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Archive for August 13th, 2009

Jackie Robinson West will not be a big story at the Little League World Series

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Unfortunately, it’s not because in an Obama, post-racial age, a baseball team comprised of African-Americans is not an anomaly.

It’s because the team of 11- and 12-year-olds from the south side of Chicago, the top seed in the Great Lakes Regional finals at Indianapolis, lost 10-4 tonight to fourth-seeded Logan County (Ky.), the only team it didn’t see while going 3-1 in pool play. Logan County, which beat defending Kentucky state champion Bowling Green Eastern to get to the regional round, faces third-seeded Bartholomew County, Ind., Saturday at 7 p.m. on ESPN, which is televising the U.S. regional final games.

Judging by the conversation I had with Bill Haley — son of the league’s founder and father of one of the Jackie Robinson West players — everyone will be disappointed, but not heartbroken. (Sheesh, I was inconsolable after striking out to end my North Muskegon (Mich.) team’s run three games into our local tournament, so I can imagine the kids are feeling pretty broken up after getting so close to South Williamsport, Pa.)

Any team that wins a state championship and gets within two wins of the Little League World Series has had an amazing run. But Haley also said the league’s success isn’t measured by how the all-star team does in the Little League tournament. Success is year after year, getting kids to come out and play, and parents to coach and support them. Heck, that should be the measure of success for any youth league.

Written by rkcookjr

August 13, 2009 at 9:53 pm

Tell me your pet peeves about youth sports

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Tom Kuyper, a youth sports columnist who operates the Kids and Sports blog, invited readers to send him their pet peeves about youth sports. The lists he and his readers have put together have a lot of the usual complaints: overzealous parents, overzealous parents and overzealous parents. And kids calling coaches by their first names.

So in the spirit that no good idea is left unstolen, especially when it’s someone working in your milieu, here are some of my pet peeves about youth sports.

1. Girls’ softball cheers. You don’t have to be quiet, but can you at least come up with some new ones? I know that you told me you would shout it when Katie got a double, or that you’re going all the way to San Francisco where the people do the disco, and that your team is totally awesome, baby. Please, anything else, I beg you.

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2. Coaches with sunglasses. Nothing signals a douchebag who is ready to game the rules at any moment or steal bases when the score is 17-0 than a coach with sunglasses.

3. Children younger than 14 who put one foot in the batter’s box, then stretch one arm with a hand extended in a stop signal toward the umpire to let him or her know not to have the ball put in play. Forget steroids: this is the bad influence major-leaguers have wrought upon America’s youth.

4.  Wrestling as a substitute for working out father-son issues. I never saw so many dads yell and boys cry (teens included) as I did in the year my oldest son wrestled. Just go to therapy, already!

5. Port-a-potties being placed so far from the field. Hey, when it’s T-ball, we could use one a little closer than the opposite end of the park. Like, on the way to home plate from the dugout.

Any pet peeves you’d care to share?

Written by rkcookjr

August 13, 2009 at 12:37 am

Posted in Sports

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