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Too Good for Youth Baseball?

Nine-year-old Jericho Scott apparently has a throwing arm that has left him out in left field in his youth baseball league.

Jericho's 40 miles per hour fastball caused the Youth Baseball League of New Haven to bar him from pitching in the beginner league, the Associated Press reports.

Jericho's Coach Wilfred Vidro refused the league's order to replace the 9-year-old pitcher. The league also told the team that it did not have a game on Saturday, the New Haven Register reports. The team showed up anyway ... and played parents. The league says that Vidro resigned from the league, a claim that the coach disputes.

Youth league attorney Peter Noble says the only factor in banning Jericho from the mound is his pitches are just too fast.

"He is a very skilled player, a very hard thrower," Noble told the AP. "There are a lot of beginners. This is not a high-powered league. This is a developmental league whose main purpose is to promote the sport."

Jericho, meanwhile, says, "I feel sad. I feel like it's all my fault nobody could play."

So, just how unusual is Jericho's pitching speed? The Little League, which is not affiliated with the New Haven group, says it doesn't put a radar gun to kid pitchers or have a standard on pitching speed in its league. And the American Amateur Baseball Congress, likewise, said they don't know of statistics or studies on kids' pitching speeds.

"Forty mph for a 9 year old is not very fast," said Bruce Lambin, who has coached kids between the ages of 6 through pro prospects and sells baseball tip products online. "The average 9 year old can throw in the 40s. A stud is in the 50s and close to 60s." Lambin also concurred with others that there's no reason to put a radar gun on youth pitchers.

How would you react if you were a parent in Jericho Scott's baseball league -- or his parent?

By Stacey Garfinkle |  August 27, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Newsmakers
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Comments


"How would you react if you were a parent in Jericho Scott's baseball league -- or his parent?"


Something "fishy" is going on.

Posted by: You kids keep off of my lawn! | August 27, 2008 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Our program would not ban either a baseball or softball pitcher for throwing "too fast." We do have rules that mandate that a pitcher who hits too many batters must leave the mound/circle.

Younger players wear protective vests at bat; all players wear helmets. And we try to teach them how to get out of the way of a pitch, or at least get hit in such a way that they don't get hurt.

Yes, very fast pitching can intimidate batters, but part of life is learning to deal with your fears appropriately.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 27, 2008 7:38 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure where I'm headed with this except little league for the youth these days is too squeamish (for lack of a better word). When I played little league in the 70's there was no coach pitch or machine pitch. Sure there was tee ball but you graduated from that straight into "kid pitch". There were some who couldn't get the ball over the plate and sure, there were kids that got hit with pitches. But I remember playing against a few teams that had the stud pitchers that nobody could hit.

I'm not sure how fast they were throwing...it didn't matter because nobody could hit it. But nobody cried foul either. We knew the pitchers speed and so we practiced for it. This is one problem with today's society; our kids are not allowed to fail or be upstaged by another kid. Everyone must be on an even playing field. What ever happened to letting kids play the game?

Posted by: Cheez | August 27, 2008 7:53 AM | Report abuse

I never had to worry about being hit by a ptich when I was playing youth baseball. I was the first stirng bench warmer.

Posted by: Don't worry about it | August 27, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse


Cheez

"But I remember playing against a few teams that had the stud pitchers that nobody could hit. "

I remember competing against "superstars" in the girls' track meets. The uber mothers tried to get the superstars disqualified and moaned "it's not fair" and pulled some of their daughters out of the meets.

"We knew the pitchers speed and so we practiced for it"


We trained and trained and trained. We won a few first place medals. Each time it was a triumph for the team and our school. Darwinism takes its course, uber mothers need not apply.

Posted by: Team captain | August 27, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Most leagues limit the number of innings a kid can pitch in one game and have rules removing pitchers who hit the batters more than twice. If the issue is truly just the speed of his pitches, it sounds like sour grapes on the part of the losing teams.

Posted by: momof3 | August 27, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

I feel like so much of this is so that Jericho's team doesn't win all the time. Isn't it a good thing for kids to learn how to gracefully lose. And, they have to learn that sometimes someone is going to be better than you at something, whether its baseball or tennis or math or writing.

Posted by: silver spring | August 27, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

My husband is a LL coach. He read this article, and went back and looked at the stats for the team he coached when our son was 9. We had four nine year old kids on the team who regularily threw faster than 40 MPH. One kid, on an opposing team, could hit 50 on occasion. BTW, we were not the best team that year by a long shot. Something very fishy is going on in New Haven. The newspaper should look into who the parents and coaches of the other teams are. Who's complaining about this kid? Local politics can be so ugly, and the kids are the ones who suffer.

Posted by: WDC | August 27, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

"went back and looked at the stats for the team he coached when our son was 9. We had four nine year old kids on the team who regularily threw faster than 40 MPH. One kid, on an opposing team, could hit 50 on occasion."

I don't discount the fact that your husband's charges could throw the ball at such speeds, but how in the world would "looking at the stats" have revealed that? No statistic is kept for pitch speed. I highly doubt there was someone at the LL games with a JUGS gun. Your story just seems sort of made up.

Posted by: sure | August 27, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

to sure: Never discount parents with lots of money and big dreams for their kids. I've seen several parents with radar guns at our program's games. Mostly you just chalk it up as someone with more dollars than sense.

(Although it sounds like it was WDC's husband or one of his assistants with the radar gun, and he was writing pitch speed down. That would bother me.)

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 27, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

had a similar experience up there with swimming. My niece was the smallest and fastest in her age group, so they changed the rules from being about age to being about size. When that didn't work, they just kept changing the rules to do anything they could to force her out. She still won. Sometimes people are just good at something, and instead of persecuting them, we should encourage them and work harder to find what we're good at.

Oh, and I'm a Mom who absolutely hates the pansy "no one can excel if my kid feels bad about it" attitude. Play or don't, but quit whining!

Posted by: topicaltimely | August 27, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

'I highly doubt there was someone at the LL games with a JUGS gun.'

our coach has a portable radar gun. the pitching speed is measured on 10 and 11 year olds all the time. They get bragging rights!

I am suddenly grateful for the rules of the national little league organization, which regulate how many pitches/innings a pitcher can throw, as stated above.

There is definitely something fishy in New Haven!!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

AB,

"Although it sounds like it was WDC's husband or one of his assistants with the radar gun, and he was writing pitch speed down."

If that's true, then it's sadder than the whole New Haven story.

Posted by: sure | August 27, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

"our coach has a portable radar gun. the pitching speed is measured on 10 and 11 year olds all the time. They get bragging rights!"

Wow...I have never been sadder for the state of youth sports than I am right now. That is so pathetic.

Posted by: sure | August 27, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes people are just good at something, and instead of persecuting them, we should encourage them and work harder to find what we're good at.

Oh, and I'm a Mom who absolutely hates the pansy "no one can excel if my kid feels bad about it" attitude. Play or don't, but quit whining!

Posted by: topicaltimely | August 27, 2008 8:52 AM

I agree, but what will the MMs of the mediocre kids brag about??

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

it seems to me that if the "problem" is that the league jericho is pitching in is the developmental league and is too good for the beginner players than move him up to the next higher league. isn't that how it works? i mean, i bike very slowly. i generally bike with the "d" group when i go on group rides or else with the beginner group. that is what i am. the a, b, & c groups are all faster. if i ever get so i bike faster then i'll bike with the faster group. aren't there skill levels for other sports?

Posted by: quark | August 27, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Reading the article, it seems that the complainers were from the league's 2007 champions. Jericho was recruited for their team, but decided to play on a different team. The league champions are sponsored by the league administrators. Talk about sore losers.

Apparently, Jericho has great control and has never hit a batter. Let him pitch and quit the wussy whining.

Posted by: Working Dad | August 27, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Get the kid into a league appropriate to his skills (for his own benefit!) and tell everyone else to bit their quitching.

Posted by: anne | August 27, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

"I don't discount the fact that your husband's charges could throw the ball at such speeds, but how in the world would "looking at the stats" have revealed that? No statistic is kept for pitch speed. I highly doubt there was someone at the LL games with a JUGS gun. Your story just seems sort of made up."

Sorry,--maybe "stats" was the wrong word to use--how about "records"?. And damn right there was a radar gun--at practices and at games. Why? To preserve the kid's arms. He only let them throw a few 40+ MPH pitches (and NO curve balls at that age, even if they could). He was aware of the damage that could be done to young arms with the wrong kind, or amount, of throwing. Kids that age don't have the proper mechanics on every single pitch, and can do a lot of damage to their shoulders and elbows that shows up down the road.

Posted by: WDC | August 27, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Quark wrote: it seems to me that if the "problem" is that the league jericho is pitching in is the developmental league and is too good for the beginner players than move him up to the next higher league. isn't that how it works? i mean, i bike very slowly. i generally bike with the "d" group when i go on group rides or else with the beginner group. that is what i am. the a, b, & c groups are all faster. if i ever get so i bike faster then i'll bike with the faster group. aren't there skill levels for other sports?

Response: Unfortunately, adults are big crybabies also. The country is increasingly made up of crybabies and whiners. In regards to Quark, who says he/she is a D rider: I regularly ride CC and B rides. On many rides, people who cannot do the speed or distance show up. Then they gripe to the ride leader because they get dropped.

Posted by: Oscar | August 27, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Come on people....let's remember these are 9 year olds. According to the league it is a developmental league. If the kids can't hit a ball then they are not going to have fun and develop. At that age kids need to have fun and play, not see who is the best and who can throw or run the fastest at all times. And let's not forget...there are a large portion of you who would be suing the league when your kid gets hit and seriously injured because the league didn't do anything to prevent a kids who threw too fast from playing. And don't deny it...the lawsuits would be flying!

And on another note, if a kids is so good and his parents want more competition, perhaps he should be playing in an older age group.

Posted by: HappyDad | August 27, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Quark wrote: it seems to me that if the "problem" is that the league jericho is pitching in is the developmental league and is too good for the beginner players than move him up to the next higher league. isn't that how it works? i mean, i bike very slowly. i generally bike with the "d" group when i go on group rides or else with the beginner group. that is what i am. the a, b, & c groups are all faster. if i ever get so i bike faster then i'll bike with the faster group. aren't there skill levels for other sports?

Response: Unfortunately, adults are big crybabies also. The country is increasingly made up of crybabies and whiners. In regards to Quark, who says he/she is a D rider: I regularly ride CC and B rides. On many rides, people who cannot do the speed or distance show up. Then they gripe to the ride leader because they get dropped.

Posted by: Oscar | August 27, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Either the president of the league who also sponsors one of the opposing teams is abusing his power, or these particular New Haven parents are raising some real wimps (handicapping their development into strong adults who face challenges head on). Perhaps it's some of both.

When I was 8 years old, I played in the "Instructional League" in my local community youth baseball organization where we used a pitching machine. On what speed was the pitching machine normally set, you ask? 40 mph.

If you want your kids to hit slow pitches, send them to T-ball (0 mph) or slow-pitch softball -- baseball apparently isn't for them.

Posted by: KJ Clark | August 27, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone hired a member of the 'trophy generation'? These kids who have just graduated grew up with participation medals and zero criticism or failure in their life. And guess what? At 25, they're all a bunch of entitled babies.

my darling girl is going to have to deal with failure. it's going to break my heart, but it builds character and will ultimately make her a better person.

let the kid pitch!

Posted by: everybody wins! | August 27, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

"Reading the article, it seems that the complainers were from the league's 2007 champions. Jericho was recruited for their team, but decided to play on a different team. The league champions are sponsored by the league administrators. Talk about sore losers."

That's the exact impression I got from the article and some of the other news coverage, and I couldn't agree more with Working Dad - sore losers with the ability to manipulate the situation. Nice lesson for the kids.

Posted by: dcd | August 27, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

responding to HappyDad: programs are different, but at some age you start the competition. In our program, 8 and under play in instructional programs, with machine pitch (set at 42 mph!) or coach pitch (at a speed the coach thinks is appropriate). There are no scores or standings; the purpose is to teach basic skills and love of the game. Above 8, there's competition. Scores are kept and standings, too; trophies are given to regular season winners and runners-up, NOT to everybody. Yes, it's a rec program, not a travel program, so there are rules that guaranteeing roughly equal playing time. Everybody bats, not just 9. Everybody gets to play the "glamor" positions (first base, shortstop, center field). But there are still winners and losers, at age 9.

Re: suing the league - I'm not a lawyer, so anyone who is one can feel free to correct me. In our program, parents agree to the risks when they sign their kids up. Yes, this is the USA; you can try to sue anybody you want. But our program's lawyers are confident that a case based on "my kid got hurt because that kid is too good for the league" would be tossed out very quickly, as long as the kid in question met the eligibility rules.

Re: moving the kid up to a better program - I'd support that, but it's tough to do that in the middle of the season. It's quite possible that this wasn't an issue until the season was half over, at which time it's really, really hard to tell him to go play someplace more appropriate THIS YEAR.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 27, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

"And damn right there was a radar gun--at practices and at games. Why? To preserve the kid's arms. He only let them throw a few 40+ MPH pitches (and NO curve balls at that age, even if they could). He was aware of the damage that could be done to young arms with the wrong kind, or amount, of throwing. Kids that age don't have the proper mechanics on every single pitch, and can do a lot of damage to their shoulders and elbows that shows up down the road."

I don't expect you to be an expert on jeuvenile biomechanics...but what exactly is the appropriate velocity for any given 10 year old to throw a baseball 45 feet? I can't imagine that a radar gun provides any kind of accurate measure of protection against "overthrowing". FWIW, 40 mph is the velocity equivalent of 52 mph from 60ft (though clearly the "effort" equivalent would be vastly different for every individual). Your husband (and every other deranged LL coach) would do well to ditch the juggs and focus ENTIRELY on proper mechanics. A kid throwing 30 mph with a screwed up motion will do far more damage than one throwing 60 mph with a fluid motion.

Posted by: sure | August 27, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

This is just another example of the decay of America's drive to be and produce the best. Kids in school are no longer pass/fail and there are no grades because it may hurt their feelings or stunt their emotional growth. And now it has bled into our most sacred playgrounds! Are they going to put govenors on swing sets so all the kids swing at the same level? Or maybe, build the monkey bars so everyone can reach the same level!

Just think you could be swimming against Michael Phelps or playing volleyball against Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor! Basically, you have two choices either practice harder and play for fun or go sit in front of a computer and blog about how unfair it is!

Posted by: Eat my Dust | August 27, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Posted by: The Big Sleep | August 27, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

i guess it's a pride thing with some people. i'm biking to enjoy the ride & i'm not enjoying it if i'm struggling to keep up with people who are faster than i am.

Posted by: quark | August 27, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

How great is the risk of serious, possibly permanent arm injury to a child depending on how fast and how much the child pitches (and at what age)?

Posted by: just wondering | August 27, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

just wondering: "How great is the risk of serious, possibly permanent arm injury to a child depending on how fast and how much the child pitches (and at what age)?"

Start with "Risk Factors for Shoulder and Elbow Injuries in Adolescent Baseball Pitchers" (at http://ajs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/34/6/905)

"Results: The injured group pitched significantly more months per year, games per year, innings per game, pitches per game, pitches per year, and warm-up pitches before a game. These pitchers were more frequently starting pitchers, pitched in more showcases, pitched with higher velocity, and pitched more often with arm pain and fatigue. They also used anti-inflammatory drugs and ice more frequently to prevent an injury. Although the groups were age matched, the injured group was taller and heavier. There were no significant differences regarding private pitching instruction, coach’s chief concern, pitcher’s self-rating, exercise programs, stretching practices, relieving frequency, pitch type frequency, or age at which pitch types were first thrown."

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 27, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Hey Big Sleep!

The Big Sleep that I am talking about is the permanet one!

Posted by: Bogie | August 27, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

AB, are they saying that smaller kids should pitch? Is there a difference in injuries between boys & girls?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

RE:
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Posted by: The Big Sleep | August 27, 2008 10:17 AM

So were you the fat kid who would rather eat a twinkie that play outside or was your mom the one who didnt want you to play sports because you might get hurt or you werent coordinated enough to make the good teams?

Posted by: Eat my dust | August 27, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

So were you the fat kid who would rather eat a twinkie that play outside or was your mom the one who didnt want you to play sports because you might get hurt or you werent coordinated enough to make the good teams?

Posted by: Eat my dust | August 27, 2008 10:50 AM


Neither, but I do know how to spell and punctuate...

It's a dull topic and the comments are even duller.

Posted by: Eat this | August 27, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Hey Big Sleep!

The Big Sleep that I am talking about is the permanet one!

Posted by: Bogie | August 27, 2008 10:45 AM

Spelling Police!

Posted by: Rico | August 27, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

permanet? Paging Elias Howe!

Posted by: sounds like an invention to me | August 27, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

This kind of crap occurs in youth baseball all the time. When I was coaching I had an ace pitcher that few kids could hit as well. In our league there were rules not only about how many innings a kid could pitch in a game but also mandatory rest days between games. Once a kid pitched 3 innings in a game, he was required to rest for at least 2 days before pitching again. This usually wasn't a problem because regular game days were Wednesday and Saturday. League rules also specified that makeup games be announced at least 3 days in advance.

So my team was locked neck and neck for the championship with a team that happened to include the son of the league administrator. The last game we were scheduled to play against each other and would decide the final league standings was to be played on a Wednesday. We had another game scheduled for the following Saturday but the outcome would not effect the standings and that was to be our final game of the season. However, the Wednesday game with our first place competitor was rained out and a makeup was to be rescheduled for some time in the following week. We assumed going in to the final regular game on Saturday that we would play the makeup game on the following Wednesday, our normal game day. So I pitch my ace on Saturday and immediately after the game (a win of course), the leage administrator comes to me and says the opposing team coach is going to be out of town all next week. He doesn't want to miss the game and the league can't delay the makeup game for yet another week so we will have to play tomorrow - Sunday.

I immediately pull the league rule book out of my bag and point to the paragraph that says makeup games will be announced 3 days in advance. I get this silly "Well, it can't be helped. Try to be flexible. Little Bobby Jones wants his dad to see him play for the championship, blah blah blah...." response. I tell him we won't play and he says fine, you'll forfeit. The league wasn't a nationally or regionally sanctioned one so I had no avenue of appeal. Nor did I have any pitchers for the next day because both my best pitchers had pitched 3 innings on Saturday and therefore could not pitch on Sunday. I tried making the case that if he was going to suspend the 3-day rule for make up games, then the pitching rules should be suspended as well. Of course he refused, citing the safety and health of the players (unfortunatley I had to agree).

So we got spanked on the following day and lost the championship to his son's team (talk about a conflict of interest). And guess who I saw wondering around town throughout the next week, including Wednesday? Yes, the opposing team's supposedly "out of town" coach.

Nothing surprises me in youth sports.

Posted by: gbchriste | August 27, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I'm on a softball board and we had this exact problem this year with one of our pitchers. Kids like this don't sneak up on you -- you know they're there in advance (unless they transfer from another league). We changed our pitching rules, which we knew needed changing for a number of reasons. We put a limit on the number of innings any kid could pitch so the games weren't dominated by our kid with exceptional talent and at the same time were able to develop more pitchers for the sake of the league. The exceptional pitcher was able to get in the work she needed to get her ready for all stars where her talents were deeply appreciated.

This is a common problem in recreational baseball/softball at this age. Rec ball at this age puts kids together who have been playing since they were 4 with kids who just got into the sport. Another solution is to move the kid up to play at a different age group. You do need to be careful doing that because it isn't always safe or appropriate.

As a member of the board I can't imagine removing a kid from a team during the season. You need to deal with these issues during the off season. If a kid is hitting batters that problem should be dealt with by the coach not the board. This was not an issue of safety. The parents of the kids who demanded that this kid be removed were weak and inappropriate. The board's decision is indefensible. The response of the parent of the kid was also inappropriate. As I said, this problem happens to leauges all over the country and they deal with it without this ridiculous and destructive circus.

Posted by: free bird | August 27, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

the outcome would not effect the standings

Posted by: gbchriste | August 27, 2008 11:04 AM

Posted by: Grammar Sheriff | August 27, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

gbchriste,

If the game didn't matter, why did you pitch your two best?

Posted by: sure | August 27, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

ur rite ime shur itz hared tiping and puntuating a bunch uf "ZZZZ"s! mi mesteak!

Posted by: Eat my Dust | August 27, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

where's jeff stryker today? the women (and some men) on the celeb blog are looking for him.

Posted by: where's jeff? | August 27, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Jeff's busy getting his wounds attended to, after Frankie the dog chomped off his stryker and dingleberries.

Posted by: to where's jeff | August 27, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

A story in the Wall Street Journal today takes a look at the latest data on SAT scores, which is already being picked apart by analysts, parents, educators, students and former test takers like a tough sentence completion question.

Posted by: Interesting | August 27, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Jeez, these boys are simply wimps. My 9 yo pitcher throws 45 mph and SHE is considered average at best. Decent pitchers in out league throw 50 - 55 mph. And that is from only 35 ft not the 45 ft these guys get to see the ball.

Posted by: NoVaSoftball | August 27, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Move the kid up to the next level. Ive seen parents in youth soccer keep kids down so they can esperience success at a lower level.
In my day we had one league 9-12 age. Some 9 yo could play some couldn't tie their shoes

Posted by: Bill | August 27, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
zzzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by: zzzzzzzzzzzz | August 27, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

NoVaSoftball: unless your league consists of the Shamrocks, I'm having a hard time believing that "decent pitchers" in your 10U league throw 50-55 mph. The best pitcher in Maryland is typically in the low to mid 60s; she's 17 years old and has a full ride to one of the best college teams in the country.

50-60 mph is considered pretty good speed for a high school pitcher around these parts. A 9 year old throwing 55 is a lot more than "decent;" a more apt description would be "dominating."

But I'm inclined to agree with the "wimps" part.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 27, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

God, I hope tomorrow's topic is much, much better....

Posted by: Day tripper | August 27, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

NoVaSoftball: unless your league consists of the Shamrocks, I'm having a hard time believing that "decent pitchers" in your 10U league throw 50-55 mph. The best pitcher in Maryland is typically in the low to mid 60s; she's 17 years old and has a full ride to one of the best college teams in the country

The girl for the Lake Shore Lightning 10U hit 55 easily as did the Philly Spirit pitcher. Loudon's pitcher hit the low 50s. We faced a few pitchers in that range.

Posted by: NoVa Softball | August 27, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Didn't anyone ever watch the old westerns, where the fast-draw kid eager to wear his guns to town was warned that there was always a faster gun? Same lesson here -- learning to fail, and to cope, and still keep plugging is part of the deal when you play. The harder part will be to remind the 40-mph-or-however-fast kid that his match is probably out there somewhere.

Posted by: john | August 27, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

See these type of blog comments are what we should be having. Civilized discussions, no hatred, and gentle discourse.

Posted by: Nancy | August 27, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

NoVa Softabll: the Lake Shore Lightning 10U team is the 7-time defending Maryland state champ and finished second in the nation this year, with a record of 75 wins and 5 losses. Three of those losses were to the Philly Spirit. The Spirit finished 59-9-1 and tied for third in the nation. Of the teams' 14 combined losses, 6 came when they played each other. Take those games out and the two teams were a combined 128-8-1 and two of the top three teams in the country at their age group.

Far, far beyond "decent." I stand by my earlier comment:

A 9 year old throwing 55 is a lot more than "decent;" a more apt description would be "dominating."

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 27, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Didn't anyone ever watch the old westerns, where the fast-draw kid eager to wear his guns to town was warned that there was always a faster gun?

Posted by: john | August 27, 2008 1:57 PM

I loved Wagon Train. Flint McCullough and hunky guest stars were stripped to waist on a regular basis.

Posted by: Yum | August 27, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

A 9 year old throwing 55 is a lot more than "decent;" a more apt description would be "dominating."

True, when I used the word "decent", I meant the really good pitchers. I stand by my statement that 40-45 mph is fairly average. Anything under 40 would be laughable, even among our rec kids.

My point is that my 9 and 10ys didn't whine about it and neither did their parents. We went back, cranked up the pitching machines, had our pitchers throw from 25 feet to reduce the reaction time and got better. We also would get upset if Lake Shore ever used anyone else against us. We always wanted to play the best they had.

New Haven must be a community of "girly-men" to paraphrase Arnold Schwartzenager.

Posted by: NoVaSoftball | August 27, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

A 9 year old throwing 55 is a lot more than "decent;" a more apt description would be "dominating."

True, when I used the word "decent", I meant the really good pitchers. I stand by my statement that 40-45 mph is fairly average. Anything under 40 would be laughable, even among our rec kids.

My point is that my 9 and 10ys didn't whine about it and neither did their parents. We went back, cranked up the pitching machines, had our pitchers throw from 25 feet to reduce the reaction time and got better. We also would get upset if Lake Shore ever used anyone else against us. We always wanted to play the best they had.

New Haven must be a community of "girly-men" to paraphrase Arnold Schwartzenager.


Posted by: NoVaSoftball | August 27, 2008 2:13 PM

Can you shut up already? You've posted a bajillion comments today. Or are you AB posting under a different name?

Posted by: to NoVa | August 27, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

STFU!

Posted by: to Nancy | August 27, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Please remember these are elementary school kids. Some parents need to stop putting their failed dreams on their kids. All this my kid is better than yours and anyone who is 9 and can't theow 40 mph is a wimp needs to stop. Are you going to tell that 9 year old he is a wimp because he can't throw the ball as fast as your son. A lot of you may think pampering kids is a problem, but I think overbearing, overcompetitive parents are too.

Posted by: HappyDad | August 27, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Whoever said stuff about grades, you are completely wrong.

I went to back to school night last night and was blown away by what is expected of a first grader. They will be taking exams the end of the year, so it means reading, comprehending, and answering questions. Ouch.

They will be receiving letter grades by the end of the year. I really don't agree with 'grading' kids in that way until at least 3rd grade (to what end?), but that's the way it goes. It's ridiculous and a waste of time (again, to what end?) but there you go.

So they will be graded. And I can't believe what is expected. It is insane. I mean, what's left for second grade?

Posted by: atlmom | August 27, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

to "to NoVa" - no, NoVa isn't me.

You're telling people to shut up? Please tell me why you think fewer posts on a blog is a good way to communicate. It's not like we're keeping other ideas from being exchanged. I think between the two of us NoVa and I are responsible for about half the transactions after noon. Other than us, there were only seven posts in three hours - meaning that there aren't a whole lot of other parenting tips being kept bottled up.

You'd rather silence and a low post count than two people actually exchanging information? Interesting moral compass.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 27, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I would also like to add that Tara Reid was the drummer in Josie and the Pussy Cats.

Posted by: Dorkus who is now lost in thought s of Tara Reid in a cat suit | August 27, 2008 2:10 PM

And don't forget her role in the Big Lebowski, in which most of her part was spent laying in a bikini poolside.

Posted by: bflogal | August 27, 2008 2:53 PM

Listen, Chairman Ben, if a two-bit, ex-E Channel travel show host, former girlfriend of Carson Daly, very likely alcoholic, nymphomaniac, horrible actress can't find a store to sell her cheap bikinis, which would likely disintegrate upon any contact with water, not that that would bother anyone who would purchase that crap...

well I say we're officially in a recession

Who needs a business/economics degree from Harvard?

Posted by: hodie had to pay over $4 for a SMALL box of Cheerios | August 27, 2008 2:54 PM

laying in a bikini poolside

Laying whom?

Posted by: Grammar Sheriff has a sense of humor about transitive verbs | August 27, 2008 2:55 PM

Laying whom?

Posted by: Grammar Sheriff has a sense of humor about transitive verbs | August 27, 2008 2:55 PM

************************************

EVERYONE!!!!!

Posted by: Dorkus | August 27, 2008 2:58 PM

Sounds like she was laying Mr. Poolside. I think he's that fat, hairy man in the undershirt who collects her rent.

Posted by: possum | August 27, 2008 3:01 PM

Laying whom?

Posted by: Grammar Sheriff has a sense of humor about transitive verbs | August 27, 2008 2:55 PM

Maybe the proper question is, Laying WHAT?

Posted by: cluck cluck | August 27, 2008 3:04 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Happy Dad

"Please remember these are elementary school kids. Some parents need to stop putting their failed dreams on their kids."

"Failed dreams" - that would be ABrat - "I think between the two of us NoVa and I are responsible for about half the transactions after noon. Other than us, there were only seven posts in three hours - meaning that there aren't a whole lot of other parenting tips being kept bottled up. "

Posted by: Listen to the echo | August 27, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: HappyDad | August 27, 2008 2:39 PM
"All this my kid is better than yours and anyone who is 9 and can't theow 40 mph is a wimp needs to stop. Are you going to tell that 9 year old he is a wimp because he can't throw the ball as fast as your son."

No we're not saying they are wimps because they can't throw 40mph, we are saying they are wimps (actually we are talking about the pathetic parents, not the kids)because they are crying for this kid to be prevented from playing baseball, because he is "too good".

Posted by: NoVaSoftball | August 27, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

ArmyBrat 40

anonymous, insecure whiner 0

Posted by: Bella | August 27, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

ArmyBrat 40

anonymous, insecure whiner 0

Posted by: Bella | August 27, 2008 3:15 PM

Times Bella get laid per year, 0

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

See these type of blog comments are what we should be having. Civilized discussions, no hatred, and gentle discourse.

Posted by: Nancy | August 27, 2008 2:00 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 3:07 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

"No we're not saying they are wimps because they can't throw 40mph, we are saying they are wimps (actually we are talking about the pathetic parents, not the kids)because they are crying for this kid to be prevented from playing baseball, because he is "too good"."
NoVaSoftball

I'm with NoVaSoftball on this. The parents who complained about the pitcher were wimps.

There were 6 recorded hits off of our 9 year-old stud pitcher this rec season and I'm proud to say that my kid got one of them. It wasn't fun for the kids going up against her but the coach would crank up the batting machine and the hitters all got better because of the challenge.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I discovered earlier this year that many pools involved in the summer swim leagues in our hometown have a program for recruiting "ringers" -- who can range in age from 8 to 18. Kids who swim really fast in the year-round leagues are often given Special Swimmer Status at certain pools in the area, where they're allowed to pump up the summer league swim team without their parents having to pay to join the pool for the summer. Generally, these kids show up for the last two meets of the summer season -- just in time to nab all the spots for Divisionals and All-Stars. Kids who never miss a practice and are the fastest of the regular swimmers at their pool never make divisionals and all-stars. Personally, I find it bizarre that a pool would go to the trouble of recruiting 8 year olds to serve as ringers because it's supposed to be just for fun. But if I were to complain, people would tell me it's just sour grapes because my kid doesn't swim that fast. I'm not sure the scenario is comparable with the baseball -- but I do think that many parents are protesting the increasing professionalization of kid's sports out of something more than sour grapes. And, I think it's not surprising that so many kids are obese if by the time they're 8 they've been sidelined from many sports teams for 'not being good enough' (or perhaps for 'being too good' as today's story would indicate).

Posted by: Swimmie | August 27, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Who complained? It wasn't the kids. Doesn't the league require some sort of paperwork before they yank a coach? What do the rules say is required in order to do so?

You know the saying that when someone says it's not about the money, it's about the money. Something similar applies when dealing with angry parents. When they say it's all for the kids' safety, be very, very skeptical.

Posted by: Info missing | August 27, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

So between the poorly thought out choice in song and the lame attempt to fit too many syllables into one line, can we all agree that Sheryl Crowe is, um, no good?

Posted by: Sully don't date no OLDER WOMAN who wears a HAT | August 27, 2008 3:13 PM
===============
She's not the kinda girl you take home.

And she doesn't know how to pronounce the word, "thistle." Drives me crazy everytime I hear that stupid song.

Posted by: MoCoSnarky, makes the rules up as I go | August 27, 2008 3:33 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Stacey tomorrow can we talk about this?

The contradictory values we teach kids about being unique and individual vs don't be "too" different combined with worthless band-aid attempts to make schools better with many stupid dress code rules is a great issue, especially with school just starting.

It's time parents learned to really stand up for rules that are stupid, not teach kids just to go with rules because they are rules and that you respect authority and rules MORE when they are actually applied fairly, meaningfully, and with reason and respect to those administering them.

http://www.cnn.com/video/savp/evp/?loc=dom&vid=/video/us/2008/08/22/saavedra.pink.hair.KYTV

Posted by: Liz D | August 27, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

"stand up for rules" = "stand up against rules"

Posted by: Liz D | August 27, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"stand up for rules" = "stand up against rules"

Posted by: Liz D | August 27, 2008 3:52 PM

Code for more lesbian stuff in the schools.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Sully, I think I could have gone the rest of my life without knowing the urban dictionary definition of "whack a mole" and been none the worse for my ignorance.

Posted by: Sasquatch can't look at the chocolate cookies he had planned to eat for a snack | August 27, 2008 3:58 PM


Ditto

Posted by: jake e. poo | August 27, 2008 4:12 PM


Sasquatch, I know your pain. I'm sorry you looked up the definition.

To the rest of you- ye be warned.

And if you do, blame byoolin.

Posted by: Sully | August 27, 2008 4:14 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Liz:

Thanks for the suggestion. Won't happen for tomorrow, but I'll try for Friday.

Stacey

Posted by: Stacey Garfinkle | August 27, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Liz D | August 27, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

It is a crying shame that that school board knuckled under with a mere letter from the ACLU.

The dress code was formulated before the beginning of school and I have no doubt that there was ample time for public comment.

Dress codes are not some stupid act as you believe. In a very concrete manner, a code such as this sets the stage for adult life. Most all places of business have informal if not formal dress codes and formal rules of conduct.

Posted by: to Liz D | August 27, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

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