 (which is expensive for a paperback - I got it for 50 from my old school), but it will be well-worth your read.
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