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Thread: Un-freaking-believeable: 9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

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    Default Un-freaking-believeable: 9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

    9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    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?

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    Default Re: Un-freaking-believeable: 9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

    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?

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    Default Re: Un-freaking-believeable: 9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

    Quote Originally Posted by Since86 View Post
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    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.
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    Default Re: Un-freaking-believeable: 9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    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.

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    Default Re: Un-freaking-believeable: 9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

    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.

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    Default Re: Un-freaking-believeable: 9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

    Quote Originally Posted by rexnom View Post
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    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.
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    Default Re: Un-freaking-believeable: 9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

    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 *****...

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    Default Re: Un-freaking-believeable: 9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    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.

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    Default Re: Un-freaking-believeable: 9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

    Quote Originally Posted by rexnom View Post
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    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.

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    Default Re: Un-freaking-believeable: 9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

    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.
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    Default Re: Un-freaking-believeable: 9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

    Quote Originally Posted by ajbry View Post
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    This type of thing would happen in a place like Connecticut.
    We don't really consider it part of New England.
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    Default Re: Un-freaking-believeable: 9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

    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.

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    Default Re: Un-freaking-believeable: 9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

    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.

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    Default Re: Un-freaking-believeable: 9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

    Quote Originally Posted by Original Article
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    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.
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    Default Re: Un-freaking-believeable: 9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

    Quote Originally Posted by Aw Heck View Post
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    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.
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    Default Re: Un-freaking-believeable: 9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    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?

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    Default Re: Un-freaking-believeable: 9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

    Quote Originally Posted by Indy View Post
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    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?
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    Default Re: Un-freaking-believeable: 9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

    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?
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    Default Re: Un-freaking-believeable: 9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

    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.
    Last edited by Trader Joe; 08-26-2008 at 05:10 PM.

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    Default Re: Un-freaking-believeable: 9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

    Quote Originally Posted by Indy View Post
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    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Indy View Post
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    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.
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    Default Re: Un-freaking-believeable: 9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

    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.
    Last edited by Trader Joe; 08-26-2008 at 07:21 PM.

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    Default Re: Un-freaking-believeable: 9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

    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.
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    Default Re: Un-freaking-believeable: 9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

    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.

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    Default Re: Un-freaking-believeable: 9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

    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.
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

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    Default Re: Un-freaking-believeable: 9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

    Here's some more info I found at http://www.wtnh.com/Global/story.asp...0&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?
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