June 21, 2005

When the going gets rough, the parents just teach their kids to quit.: In Columbus, Ohio, competition is dead and a bunch of pansies has hijacked the National Pasttime. Remember, when faced by superior talent, just quit. Better yet, get them disqualified for being better than you!

posted by The_Black_Hand to baseball at 04:29 PM - 57 comments

well, they should be in a better league. those scores are ridiculous. irregardibly whether or not the lesser teams complained, the Columbus Stars weren't playing par competition.....they were using the league as a sparing partner.

posted by garfield at 05:08 PM on June 21, 2005

The Tao of Homer: "If something is hard, give it up. The moral, my boy, is to never try anything."

posted by yerfatma at 05:24 PM on June 21, 2005

Has anyone heard of the word PRACTICE? My sons 9-10 year old team has won games along those lines. This all goes back to the governing body. Every year you get a new batch of kids , but, they should be divided evenly.This does not seem to happen. We even went so politically correct this year that we don't enter strikes on the kids averages. It's a wonder this country can put out any athlete's at all.

posted by volfire at 05:35 PM on June 21, 2005

I've heard about these guys. They've got a pitcher named Danny Almonte who's a real prodigy. Here's a longer story that provides more details. There's nothing admirable about making kids get beat like a drum because a youth league screwed up in distributing players. One of the things you have to do in a recreational kids league is make sure that there's competitive balance. The league should have redistributed the players from the killer team around the league.

posted by rcade at 05:36 PM on June 21, 2005

You have to love what our country has turned into. I guess maybe we should throw Bill Gates out of the country for making too much money.

posted by dbt302 at 05:39 PM on June 21, 2005

The next thing you know, we'll be throwing the Tampa Bay Devil Rays out for being too bad. Maybe the 2-14, 49ers are next. Where does it end?

posted by dbt302 at 05:41 PM on June 21, 2005

I can see the Indianapolis Colts saying they won't play the New England Patriots because they can't beat them.

posted by dbt302 at 05:42 PM on June 21, 2005

I see the problem of unbalanced competition here...but the solution of is ludicrous. This story sounds like another example of adults sending the wrong message to the kids. Does anybody else worry that (we) American parents are raising a generation of kids on an unhealthy dose of political correctness laced with steady mixes of a "can't do" attitude and poor work ethic (can kids even spell the word "chores" anymore)? The parents and/or the league admins should have their @$$es kicked for being this stupid. On the other hand, maybe this is the answer for American companies losing market share and jobs...just expel the competitors from the market. Vive le mediocre!

posted by 15Vikings at 05:55 PM on June 21, 2005

...There's nothing admirable about making kids get beat like a drum because a youth league screwed up in distributing players... So, there is something admirable about kicking out the team that's winning the league? Yeah, it's the kids fault, that's the ticket...

posted by The_Black_Hand at 05:57 PM on June 21, 2005

Obviously these kids belong in a tougher league, but booting them halfway through the season is the wrong answer and the wrong message to the other kids. By the same token, having 11 year olds get lambasted 24 - 0 by kids on a different level is wrong as well. As rcade suggested, the superior talents should have been redistributed throughout the rest of the league. dbt302 - your analogies leave a lot to be desired. Try again.

posted by curlyelk at 06:17 PM on June 21, 2005

thanks rcade for the good link. I agree these kids are awsome. But why destroy the other kids who maybe don't have the same coaching or opportunities?? On rcades link look at the pither Josh.. My god you can see two fingers and an awesome arm..Ole Josh has someone showing him a two fingered splitter or curve. I was most impressed with this kids form. It is unfair to the other kids although I do feel sorry for the Stars in that they can't get into another league now.

posted by maclmn at 06:19 PM on June 21, 2005

This reminds me of playing baseball those first 2 years at 9 and10 years old. The first game of that first season I pitched and we lost 21-0. The next season...same team, same league, we won the championship 3-2 and I was on the mound again. I'm glad no one legislated that feeling of achievement away from us.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 06:24 PM on June 21, 2005

This isn't the Little League of our youth. Teams weren't picked from a pool of neighborhood kids. The Stars are a traveling team that has been together (for the most part) for years. Obviously they should never have joined the Canal Winchester Joint Recreation District League. They're a "Babe Ruth" team trying to play "Little League" minor teams. They should have been given the chance to distibute the players to other teams, and, since the coach is so good, let him manage a team of second string players. But that wouldn't have happened. That coach and those players wanted to play together. They should have joined the same league where Georgian Heights plays. Maybe they weren't looking for competition? Maybe the coach thought the players needed the ego boost of beating up on teams?

posted by ?! at 07:21 PM on June 21, 2005

Since April, the boys have been honing their skills on a field outside the Zion Lutheran Church on Obetz Road. They practice 2 hours a day, four days a week. Some have been playing together for four or five years, though not the entire team. Okay, this is where it becomes obvious horseshit that this is a rec-league team. In the leagues with which I've been involved as a coach, there was a dispersal of player talent, with coaches rating the kids and then holding a draft. In the old days, we used to play by area of town, but even that went by the wayside when, by chance, us farmboys starting laying the smack down too heavily. And what freaking Little League team plays in preseason tournaments and practices four times a week for 2 1/2 hours? This is a traveling team, plain and simple. Nothing wrong with it, but they shouldn't be in a rec league.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:57 PM on June 21, 2005

I coached a kid's league that had a barnstorming team come into an open tournament and play the teams in my league. It was a trainwreck. Not only did the barnstormers beat every team in my league, but they did everything they could to humiliate them. At one point, a player even got down on hands and knees below the basket so another one could step on him and dunk. If we're going to assess blame, the coach and parents of the Stars had to know the team outclassed the rec league. They should be the first to want better competition for the kids. Playing weak competition doesn't make you better.

posted by rcade at 08:59 PM on June 21, 2005

Yes, let's leave that to boxing, were it is expected. I too was on a team that went 0-5 in middle school and then in high school won 3 out of 4 conference championships. Losing builds character and teaches you how to act better as a winner because you were there once too. There's nothing wrong with a little smack talkin' either, but putting down a team 24-0 in baseball is cruel. I do believe in the 10 run rule. Then tell your kids they got whipped and work on what they did wrong in practice. And leave the traveling teams to play other traveling teams. It's like the Private Schools in High School that can recruit, but hey we all loved Hoosier's didn't we. There's always a chance.........

posted by Bears85 at 09:35 PM on June 21, 2005

but hey we all loved Hoosier's didn't we. There's always a chance......... I think that The Bad News Bears is a more apt comparison.

posted by NoMich at 10:31 PM on June 21, 2005

This is all so foreign to me. I grew up in a town so small that all the kids that showed up to play were automatically on the team. We played other teams from other towns in the same age group. Our teams always sucked ass.

posted by NoMich at 10:33 PM on June 21, 2005

my basketball team can blow out a lot of teams as well, but as soon as my coach see it getting too out of hand, she stops it. she makes us ease up, no fastbreak points. i think it's a good lesson of plain, simple, "class" as she calls it. my softball team on the other hand, annihilates, 24-0, 18-0. once we scored 15 runs in an inning, and when someone told my coach, then she let up. so she has a bit of class i suppose. on a sidenote, my bball coach is a heck of a better coach than my sball coach.

posted by sangu at 10:44 PM on June 21, 2005

When you see the Term "rec" infront of a league at any level its meant to be "fun". Winning aint the most important thing. You see it in you beer softball leagues, even fantasy sports online have a "rec" category. Its sounds to me that "the Stars" should have been playing in a tougher "non rec" league. Believe it or not guys, not everybody plays little league to make it to the Little League World Series. I have coached recreational level girls softball teams and for the most part they were out there so they could spend time with their friends. Playing hard and having fun was our motto. If we won, that was just gravy. Too much emphasis is on winning at a young age. Let the kids have some fun!

posted by daddisamm at 11:38 PM on June 21, 2005

Yes, while this may for some highlight the problem with kids quitting instead of pressing on (as we all like to imagine we would), it also shows how we've managed to turn 14 year-olds playing baseball into a pseudo-profession. 2 1/2 hours of practice 4 days a week? That's a frigging job. Well, if they want to be there....

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:35 AM on June 22, 2005

My daughter played for a competitive softball team. As a 16 and unde team they qualified for AFA nationals at the 18 and under level. They went down there and were severely overmatched. Got beat 5 out of 6 games. The next year the same team went back with an attitude. hey decided they would not let that happen again and they placed 11th (out of 127). This was as a young 18 & under team. The previous years losses provided the drive and also the experience to turn them into one of the top teams in the country. You can never get better playing lesser competition. The team that is beatign up on teams is only hurting themselves by playing this sort of competition but on the flip side the teams losing need to use it to get better.

posted by scottypup at 09:42 AM on June 22, 2005

putting down a team 24-0 in baseball is cruel Nonsense. One of the most important lessons one can learn in life (and it's best learned early) is that one will rarely win just by showing up. And that there will always be people who are better than you are at everything.

posted by rushmc at 09:43 AM on June 22, 2005

one will rarely win just by showing up I would think Spurs fans would agree with you after last night's game. San Antonio played like a team who had two games to win one...which of course, they did.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 09:48 AM on June 22, 2005

We sure wouldn't want someones self esteem hurt. That way when they get into the work force and don't get the promotion and don't get the job they can quit and whine about their self esteem. We are raising a generation of wimps who have everything handed to them. When things don't go their way they have no idea how to handle it so they whine some more.

posted by scottypup at 09:53 AM on June 22, 2005

Touche, scottypup!

posted by 15Vikings at 10:11 AM on June 22, 2005

Distillation of the "when the going gets rough" soapbox: political correctness blah blah blah kids today got no character blah blah blah self-esteem is for wimps blah blah blah today's generation doesn't want to work for anything blah blah blah. All I can say to that is, congratulations on your ability to regurgitate aphorisms and pithy maxims, but what does that have to do with reality? In this particular case, quite possibly nothing. If you want to condemn kids as a "generation of wimps" because they don't practice baseball 2 1/2 hours a day, 4 days a week, I'd suggest your sense of proportion needs to be recalibrated.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:22 AM on June 22, 2005

Well obviously I don't know a lot about Little League baseball being English and all that. But....it does seem even to an outsider that this superteam who are beating all and sundry have applied to join the wrong league. They should be "competing" against someone who'll give them a proper match. Surely that would be more satisfying than going out and beating fun teams by cricket scores?

posted by squealy at 10:24 AM on June 22, 2005

And that there will always be people who are better than you are at everything. That's a hell of an albatross to hang around a kid's neck. I believe that children are the future. Show them all the beauty they possess inside.

posted by rcade at 10:26 AM on June 22, 2005

I want to see those same philosophies applied to kids in golden gloves boxing and martial arts...because I like seeing kids beat each other to death and yelling: "finish him/her!" rather than them knowing when an opponent has had enough. After all, isn't it better to have the weaker competitor just pounded into oblivion rather than coddle them...we must teach children to completely annihilate a weaker opponent in sports, right?

posted by chris2sy at 10:30 AM on June 22, 2005

most kids these days are WUSSES! And that is because of all the single mothers raising them without the father figure! And dads in general are not what they used to be. It all comes down to parenting and politics! Not allowing parents to punish their kids, not allowing teachers and schools to discipline kids anynore and what do you have? SPOILED kids who think it always has to be their way or no way. Yea, quit you pansies and when you get out in the real world, you will get kicked to the curb..and you can thank liberal ploiticians and single moms for that!

posted by bluekarma at 11:05 AM on June 22, 2005

You have to love what our country has turned into. I guess maybe we should throw Bill Gates out of the country for making too much money. posted by dbt302 at 5:39 PM CST on June 21 . Hell yeah my thougts exactly.

posted by HOE.O.K. at 11:15 AM on June 22, 2005

most kids these days are WUSSES! And that is because of all the single mothers raising them without the father figure!That is just ignorant.People are all different.I do agree with the rest,and about half of the single mom shit is right,but there are plenty of kids through only having a mother as a parent,become stronger than if the father was there.The politics thing you hit right on the head.A father figure is important,but plenty of people never knew their dad and still turned out as fair playing non-wussie types.SPOILED kids who think it always has to be their way or no way. Yea, quit you pansies and when you get out in the real world, you will get kicked to the curb.NOW that is just too true.

posted by HOE.O.K. at 11:27 AM on June 22, 2005

You can never get better playing lesser competition. The team that is beatign up on teams is only hurting themselves by playing this sort of competition but on the flip side the teams losing need to use it to get better.man thats true,but its kind of a catch 22.

posted by HOE.O.K. at 11:29 AM on June 22, 2005

Whatever happened to run ruling? If your team was getting killed in leagues I played in it was something like 8 after 5, 10 after 3. At least when you were beaten that badly the game was over more quickly

posted by bedgraynexl at 11:32 AM on June 22, 2005

They didn't quit. They asked (told) the Stars to leave. The teams that remain in the league are now learning the lessons that sports can teach them against an appropriate level of competition, in games where the outcome is not predetermined. They will win some games, they will lose some games, and they will compete in an honest contest. In what way does that make the kids (or their parents) wimps? So all of you who think that kids shouldn't be "coddled," I guess would be happy to put your own kids into a sports league where they are way overmatched?

posted by Amateur at 11:52 AM on June 22, 2005

I have a hunch that it only sounds like we've heard the whole story. I'm holding back on my opinion until I hear even one person who isn't using it as a personal soapbox. I'm not holding my breath for that to happen, though.

posted by chicobangs at 12:00 PM on June 22, 2005

... and you can thank liberal ploiticians and single moms for that! Which radio talk show host can we thank for your thought process? Bringing liberal politicians and single mothers into this is completely asinine.

posted by rcade at 12:13 PM on June 22, 2005

rcade my thoughts exactly,or close enough at least.

posted by HOE.O.K. at 12:18 PM on June 22, 2005

Wow, too many adult attitudes when discussing a kids game. These are the goals for kids coaches: 1. Have fun! Period. 2. Teach them to get better. 3. Get them to return next year. The thing that many folks on this string don't realize is the number of AAU kids who get burned out and quit. If a team is consistently beating other teams badly, then they will lose interest, so if you aren't playing close games, then the true fun of baseball is lost. It is hard to show a kid the fun in getting beat ALL of the time, and they will also quit. If you are OK with that, then fine. However, what makes you so sure that the kid you just ran out of baseball won't grow to be a good ball player? Has anybody ever wondered why blacks are not coming into baseball (African Americans, not other countries)? It is a hard game to play at an older age. What game do they play? Pick up basketball and football games. And guess what? They pick teams based on talent, and the two teams are usually competitive. Go to any playground and watch this first hand before you start talking that politics are raising a bunch of pansies. We are not raising pansies, we're just not getting kids to play baseball. We just lost to a team in an All Star tournament. We had a bunch of rec team players, and they had a bunch of AAU travel players. We got our butt handed to us. Do I care? Not really. Do my kids care? Not for more than 5 minutes. See, they're kids. However, I think a few of my kids have a better chance at advancing in baseball than the other kids because: 1. They will not get burnt out. 2. They are more well rounded because they play other sports. 3. Their older brothers play HS and college ball, and they are exposed to this. When kids are ready to play all of the time, then let them. Until them, it is just a game.

posted by kidcoach at 12:19 PM on June 22, 2005

I should have also said that that is why there is two baseball outlets: AAU and Little League/Babe Ruth League. Travel teams should not be allowed to remain wholly intact in a rec league. A draft is the way, but it is not fullproof.

posted by kidcoach at 12:34 PM on June 22, 2005

Why do I get the distinct impression that most of the people here complaining about kids being spoiled and pansies and yadda yadda are all in their early twenties at best? Good christ, not wanting to lose 24-0 does not make you a pansy, it makes you someone who knows when their time is being wasted. Who's the pansy who puts up with that?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:06 PM on June 22, 2005

I would venture to guess that the people complaining have just never been involved in youth baseball. The situation discussed in the article was in response to a situation that should never have occurred. That is why rec baseball drafts players (no, this method is not perfect) and travel teams get who they want. Heck, there are people scouting fourth graders now.

posted by kidcoach at 02:16 PM on June 22, 2005

kidcoach I've been a coach and a parent of a player in youth softball for 16 years. So no I have not been involved in youth baseball but youth softball. These girls are not trying to get a pro contracts but they do put as much or more into it than baseball players. I can tell you that when we got into a tournament with competition that was equal or less than us my girls were not happy. They hated losing but they hated blowing out lesser teams just as bad. When we were in 14 and under the girls, not the parents but the girls came to the coaches and asked if we could play in the 18 and under league. Weedy your impression is wrong. I'm no where near early 20's. I'm in my early 40's. My daughter is in her early 20's and feels the same way I do about kids being wimps too any times today.

posted by scottypup at 03:41 PM on June 22, 2005

What's truly sad is they probably didn't ask the kids if they wanted to play. Every single kid that age just loves to play baseball, not matter who they are playing. I've been on the losing end of those kind of games as a kid and am still glad I played the game. bedgraynexl is right; throw a 10 run rule into the league and this is a non-issue.

posted by smithnyiu at 04:26 PM on June 22, 2005

rcade my thoughts exactly,or close enough at least. And this just after you got done fawning over bluekarma for his rant about how the wimmin's libbers and the commies and the hommasekshuls are ruining the great American game of baseball? HOE.O.K, you're a piece of work.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:03 PM on June 22, 2005

People, we are talking about baseball here! It sounds like political convention.. Some kids play because they want to win and others play because they want to spend time with their friends. Parents can screw up the equation in either situation. Obviously the Stars were in the wrong league. Some of the theories listed here are pretty out there. I am as conservative as they come, but I wouldnt blame liberal politicans or single mothers for our kid's problems. We have had a major breakdown in the family unit as the major positive force in our children's lives. The causes come from a variety of areas. You cant blame any one thing or group and we certainly aint gonna solve it here at this point. that said, in this case, some of you are looking for stuff that isnt there..........Its baseball. Its a game. Hopefully each parent in this case will use this situation for a positve lesson in life.....

posted by daddisamm at 09:51 PM on June 22, 2005

Chicobangs: I had no opinion either way until I read the information. No soapbox for me. scottypup: "We are raising a generation of wimps who have everything handed to them." You sound like my father. Of course, he heard that from his father. And I understand his father said it to him. ad nauseum. It seems like every parent I meet thinks their kids have it easier. Let's just look at this one situation. No matter what you believe about "kids today" that team was in the wrong league. It wasn't a case of them squeaking by 5-4 every game. They didn't win due to superior coaching theories. They won every game by a mile because... wait for it... they were playing in the wrong league.

posted by ?! at 10:54 PM on June 22, 2005

?! You are right my father said that about my generation and his father about his generation. Now look at those generations. Every one was right. We've got it easier than our fathers and they easier than theirs. Each generation for the last 150 - 200 years at least has had it slightly easier. So what's your point?

posted by scottypup at 08:25 AM on June 23, 2005

What, we're so much better off? Everything is easier? Bullshit. Two generations in the last 150 years get to make that claim - because most of them are buried in Europe! My father's life wasn't much different from mine - the details change, taste changes, but life is easier? What a fantastically simple point of view. Life is pretty much the same. And none of it is 'easy'. (Just because we can microwave dinner). Like kids never quit in the 'old days'. Ha! Nostalgia never fails to liberally edit.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:57 AM on June 23, 2005

So what's your point? We're getting asymptotically close to The Wussy Threshold.

posted by yerfatma at 08:59 AM on June 23, 2005

So your telling me Weedy that you don't have it any easier than my great grandfather who worked 60 hour weeks trying to farm a few acres to feed his 8 kids? Or someone elses grandfather who worked 70 hours in the mines for $25 a week. Kids quit in the old days but the difference is 150 or 200 years ago if you quit you ended up a little bit dead. Today you end up a millionaire because you got yoru feelings hurt and sued the person and won the case. Yea we are getting very close to the Woosy threshold if we haven't already crossed it.

posted by scottypup at 12:55 PM on June 23, 2005

Maybe Weedy's grandfather was Scrooge McDuck . . . 's brother who had children. With a lady. And screw your regionalist spelling of "wussy". I go by the book, the New England Guide to Insults. Everything else is for speds.

posted by yerfatma at 01:40 PM on June 23, 2005

This conversation is making me woosy.

posted by chicobangs at 02:01 PM on June 23, 2005

Kids quit in the old days but the difference is 150 or 200 years ago if you quit you ended up a little bit dead. You're making it sound as if, were a kid to quit a recreational sports team 150 or 200 years ago, the consequences for said kid would be for his or her bleached bones to serve as a thorrible reminder for all would-be quitters. Somehow I don't think that's what happened. Recreational sports weren't a survival situation back in the day, either. Now, if you want to hearken back to some Golden Book Johnny-on-the-Oregon-Trail story about youthful pioneers in the American west, and you want to have a discussion about whether Kids Today would fare better or worse than their counterparts of 150 or 200 years ago in a pioneering-adventuring-survival type situation,we could have that discussion, on some more appropriate forum. But here on spofi, in this thread, we're talking about kids playing a game. Please do not try to tell me that baseball was different in your grandpop's day, and that kids who quit and decided not to play any more "ended up a little bit dead".

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:44 PM on June 23, 2005

Recreational sports weren't a survival situation back in the day, either. I don't know whose side this helps, but they didn't even exist until people could afford leisure time for activities like navel gazing and baseball. 200 years ago these kids'd be apprenticed to the town blacksmith or something. And they'd like it.

posted by yerfatma at 04:10 PM on June 23, 2005

Scottypup, read lil brown pup and WeedyMcSmoky if you still don't get my point. yerfatma: Even then kids got to play. Life expectancy were shorter and the length of time people got to be "kids" was therefore shorter.

posted by ?! at 07:44 PM on June 23, 2005

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