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11 August 2006

Choose your poison...

overzealous little league adults, or preening and moralizing media-types?

Sports radio has been all over this story today (admittedly, the story linked to here is not overly well-written, but you'll get the point), mainly blasting the coach for picking on a kid with cancer. Sounds like his dad thinks so to.

I really would disagree with the coach for intentionally walking any kid at that age, no matter the situation. And if his players' parents would have been upset with him for not doing it, shame on them. But a lot of media guys (the one I heard the most today was Roger Lodge, filling in on The Jim Rome Show) are slamming the coach so hard that I guess it is already a given he is a demon. They just know, in their hearts, that he's a bad guy, another typically overzealous American moron out to win at all costs, and to make kids who survived cancer feel bad and cry at night (I'm conflating comments I heard all day).

Yes, media members, I'm sure he had it out for the kid with cancer, whom he no doubt forced to play little league just for such an occasion. He probably even made sure he was in the line-up in that exact spot of the batting order.

As for the kid, from what I heard he bounced back just fine, and was just upset with the strikeout, like any of the rest of us would have been.


Phil said...

I didn't listen to sports radio today (an aberration for me), so I missed this story. The coach in question did nothing wrong in walking the power hitter to get to the weaker batter. It was a championship game, and he did what gave his team the best chance to win. In doing so, he didn't violate any rules or do anything unethical.

By Romney Oaks participating in Little League at all, he (at least implicitly) said he was able to compete at the same level as the other kids. Oaks' father said: “What are we teaching our kids? Are we teaching them that it's OK to pick on the weakest person?” The answer should be yes. Within the strategy of the game, it's not only OK, but should be part of a team's game plan. And if you don't want to be picked on, then get better. Why do teams in Little League generally try to hit to right field? Because that's customarily where the worst fielders are placed. It's part of the game.

The question Oaks' father should have been asking is: "Am I teaching my kid it's okay to use his disability as an excuse when someone doesn't defer to him?" Compare this with the kids with cancer who attend the Imus Ranch, but are treated (as much as possible) the same as if they weren't ill. The whiny box "I have a terrific kid" soccer mom mentality is infecting all of society. Thank God there's at least one coach who hasn't given in to it.

(Glad you're blogging-it's good stuff. I check in daily.)

School Master P said...

Thanks Phil - there is a good post on this at The Daily Grind today as well.

Phil said...

Thanks for the link. In my haste to address the problem of Wahabbi Soccerism I neglected mentioning the missed opportunity this represented for the father.

The article leaves the impression that the walking of the power hitter caused an atmosphere of gloom and resignation to defeat throughout the crowd. Romney's at bat would have been a perfect chance for the dad to say something like" "This is great! Now you get a chance to win the game yourself!"

Even with the circumstance of the strikeout, there would have been the chance to frame it as a way to get experience and learn for the next time. Maybe he could have used it as a chance to start working on Romney's bunting skills-there are any number of ways Romney's at bat could have been embraced as an opportunity for success rather than as a foreordained failure. The notion of presupposing defeat is a much worse lesson to teach than anything the coach did.

School Master P said...

Make sure you register your excellent term "Wahibi Soccerism" on all the slang dictionary websites.

Eric said...

This story would make a great episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," with Larry David playing the coach who walked the power hitter without knowing the next batter was recovering from cancer.