Man Up Nine-Year-Olds!

My buddy Greg sent me this article at ESPN about a 9-year-old boy in Connecticut who has been told his 40 mph fast ball makes him “too good” to pitch in his baseball league.  Teams have refused to play when he pitches, and his team is being disbanded at players redistributed to other teams.

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.

It sounds like there are some political shenanigans going on beneath the surface because the kid isn’t playing for the team league officials wanted him to play for.  My initial reaction was, “This is an outrage!  He’s pitching amongst his peers.  They should adjust to his speed and become better batters.”

Yeah, but…

He’s not pitching against his peers.  The age groups in little league are set up as a guideline for skill level.  His skill level is greater than most people his age, at least in this particular league.  Why don’t his parents let him play in either a tougher league or with older kids?  Those are his peers.  Are they afraid for him to have to compete too?

I don’t see either party as being in the right on this one.  The league is in the wrong to punish a kid and his teammates for being good at the game, but if the kid and his parents truly believe he’s on his way to becoming the next Randy Johnson, maybe they should consider having him play with kids who can challenge him.  If they don’t, everyone’s may catch up to him in a few years, and he’ll be left reliving the glory days of striking out second graders.

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3 Replies to “Man Up Nine-Year-Olds!”

  1. Always willing to see both sides of an argument, I think you have a good point here.
    Is this why I was always playing with kids 5 years younger then me while dressed like some kind of mongoloid in a uniform 4 sizes too small?
    Right field was so lonely…

  2. This is the reason I still participate in high school wrestling practice…we’re on the same skill level. TSSAA continues to ignore my petition to compete, however, even though I didn’t use up any of my high school eligibility yet.

  3. I swear to god that kid looks like he could take someone’s head off. I think the big point to consider here is…who gives a s**t in Darfur? I can tell you right now that if i stood in the batters box and this little bastard reared back and delivered high with his wrist cocked like Roger Clemens, I would eat the dirt…FAST. That kid frightens me. And I’m almost 6’4″. Someone got a hold of this kid when he was young and he’s already achieved incredible mechanics. I bet he could put the heat by the next age level as well. I’ve always seen both sides of the “Give Every kid a ribbon vs. Second Place is the First Loser” debate. I think mostly though…American’s have gone soft. In the head. Its LITTLE LEAGUE. If you left the kids alone, they would let him play. They’d stand up, be afraid (like I would) and strike out. Late in the season someone named Billy Mumphry would manage a blooper off this kid and let me tell you one thing…THAT KID BILLY MUMPHRY IS GETTING SOME! Big Time.

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