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Since86
08-26-2008, 11:46 AM
9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

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Associated Press

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Nine-year-old Jericho Scott is a good baseball player -- too good, it turns out.

The right-hander has a fastball that tops out at about 40 mph. He throws so hard that the Youth Baseball League of New Haven told his coach that the boy could not pitch any more. When Jericho took the mound anyway last week, the opposing team forfeited the game, packed its gear and left, his coach said.


Officials with the Youth Baseball League of New Haven say they will disband Jericho Scott's team because his coach won't stop him from pitching.

Officials for the three-year-old league, which has eight teams and about 100 players, said they will disband Jericho's team, redistributing its players among other squads, and offered to refund $50 sign-up fees to anyone who asks for it. They say Jericho's coach, Wilfred Vidro, has resigned.

But Vidro says he didn't quit and the team refuses to disband. Players and parents held a protest at the league's field on Saturday urging the league to let Jericho pitch.

"He's never hurt any one," Vidro said. "He's on target all the time. How can you punish a kid for being too good?"

The controversy bothers Jericho, who says he misses pitching.

"I feel sad," he said. "I feel like it's all my fault nobody could play."

Jericho's coach and parents say the boy is being unfairly targeted because he turned down an invitation to join the defending league champion, which is sponsored by an employer of one of the league's administrators.

Jericho instead joined a team sponsored by Will Power Fitness. The team was 8-0 and on its way to the playoffs when Jericho was banned from pitching.

"I think it's discouraging when you're telling a 9-year-old you're too good at something," said his mother, Nicole Scott. "The whole objective in life is to find something you're good at and stick with it. I'd rather he spend all his time on the baseball field than idolizing someone standing on the street corner."

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 said. "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."

Noble acknowledged that Jericho had not beaned any batters in the co-ed league of 8- to 10-year-olds, but say parents expressed safety concerns.

"Facing that kind of speed" is frightening for beginning players, Noble said.

League officials say they first told Vidro that the boy could not pitch after a game on Aug. 13. Jericho played second base the next game on Aug. 16. But when he took the mound Wednesday, the other team walked off and a forfeit was called.

League officials say Jericho's mother became irate, threatening them and vowing to get the league shut down.

"I have never seen behavior of a parent like the behavior Jericho's mother exhibited Wednesday night," Noble said.

Scott denies threatening any one, but said she did call the police.

League officials suggested that Jericho play other positions, or pitch against older players or in a different league.

Local attorney John Williams was planning to meet with Jericho's parents Monday to discuss legal options.

"You don't have to be learned in the law to know in your heart that it's wrong," he said. "Now you have to be punished because you excel at something?"
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=3553475

Is this really the society we're living in? I'm tired of all this feel good, everyone makes the team, everyone gets a trophy bunch of bull. What's next, you're too smart so you can't raise your hand and answer questions in class?

Hicks
08-26-2008, 11:52 AM
I was really 100% in this kid's corner until I read it's supposed to be a beginner's development league. If that's true, why isn't the kid playing in a more competitive league?

Aw Heck
08-26-2008, 11:56 AM
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=3553475

Is this really the society we're living in? I'm tired of all this feel good, everyone makes the team, everyone gets a trophy bunch of bull. What's next, you're too smart so you can't raise your hand and answer questions in class?
I completely agree. It's this line of thinking that also got rid of dodgeball in gym class.

Playing dodgeball or God forbid, "losing," is not going to kill a child's self esteem. Sure, it may sting for a while, but you learn by losing. You learn to pick yourself up and try again. But most of all, you learn to COMPETE. If everybody's a winner, what incentive is there to compete?

Not everybody is a "winner" in life. Not everybody gets a high salary job or gets to live in a big house. Some people are better at things than others. The sooner children learn this and learn to adjust and compete, the better. It'll save them from a rude awakening later on.

rexnom
08-26-2008, 11:57 AM
I was really 100% in this kid's corner until I read it's supposed to be a beginner's development league. If that's true, why isn't the kid playing in a more competitive league?
Yeah, I agree. Surely, he can find a more competitive league. How about one that isn't co-ed and doesn't have kids younger than him.

ilive4sports
08-26-2008, 12:03 PM
I agree that this is ridiculous. Im 18 and we never had problems like this. Has it changed that much in a matter of a decade? We just went out and played to win and if we didnt oh well. Play harder next week. Now it seems like kids just get the trophy for showing up. This kid should be allowed to play in this league. They are punishing him for being too good. Thats wrong. Plus splitting up the team is wrong too. Don't punish the team or the kid. Let them play.

JayRedd
08-26-2008, 12:03 PM
Yeah, I agree. Surely, he can find a more competitive league. How about one that isn't co-ed and doesn't have kids younger than him.

A League of His Own?

ajbry
08-26-2008, 12:16 PM
This type of thing would happen in a place like Connecticut.

Back in the FLA, kids who COULDN'T pitch 40 mph by age 9 were encouraged to play outfield or some *****...

Since86
08-26-2008, 12:40 PM
I was really 100% in this kid's corner until I read it's supposed to be a beginner's development league. If that's true, why isn't the kid playing in a more competitive league?

All league's 8-10 are considered developmental. Until a few years ago, 10 and under used a pitching machine, now it's for 8 and under.

12 and under teams are the ones considered competitive leagues.

Since86
08-26-2008, 12:45 PM
Yeah, I agree. Surely, he can find a more competitive league. How about one that isn't co-ed and doesn't have kids younger than him.

The league is for ages 8 through 10. Maybe they should just have a league for 8yr olds, another for 9yr olds, another for 10 yr olds, another for 11 yr olds, and then another for 12 yr olds. That would solve the problem.

Then when you get into Jr. High programs have a strictly 6th grade team, 7th grade team, and then an 8th grade team.

Better year how about when you get into high school have just a freshman team......I could go on, but I think my point has been made.

He's 9 yrs old, fits perfectly within the rules, and people are complaining.


The only concern I have would be the coach getting greedy about wins and throwing the kid every game, ruining his arm. If he follows the rules about the amount of innings they're allowed to pitch, isn't over the age limit, then what's the problem?

Maybe the state of Ohio should have used this argument when LeBron was at St. Mary's. I'm sure many felt he was too good to be playing against high schooler's on his way to 3 state championships.

DisplacedKnick
08-26-2008, 12:47 PM
Sounds goofy. I go to this:


League officials suggested that Jericho play other positions, or pitch against older players or in a different league.

First, if he's a good pitcher, let him pitch. Second, the league is for 8-10 year olds and he's 9.

Third is the question - if other leagues are at basically the same level then that makes no sense. If there are higher level leagues for his age group in the same area, then fine. I know when I played Little League we had the standard leagues which was everyone from the same town. Then we had what we called the all-star league which played teams from other towns and even other counties.

Not sure what New Haven has but if he's "graduated" then he should move on.

JayRedd
08-26-2008, 12:51 PM
This type of thing would happen in a place like Connecticut.

We don't really consider it part of New England.

Trader Joe
08-26-2008, 12:53 PM
This is stupid.

In a society that glorifies kids who are talented in a sport at young ages, this sends a double standard. The kid is nine years old, he's playing in his age group. Let him do what he is best at.

Hicks
08-26-2008, 02:34 PM
If there's another league for his age group that's more competitive, then he should be in it. If there is just the single league, then they need to suck it up and let him do what he does best.

Doug
08-26-2008, 02:53 PM
Jericho's coach and parents say the boy is being unfairly targeted because he turned down an invitation to join the defending league champion,

That's part of the problem right there. A youth DEVELOPMENTAL league should never let teams select / recruit players. All you get are stacked teams and pissed off players and parents.

Have evaluations. Rank the players 1 to N. Then 'snake' them to form the teams. Double check the teams to make sure they are balanced. THEN assign coaches to the teams.

Doug
08-26-2008, 03:02 PM
Not everybody is a "winner" in life. Not everybody gets a high salary job or gets to live in a big house. Some people are better at things than others. The sooner children learn this and learn to adjust and compete, the better. It'll save them from a rude awakening later on.

True enough. The 'entitlement society' is probably a topic for another board.

But, since we are talking about youth sports...

Not all kids develop at the same rate. The difference in maturity between kids of the same age is tremendous.

That scrawly little kid that can't swing a bat might be next years' home run champ. That is, if he doesn't get turned off from the game and quit. League's need to be structured with that in mind.

It's not easy to gear a league so it can provide appropriate development for both the 'studs' and the average players.

And, while it may not be true in this case - the article was short on some information like "is he pitching every inning of every game" - sometimes the good of the many does outweigh the good of the one.

Trader Joe
08-26-2008, 04:38 PM
If there's another league for his age group that's more competitive, then he should be in it. If there is just the single league, then they need to suck it up and let him do what he does best.

If Kobe goes and plays in Europe should he be forced to come back to the NBA because he's too good for the league?

If there is a superstar quarterback playing football at a 1A school that shreds opposing defenses, should he be forced to go play for a 5A school?

DisplacedKnick
08-26-2008, 04:55 PM
If Kobe goes and plays in Europe should he be forced to come back to the NBA because he's too good for the league?

If there is a superstar quarterback playing football at a 1A school that shreds opposing defenses, should he be forced to go play for a 5A school?

That has nothing to do with this. It's perfectly normal for municipal, local youth and amateur sports to have different grades of competition. I used to play in a tennis league that had beginner, intermediate and advanced divisions and if you were smearing the competition at one of the lower divisions, you moved up - or they tossed you.

If someone's just starting Taekwondo should they be expected to have to compete against a black belt just because the black belt wants to win all the time?

Los Angeles
08-26-2008, 05:00 PM
If this kid was good enough to play in the advanced league, then he should have been moved there for his own development.

Pitching against a bunch of younger beginners hurts the development of both the pitcher and the other kids.

What next, let Michael Phelps swim in the Special Olympics?

Trader Joe
08-26-2008, 05:04 PM
If it's true that one of the coaches/managers/sponsors of another team tried to get the kid to join that team, then I think calling this league "developmental" is a joke.

This isn't Michael Phelps in the special Olympics (which is a ridiculous comparison).

The league official describes no advanced league that the kid could go play in.

Doug
08-26-2008, 06:29 PM
If it's true that one of the coaches/managers/sponsors of another team tried to get the kid to join that team, then I think calling this league "developmental" is a joke.

Well, as much as I'd like to hope otherwise, youth sports is full of middle-age men who care more about winning than being fair, more about their own win-loss record than the welfare of the kids.

Times are changing, but they are still out there.

The burden often falls on the league officials to make sure the correct things are emphasized, but often they are either unprepared or unwilling to do so.

Really, all youth leagues - even the higher level ones - should be thought of as 'developmental' in some regard. But, even in those leagues, the KIDS matter more than any win.


This isn't Michael Phelps in the special Olympics (which is a ridiculous comparison).

I'd say that comparison was just as valid as your Kobe can't play in Europe one.

Trader Joe
08-26-2008, 07:17 PM
Not when you consider that one must have a disability to compete in the special Olympics.

I'd agree my Kobe comparison was a reach, but not quite the reach that is. It sounds to me like this kid just wanted to play baseball and pitch, and it also sounds like most people didn't have a problem with that as long as he played for what would appear to be the league power.

Los Angeles
08-26-2008, 08:22 PM
Indy, please don't take it too seriously. I was just being absurd for the sake of absurdity.

I apologize for any offense my reference may have caused.

My greater point was that athletically advanced kids need to compete with kids that are at the same or similar athletic level. This seems to be an extreme case where one kid's talent was far and above anyone else in the league.

Remember, we're talking about children. What's the point of the game when there's one dominant kid that just scares the crap out of the others? It seems to me the only that would have any fun is the coach with the ringer on his team.

I remember little league baseball very well, and I was one of the youngest and least skilled players on my otherwise winning team. Nevermind that I was one of the fastest and best base runners, nevermind that I was one of the only kids that could bunt (I had to get on base somehow).

I didn't have much of an arm and couldn't hit a ball out of the infield so the coach made me sit. I assume he wouldn't have let me bat either if the rules didn't force his hand.

Otherwise, I hardly ever saw the field. Let me tell you, winning wasn't any fun when you just sat on the bench. I quickly lost any taste I may have had for baseball and remain uninterested to this day. It's that perspective that I bring to this conversation.

If the kid was an accurate 40 mph hurler, there likely is more fertile ground for him to play in his community. If he was in an "equal-play" league and his coach was not coaching by equal play guidelines, then yes, the kid should take turns like everyone else. That's not punishment, that's just playing fair.

Trader Joe
08-26-2008, 08:50 PM
I can see that side of things LA.

I'd like to know more about the story though because on the surface it doesn't appear to be clear what is exactly happening.

DisplacedKnick
08-26-2008, 09:35 PM
The key for me here is simple - is there a higher-level league for the same age level kids located near him?

If there is, he should join it. If there isn't, everyone else should tip their cap to the kid for how good he is.

Doug
08-26-2008, 09:49 PM
Here's some more info I found at http://www.wtnh.com/Global/story.asp?S=8903710&nav=menu29_5


Mark Gambarella is his coach for three pony league teams, including the Dom Aitro All Stars. He says Scott hurls about 40 miles an hour. He says he is accurate but is also hittable, which is why he's not a starting pitcher in pony league.

"He's my fourth pitcher, not my first, not my second...he's my fourth," Gambarella said. "The ten- year-olds are very good and they pretty much dominate him."Now, given that statement the whole thing just doesn't make sense. If you have other kids that throw faster on the team, why is there such a fuss?

Doug
08-26-2008, 09:52 PM
Mark Gambarella is his coach for three pony league teams,

Wait, so this kids is already playing is other leagues? And wants to play in 8-10 co-ed league too?

That's the only way I read it and have it make sense.

Doug
08-26-2008, 10:02 PM
And, doing a bit more research, it doesn't appear that a 40 MPH fastball is that uncommon at that age, at least for a really good pitcher.

Given that, I would not be surprised if the whole thing is a bunch of politics.

SycamoreKen
08-26-2008, 10:05 PM
It sounds more like he picked the wrong team to play for so the team he dissed wants him gone.

Putnam
08-27-2008, 11:59 AM
[big, slow curveball coming right across the outside edge of the plate]

The problem as I see it with this kind of baseball is all the adults who are crying about fairness and safety and all these other issues instead of letting the kids get out there, skin their knees and get some exercise.

[/big, slow curveball coming right across the outside edge of the plate.]



Anyone?


.

Dr. Goldfoot
08-27-2008, 12:13 PM
If you're good enough to to have this happen you're good enough to play on a traveling all-star team. That's what I did and pretty much everyone else I played with later in high school. That was nearly 20 years ago so I imagine there are even more complex leagues these days. The last year I played in the regular league I also played on a traveling team. I made it to three games due to scheduling conflicts and still made their all-star team and the coach made me pitch (even though I wasn't a pitcher). I'm not talking about how good I was just how the level of competition was grossly different. This kid shouldn't even be in this league.

Since86
08-27-2008, 12:13 PM
[big, slow curveball coming right across the outside edge of the plate]

The problem as I see it with this kind of baseball is all the adults who are crying about fairness and safety and all these other issues instead of letting the kids get out there, skin their knees and get some exercise.

[/big, slow curveball coming right across the outside edge of the plate.]



Anyone?


.


Eventhough I can't hit a curve ball to save my life, and I saw plenty of them in HS baseball, I completely agree.

My parents are the type to tell me to suck it up and play ball. I've taken my lumps in many different sports, whether it was basketball, baseball, soccer, or soccer, and I feel like I've got a pretty good handle on life without emotional scaring.

There's always going to be someone/some team better than you in sports and just life in general. You teach life lessons through sports, and do you really want to send the message that if someone is playing by the rules but are still better to sit back and cry about it until you get your way? Or even worse, just don't try?

ajbry
08-27-2008, 12:15 PM
There's always going to be someone/some team better than you in sports and just life in general. You teach life lessons through sports, and do you really want to send the message that if someone is playing by the rules but are still better to sit back and cry about it until you get your way? Or even worse, just don't try?

That's a great point. Completely agree.

rexnom
08-27-2008, 12:38 PM
Jesus. Can we not have a strictly "**** all pansies" mentality about this? If my kid is playing with a kid throwing a ball that can hurt him in 8-10 year old, co-ed rec league, I'm worried about his safety over anything else. I think the number one lesson here is that you play to have fun...who's better or not is irrelevant. These are 8 year old kids trying to have fun. This isn't Mr. Miyagi's boot camp.

Since86
08-27-2008, 12:52 PM
While it may sting, getting hit by a ball going 40mph isn't all that big of a safety concern, especially when you consider that children's bones are a lot harder to break due to them not being set and more like sponges.

If we're worried about a 40mph fastball hurting someone, then highschool should throw underhanded.

What's next, take away their bikes because they might wreck?

I played 12 and under allstars when I was 8. The very last game of the season I got absolutely pegged in the ribs. Sure it hurt like hell for a few mins, but I was fine. 12 y/os throw a lot harder than 9 y/os.

There's more of a safety concern about a hit ball coming back up the middle at a pitcher. They come off the bat, especially aluminum ones, at speeds well over 100mph, and the pitching mound for 10 and under is 46 feet. Not a whole lot of time to react.

Robertmto
08-27-2008, 01:15 PM
What next, let Michael Phelps swim in the Special Olympics?

that......would be awesome. I'll take Phelps minus an hour

Unclebuck
08-27-2008, 01:31 PM
I was really 100% in this kid's corner until I read it's supposed to be a beginner's development league. If that's true, why isn't the kid playing in a more competitive league?

Maybe he wants to play with his friends who are in the same grade and same age as him. He is only 9 years old - at that age level there aren't a bunch of different leagues to choose from.

Unclebuck
08-27-2008, 01:36 PM
Not everybody is a "winner" in life. Not everybody gets a high salary job or gets to live in a big house. Some people are better at things than others. The sooner children learn this and learn to adjust and compete, the better. It'll save them from a rude awakening later on.

I agree with you 100%.

But children aren't learning it ever and therefore we have the situation that is so prevelant today with adults. They are growing up expecting to be given things for free. (can't discuss this here)

JayRedd
08-27-2008, 02:46 PM
[big, slow curveball coming right across the outside edge of the plate]

The problem as I see it with this kind of baseball is all the adults who are crying about fairness and safety and all these other issues instead of letting the kids get out there, skin their knees and get some exercise.

[/big, slow curveball coming right across the outside edge of the plate.]



2DNBBrkIPN8

Putnam
08-27-2008, 02:55 PM
Thank you.

You've restored my faith in people.

Bball
08-27-2008, 06:12 PM
Why do they keep score? Wouldn't it be so much better for all of these kids' self esteem if they didn't keep score? That way there's no losers... or winners... Just everyone equal in enjoying the game.

Please note: If your sarcasm filter is turned on the above posting will not be seen.

-Bball

Los Angeles
08-27-2008, 06:19 PM
When I would shoot around with my little nephew I would block every shot right back in his face.

Then I'd scream "NOT IN MY HOUSE MOTHER F'ER!" Followed by "WHAT THE HELL YOU CRYING FOR?!?! LOSING'S A PART OF LIFE, GET USED TO IT!!!"

Then I'd pat myself on the shoulder for be such a great character builder. :nod:

Los Angeles
08-27-2008, 06:21 PM
Maybe good development happens somewhere in the middle?

Trader Joe
08-27-2008, 07:00 PM
When, I was this kid's age I played mostly within Carmel Dad's Club for soccer and basketball, and then I played on some travel soccer teams. I was never good enough for basketball travel teams, but my point is everyone was allowed to play in Carmel Dad's Club regardless of how good you were. We just had tryouts so team's were balanced.

Mourning
08-27-2008, 07:25 PM
When I would shoot around with my little nephew I would block every shot right back in his face.

Then I'd scream "NOT IN MY HOUSE MOTHER F'ER!" Followed by "WHAT THE HELL YOU CRYING FOR?!?! LOSING'S A PART OF LIFE, GET USED TO IT!!!"

Then I'd pat myself on the shoulder for be such a great character builder. :nod:

:lol2:

ilive4sports
08-27-2008, 07:33 PM
I remember back when I was 12 our soccer league changed. No more was it just teams in the immediate area that we faced, but now we were a travel team. Lets just say no way should we have been in this league. Every other team in this league had sponsors and was ranked in the state, some even nationally. Great league, but we didnt belong there. We lost every game. We scored one goal all season. You know what though, we still had a lot of fun. We still played out hearts out. We tried our best to win every game, but we couldnt because we were in the wrong league. We cared that we lost, but we had fun, learned a lot.

These kids can learn a lot by facing this pitcher. To become the best, you have to face the best. Our team became much better the next season because we got used to it.

Dont give me this crap about well the self esteem of these kids will be so hurt they will never play again. BS, they face him once every few games. They will be fine. If we could lose every game of the season and come back the next year and still play, i dont think these kids will turn away from the game from a 40mph fastball.

Eindar
08-27-2008, 11:42 PM
And, doing a bit more research, it doesn't appear that a 40 MPH fastball is that uncommon at that age, at least for a really good pitcher.

Given that, I would not be surprised if the whole thing is a bunch of politics.

The Little League I played in as a kid had some good players, and some good athletes, but we only had one pro prospect while I was there, which was Jason Ragland, who got drafted out of high school at Manual. Anyways, I say that so that you have a little background on me. I played from age 5 all the way through high school, and I can tell you that 40 mph isn't much.

8-10 is what we called "minors", and just about every team I played for/against in minors had at least one kid who could pitch 40+. In fact, I clearly remember as a minor taking batting practice in the 45 mph cage in Greenwood, which was the slowest cage they had. Typically speaking 45-50 is top end for that age group, and 60-70 is top end for the next age group, which we called "majors".

Long story short, him being too good is BS, and is either politics or candy-*** behavior. :)

LoneGranger33
08-28-2008, 08:36 AM
Listen, I was told just last week that I couldn't pitch in little league games. In fact, I was almost arrested when I tried to come in during the bottom of the 3rd. But you don't see me complaining. As far as I'm concerned, this story is crap.

Since86
08-28-2008, 09:17 AM
When I would shoot around with my little nephew I would block every shot right back in his face.

Then I'd scream "NOT IN MY HOUSE MOTHER F'ER!" Followed by "WHAT THE HELL YOU CRYING FOR?!?! LOSING'S A PART OF LIFE, GET USED TO IT!!!"

Then I'd pat myself on the shoulder for be such a great character builder. :nod:

Obviously I under stand the sarcasm, but a this kid isn't a grown man. He fits perfectly within the set rules.

Your story doesn't have the same ring to it if your down at Venice Beach, doing that to a guy who's one year older than you.

Los Angeles
08-28-2008, 01:06 PM
Maybe good development happens somewhere in the middle?

?

clownskull
08-29-2008, 02:19 AM
The key for me here is simple - is there a higher-level league for the same age level kids located near him?

If there is, he should join it. If there isn't, everyone else should tip their cap to the kid for how good he is.

that is key indeed. if there is a higher league for kids his age, he needs to go to it. if not, then he should be able to pitch if he wants.
if there isn't a higher league, then this sounds like one of those league administrators mentioned in the article who is sponsoring the defending league champ is just trying to make sure his team can win again. and that is pure b.s. and if true, the guy needs to be thrown out of his job because he would be guilty of trying to rig the thing.