Raising a nation of wusses
Jericho Scott of New Haven has a fastball that tops out about 40 miles per hour, which is pretty darned fast for a nine-year-old. It's too fast, according to the Youth Baseball League, and they told the coach he couldn't pitch. Last week, when they took the field with Jericho on the mound, the other team forfeited and left. The league said they would disband Jericho's team and redistribute the players, offering refunds to anyone who wants one. His coach, Wilfred Vidro, says the team refuses to disband.
The league attorney says that Jericho just pitches too fast. There are a lot of beginners in the league, and they're too scared to face him. There appears to be some politics involved, as Jericho turned down an invitation to play for the defending champion, which happens to be sponsored by the employer of one of the League's administrators. Of course, Jericho's team was 8-0 and on the way to the playoffs when the administrators decided Jericho was too good.
One thing we haven't heard is the reactions of parents of Jericho's opponents. We haven't heard the parents whining because Jericho scares their children. So we have only the administrators' word that Jericho scares the children. Even so, this is a pretty ridiculous story. Jericho has never hit anyone with a pitch, so that's not a concern. The only thing that seems to be a problem is, indeed, that Jericho is too damned good at what he does.
I hope it comes down that the parents of the other children who face Jericho stand up and demand that he plays. If it's just a political rivalry, as the stories suggest, that's one thing, but if parents really want Jericho off the team, that's just idiotic. Many people are whining that this is just another example of people trying to level the playing field and not let anyone win. We can't damage the psyche of the children, after all! But we still haven't heard if any parents complained about Jericho. It could all just come down to a power play by a rival team. Still, it speaks volumes that the administrators of the league think this is a perfectly acceptable reason for shutting down a team. There's this idea that we need to protect children from failure. If Jericho is too good, the parents of his opponents should either help their kids get better or explain to them that sometimes, people are just better than you. Yes, it sucks, but that's the way it is. If your nine-year-old kid can't hit a 40-mph fastball, tell him that sucks, but he should deal with it. Failure is a part of life, and these kids should deal with it. I have big problems with the Little League World Series on television, but one thing I don't have a problem with is that there's a winner and a loser. If a 12-year-old loses and cries, that's something he has to deal with.
I hope that we hear more about this story, because I really do want to hear what the parents are saying. I would be disappointed if parents don't want Jericho to play because he's too good. I wonder, as always, what will happen to these kids when they actually have to deal with failure and their parents aren't there to save them. Crying when you're nine and you can't hit a fastball is okay. Crying when you're 29 and your life isn't going the way you want is a little embarrassing.