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Old August 26th, 2008, 06:56 AM   #1
Russ Smith
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Little league bans 9 year old pitcher for being too good


Saw this on ESPN2 this morning on Mike and Mike the kid is from Connecticut and the parents in the league got togehter and got the league to ban this kid from pitching(he can hit or play other positions) because he throws too hard(over 40 MPH) and the other kids sometimes get scared hitting against him.

They conceded the kid is NOT wild, he's yet to hit a batter, but he's simply throwing harder than anybody else and is too good, and the parents were concerned it was unfair to their children. Their recommendation is if the kid wants to pitch he should move up to the 10-12 year old league and pitch there.

As pointed out by Eric Kuselias, what if the kid is only a precocious pitcher but hits and fields like a 9 year old? Now you pushed him into a higher league where HE can't compete evenly as a hitter and fielder, so in your efforts to "protect" all the kids in the younger league who are less talented you overmatched the most talented kid by forcing him to move up to a league he might not be ready for. If the kid wants to move up great, but he's clear that he doesn't, he wants to play with kids his own age.

God little league parents can be insane, so what if your 9 year old strikes out 3 times against the kid maybe your kid will get better by competing?
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Old August 26th, 2008, 07:03 AM   #2
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It is also on the front page of Yahoo.

http://sports.yahoo.com/top/news?slu...v=ap&type=lgns
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Old August 26th, 2008, 07:07 AM   #3
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i am not capable of listening to Kuselias. Hate him.
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Old August 26th, 2008, 08:10 AM   #4
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I see both sides completely. At 9, it should still be fun. If it's not fun...what's the point? They're not saying the kid can't play...just not pitch.

Then again, the kid shouldn't be "penalized" for being good at what he does.
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Old August 26th, 2008, 08:23 AM   #5
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just because you lose doesn't mean the game has to lose it's fun - i personally think adults take the fun out of sports by over regulating kids who should just be out there having a good time

i was terrible at baseball - i got hit about 35% of my plate appearances and amassed an amazing 5 base hits in my youth baseball career - I could field a little and throw a little, but wasn't a standout - but still really enjoyed the game - even went to a baseball camp in williamsport as young guy

why devote time to something i was terrible at? - because I enjoyed the game - i enjoyed being with the guys and throwing the ball around - i enjoyed coming to practice and working to get better and we all appreciated that occasional freak who could either throw really hard or hit the ball a mile - we were all in awe

in life sometimes some people are more talented than others - just something you have to deal with

also at that age it's not guaranteed to last - i had a buddy who hit 6'1" at around the 7th grade - he dominated at that level, but didn't grow anymore for the rest of his life - by time he moved into varsity he was on the bench

let this kid enjoy being good and let the other kids learn to deal with it

adults need to step back more and let kids be kids - if it isn't the ultracompetative ones who are bent on bordeline abuse of their kids so they can succeed at the youth level it's the ulta sensitive ones who want to coddle beyond belief
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Old August 26th, 2008, 08:33 AM   #6
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I do see your point, really...but part of the fun is the team succeeding...if you were bad, I'm sure you could still cheer on your teammates & such that did better than you. If your whole team is 3 & out every inning...there's no fun at all.
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Old August 26th, 2008, 08:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linderbee View Post
I see both sides completely. At 9, it should still be fun. If it's not fun...what's the point? They're not saying the kid can't play...just not pitch.

Then again, the kid shouldn't be "penalized" for being good at what he does.
To me you get better by playing against people better than you are.

There are situations where I can see this. I remember Marcus Dupree the ex running back, when he was a kid he was banned from little league because he was so big and strong he was injuring other players(collisions on the field etc).

I went to school with a kid who was banned from pitching in little league becaues he was wild, he broke a kids arm with a pitch and hit another in the head. He wasn't throwing at people but they simply felt to protect the other kids he couldn't pitch.

This case is different this kid hasn't injured anybody, he's just better.

The logical extension is youth soccer any kid that scores too many goals should be forced to play defense only or move up to play against older kids. Basketball kid's too tall has to play against older kids etc.

Kids progress at different rates it's completely natural for some kids to be better and some to be behind, trying to make everyone on a level field won't work.
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Old August 26th, 2008, 08:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
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I do see your point, really...but part of the fun is the team succeeding...if you were bad, I'm sure you could still cheer on your teammates & such that did better than you. If your whole team is 3 & out every inning...there's no fun at all.
Well the point Kuselias made is that with the rules today the kid pitches at most once a week so the advantage is only in the games he's pitching and that's not every game.

The situation continues all the way up the ladder, Little League world series you have dominant pitchers quite often. Softball look at a highschool girls softball game some time the pitchers completely dominate, no hitters are quite common.

You can't regulate out competition in sports.
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Old August 26th, 2008, 08:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
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To me you get better by playing against people better than you are.

There are situations where I can see this. I remember Marcus Dupree the ex running back, when he was a kid he was banned from little league because he was so big and strong he was injuring other players(collisions on the field etc).

I went to school with a kid who was banned from pitching in little league becaues he was wild, he broke a kids arm with a pitch and hit another in the head. He wasn't throwing at people but they simply felt to protect the other kids he couldn't pitch.

This case is different this kid hasn't injured anybody, he's just better.

The logical extension is youth soccer any kid that scores too many goals should be forced to play defense only or move up to play against older kids. Basketball kid's too tall has to play against older kids etc.

Kids progress at different rates it's completely natural for some kids to be better and some to be behind, trying to make everyone on a level field won't work.
exactly - and the fun is in playing - if you or your teamate get a hit off him or pull out a win then it's something to go wild about and can really build up your confidence

if he strikes out your entire team and all the other teams - then so be it - no knock because it's not happening to just you - the guy is good and is beating everyone

however, if you can get to him it's a huge boost because no one else has been able to

also you only play that team a handful of times - you can make up that loss

finally, i would probably as much an issue with a coach who pitched this kid every inning of every game - given his age and how hard he throws he should be fairly careful with his arm

also at that age it's fun to play different positions and get a feel for the whole game - specialize when you get older

if his coach is allowing other kids to pitch and allowing this kid to play the game of baseball (as opposed to being just a pitcher) then what is the issue?

if the coach is trying to win at all costs with a 9 year old then someone needs to talk to that coach - but it's not the kids fault

either way it's a simple matter of adults making things over complicated for kids

it's a much better message to tell your kid to try their best, dig in and try to pick up the ball as opposed to "it's not fair so I quit"
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Old August 26th, 2008, 08:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
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You can't regulate out competition in sports.
I agree with everything you & MO have said...like I said, I can see both sides completely.

If they weren't so young (my "baby" is 9...maybe that's why...she's so little to me still), I'd agree with you 100%...I can just see the other side based purely on their age.
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Old August 26th, 2008, 08:52 AM   #11
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what do you think would be more unfair to your baby than?

choice a - having to experience getting beat at something on an infrequent basis by someone in their age range who is just better than them

choice b - being told that they can't play what they love and spend time with their friends and peers playing the game for the sole reason of being good at it
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Old August 26th, 2008, 08:53 AM   #12
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exactly - and the fun is in playing - if you or your teamate get a hit off him or pull out a win then it's something to go wild about and can really build up your confidence

if he strikes out your entire team and all the other teams - then so be it - no knock because it's not happening to just you - the guy is good and is beating everyone

however, if you can get to him it's a huge boost because no one else has been able to

also you only play that team a handful of times - you can make up that loss

finally, i would probably as much an issue with a coach who pitched this kid every inning of every game - given his age and how hard he throws he should be fairly careful with his arm

also at that age it's fun to play different positions and get a feel for the whole game - specialize when you get older

if his coach is allowing other kids to pitch and allowing this kid to play the game of baseball (as opposed to being just a pitcher) then what is the issue?

if the coach is trying to win at all costs with a 9 year old then someone needs to talk to that coach - but it's not the kids fault

either way it's a simple matter of adults making things over complicated for kids

it's a much better message to tell your kid to try their best, dig in and try to pick up the ball as opposed to "it's not fair so I quit"

Yes I have a specific example of this for evidence. My ex girlfriends son played youth soccer growing up, he was never very good he tended to goof off and not pay attention. When he hit 12, suddenly he got into better shape and became very aggressive on the field, it stunned me the first time I saw him play that year how much more into it he was.

I took him to a weekend tournament where they played about 5 games total.

One of the games they were playing was against by far the best team, undefeated all season, the coach was like a madman screaming at his kids berating the refs etc, just the classic jerk youth coach.

To this day I don't know how but Ryen's team tied them 2-2 or something like that. the tying goal was scored by this "big" kid on the team who never scored at all, I can't remember ever seeing a kid that happy.

The other team still made the semifinals but they wound up in 3rd because of the scoring format the tie put them behind the 2 other teams so they finished 3rd. At the awards afterwards the coach of that team literally said we're the best team here these kids deserved to be in the final but the scoring rules here prevented that. He even ran the score up in the 3rd place game to make his point.

And Ryen's team to this day(he's 17 now) all those kids remember that game where they prevented the best team from winning the tournament.
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Old August 26th, 2008, 09:04 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by MigratingOsprey View Post
what do you think would be more unfair to your baby than?

choice a - having to experience getting beat at something on an infrequent basis by someone in their age range who is just better than them

choice b - being told that they can't play what they love and spend time with their friends and peers playing the game for the sole reason of being good at it
choice b doesn't apply to this situation. No one has told the kid he can't play. He just can't pitch. He can play other positions, and if he really wants to pitch (if that is more important to him than being with his teammates) he can move up with the older kids.

Again, I'm really not arguing this with anyone...I see both sides.
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Old August 26th, 2008, 09:15 AM   #14
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and I don't see any other side to this

by telling him he can't pitch and disbanding his team they are telling him he can't play

pitching is a part of playing and getting beat is a part of life

from the moment you draw your first breath there is someone doing something better than you are

don't see why they just couldn't of told the parents to put on their big boy pants and tell little johnny to go out there, grab his bat and try his best

would we stop letting smart kids participate in spelling bees and geography bees because they always win?

you're much better at grammar than me - should I get insecure when you correct posts and have a moritorium put on such actions?

it's childish - suit up and play ball
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Old August 26th, 2008, 09:16 AM   #15
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I was reading up on this. I think it also has something to do with this kid turning down an opportunity to play for the champions from the previous year. Instead he chose his current team and the are now #1. Sour grapes from the team who always wins.
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