Tuesday, August 26, 2008

League Punishes Kid For Being Too Good At Baseball

Remember the evolution of the “Proud Parent” bumper stickers? It started out with saying things like, “Proud Parent of an Honor Student” then moved on to things like “My Kid is an All-Star Baseball Player.” Now some parents in New Haven, Conn. need to post a sticker on the bumper of their cars that says, “My Kid Quit Baseball Because Yours Was Too Good.”

That is exactly what happened to a team in the Youth Baseball League of New Haven when they saw Nine-year-old Jericho Scott warming up. The league wants to ban Jericho from pitching because his fastball tops out at 40 mph.

"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."

"He is a very skilled player, a very hard thrower," League attorney Peter 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."

However, this decision is about more than just promoting the sport of baseball though. Jericho turned down an invitation to play for the defending league champions to play for another league team. His team was playoff bound at 8-0 when the news came that Jericho was banned from pitching.

The reason for the ban wasn’t because Jericho was dangerous, he hasn’t hit a batter, or because he too good, 8 to10-year-olds are going to strike out more often than not anyway. It appears that the reason for the ban is nothing more than poor sportsmanship. The team that Jericho turned down is sponsored by sponsored by an employer of one of the league's administrators.