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Thread: Politics in youth baseball...

  1. #1
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    Politics in youth baseball...

    I am fairly new to youth baseball. I just cannot believe the politics that surround it. Here are a few examples of what I have actually seen:

    1. One travel team from my local little league has 7 coaches! This means that there are only 4 or 5 open spots on the team for deserving players. (My son is not involved with the local little league so I am not just a disgruntled father ) What are the odds that all 7 coaches having boys that are more deserving than others?

    2. My son's friend has been blackballed from playing in this same little league because the father placed his older son on an indedpendent travel team rather than the local little league affiliated team. I don't even know if this is legal. But it has happened.

    3. One father just made a few phone calls to other area teams to inquire about any open roster spots. His current coach found out and kicked the kid and his brother off of the team.

    "Baseball was made for kids, and grown-ups only screw it up." ~ Bob Lemon

    Ain't that the truth!
    "You gotta be a man to play baseball for a living, but you gotta have a lot of little boy in you, too." ~Roy Campanella

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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by libd View Post
    I am fairly new to youth baseball. I just cannot believe the politics that surround it. Here are a few examples of what I have actually seen:

    1. One travel team from my local little league has 7 coaches! This means that there are only 4 or 5 open spots on the team for deserving players. (My son is not involved with the local little league so I am not just a disgruntled father ) What are the odds that all 7 coaches having boys that are more deserving than others?

    2. My son's friend has been blackballed from playing in this same little league because the father placed his older son on an indedpendent travel team rather than the local little league affiliated team. I don't even know if this is legal. But it has happened.

    3. One father just made a few phone calls to other area teams to inquire about any open roster spots. His current coach found out and kicked the kid and his brother off of the team.

    "Baseball was made for kids, and grown-ups only screw it up." ~ Bob Lemon

    Ain't that the truth!
    Welcome to the Wonderful World of Youth Sports. I was involved in youth sports from 1956 through 1999, and EVERY organization I was involved in had some form of corruption, especially on the BOD. My two grandsons quit the local LL because of the BLATANT corruption on the BOD. It was so open, that the 8-year-old commented on it. The older one played two seasons in the football program in the area, and dropped out because of the open favortism.

    Bob

  3. #3
    This is another sad commentary on youth sports in america today...

    One note, If they are official "Williamsport Little League" leagues. They can not do #2 OR #3
    cong

  4. #4
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    It's not the youth in Youth Sports who are the problem. It's the "adults" with a "win-at-any-cost" attitude. The kids just want to play ball, for the most part, but the "adult's" egos have to control things.

    Bob

  5. #5
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    My brother's youth baseball team recently played in their league championship game, and it was ridiculous politics and favoritism that likely cost cthem the game. The starting pitcher was the coach's son, and while he is a good pitcher, most starters in this league (middle school aged) typically do not pitch more than 3-4 innings. His team held a 3-2 lead, but despite having other good pitchers that he could have used in the later innings, the coach's son continued pitching into the 6th inning, and was not finally replaced until he had allowed 5 more runs in that inning and recorded only one out. My brother (who had struck out 7 in three innings in his previous pitching outing) was finally brought in to pitch, and finished the inning without allowing any more runs, but at that point it was too late, because although his team scored twice in the next (and last) inning, they lost 7-5.

    So yes, even in a league such as his, where the primary objective is to give everyone playing time, problems can come up when a coach decides that he wants his son to be the hero in the big game.
    "Too many pitchers, that's all, there are just too many pitchers Ten or twelve on a team. Don't see how any of them get enough work. Four starting pitchers and one relief man ought to be enough. Pitch 'em every three days and you'd find they'd get control and good, strong arms."

    -Cy Young

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by libd View Post
    I am fairly new to youth baseball. I just cannot believe the politics that surround it. Here are a few examples of what I have actually seen:

    1. One travel team from my local little league has 7 coaches! This means that there are only 4 or 5 open spots on the team for deserving players. (My son is not involved with the local little league so I am not just a disgruntled father ) What are the odds that all 7 coaches having boys that are more deserving than others?

    2. My son's friend has been blackballed from playing in this same little league because the father placed his older son on an indedpendent travel team rather than the local little league affiliated team. I don't even know if this is legal. But it has happened.

    3. One father just made a few phone calls to other area teams to inquire about any open roster spots. His current coach found out and kicked the kid and his brother off of the team.

    "Baseball was made for kids, and grown-ups only screw it up." ~ Bob Lemon

    Ain't that the truth!
    Yes, there is an astounding amount of baloney and bad behavior that goes on in youth sports.

    I just want to mention one thing. Be careful calling it "Little League" when you refer to youth baseball. Little League Baseball, Inc. is ONE of MANY youth programs and their name is trademark and copyright protected and they aggressively pursue unauthorized use of the name. "Little League Baseball" does not have travel teams.

    At the 9 to 12 age level there are many programs that are similar, but are completely independant of one another. They are individual, non-profit organizations. Here are SOME of them;

    Little League Baseball, Inc
    Cal Ripken division of Babe Ruth League
    Bronco/Mustang division of PONY Baseball

    Then you have independant leagues that are not affiliated with any national non-profit, and then you have independant "travel" teams that aren't even in a league, they simply play other independant teams.

    If you are new to this, you need to find out what you are putting your kids into; what the organization is, and what its rules are.
    Last edited by jbooth; 07-21-2007 at 12:41 PM.

  7. #7
    It's even worse when you live in an area where that league is the only show. Growing up in New York City, you had more options, although some leagues wouldn't let players who were out of the "zone" come in for fear of coaches stacking their teams.

    I've seen other coaches purposely fill their rosters with late birthdays (kids who were born after august) so that they basically can have a team of 13 year olds playing against 10-12 year olds.

    I give LL parents credit for volunteering to coach, but that desire to win is a drug that seems to consume too many of them. There are a select few that don't even know how properly communicate with kids and ending up literally scarring their baseball confiedence for life at a young age.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by metrotheme View Post
    It's even worse when you live in an area where that league is the only show. Growing up in New York City, you had more options, although some leagues wouldn't let players who were out of the "zone" come in for fear of coaches stacking their teams.

    I've seen other coaches purposely fill their rosters with late birthdays (kids who were born after august) so that they basically can have a team of 13 year olds playing against 10-12 year olds.

    I give LL parents credit for volunteering to coach, but that desire to win is a drug that seems to consume too many of them. There are a select few that don't even know how properly communicate with kids and ending up literally scarring their baseball confiedence for life at a young age.
    There's nothing wrong with a desire to win, as long as you do it fairly and squarely, by the rules, and with honesty and integrity, and show good sportsmanship.

    I don't care to play unless I plan to win, but I'm not going to cheat to win.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbooth View Post
    There's nothing wrong with a desire to win, as long as you do it fairly and squarely, by the rules, and with honesty and integrity, and show good sportsmanship.

    I don't care to play unless I plan to win, but I'm not going to cheat to win.
    Exactly. My philosophy has always been, as a competitor or a manager, if you have to cheat to win, you're admitting your opponent is better than you.

    Bob

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluezebra View Post
    Exactly. My philosophy has always been, as a competitor or a manager, if you have to cheat to win, you're admitting your opponent is better than you.

    Bob
    Yeah, and what satisfaction is there in winning by cheating?

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