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

Harry Longshanks

bow-chicka-bow-wow
Jul 20, 2008
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In addition to the absurdity of banning someone because they are legitimately to good, I've highlighted a sentence that makes the whole thing smell funny.

aassets.espn.go.com_photo_2008_0825_espn_a_jericho_200.jpg

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?"
And what is with the coach packing up and forfeiting instead of playing? What the hell kind of example of sportsmanship (or lack thereof) is that setting for the kids, who probably really wanted to play? "Well kids, we've got no chance, so we're quitting."

It sounds to me like someone (a league administrator) is pissed because the kid wouldn't play for his (employer's) team. Hmmmm, the kid was invited to play for another team before the season started. That tells me that the league knew how good he was. If he was such a "safety concern", why didn't the League try to move him up to an older age bracket before the season started? It also tells me that the "defending champs" were probably already pulling some strings to get the better players, and now those parents are pissed because their kids are losing.

What do you suppose the odds are that the League would be trying to ban him if he had accepted the invitation to play for the defending champs?

Sour.Grapes.
 

cwo2lt

Mulligans-R-Us
Nov 6, 2007
422
0
Sour grapes indeed. I would also say that Jericho's parents should get him in a better league to allow him to develope his game.

Too bad for the kids.
 

Dusty90

Another Canuck
May 6, 2007
457
0
I do agree that the punishment is a little harsh, but really, the league is meant for beginners. If you were just starting to play baseball at that age, would you want to try to hit a 40mph pitch. I don't think what the league did was right, but I really think that he should have been in a much more advanced league to begin with.
 

eclark53520

DB Member Extraordinaire
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Dec 24, 2007
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I do agree that the punishment is a little harsh, but really, the league is meant for beginners. If you were just starting to play baseball at that age, would you want to try to hit a 40mph pitch. I don't think what the league did was right, but I really think that he should have been in a much more advanced league to begin with.
+1 exactly, he needs to be moved up to a more experienced league...mostly for his sake though...he needs to be pitching against kids in his same talent level.
 

Dusty90

Another Canuck
May 6, 2007
457
0
However the fact that they are disbanding that team seems stupid to me, can they not play with out him?
 

Pa Jayhawk

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2005
7,101
4
However the fact that they are disbanding that team seems stupid to me, can they not play with out him?
I think it was the league that said they were disbanding the team and redistributing the players as a result of the coach refusing to take him off the mound.

edit 1 - I personally see nothing with them putting him in a more advanced league, if they can avoid the teams in the other league protesting him not being old enough. Which I did see happen on occasion when I was younger (the other teams protesting that he was not old enough and did not qualify to play in the league). You figure if they would go this far, who's to say the older leagues are any better on handling the league. Actually saw players almost have to give up a sport because there was always someone or some coach that was unhappy because it came at their expense.

Edit 2 - played on a team where a 12 year old was playing soccer with 16 year olds and the younger league thought he was too good. Because he was better than most of the 16 year olds, the other teams in the older league complained he may get hurt so they wouldn't have to compete against him.
 

DaGris

Bears fan in Georgia
Dec 8, 2007
829
0
its a bunch of BS! if one player is better than the other, so be it! Thats just part of it. He has talent, he should be rewarded, not banned.
 

rubber314chicken

Thats what she said
Dec 27, 2007
499
1
its part of the game. all the big hitter from baseball didn't get banned until the steroids were found, should be the same for this kid.
 

JEFF4i

She lives!
Supporting Member
Jul 3, 2006
13,531
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I do agree that the punishment is a little harsh, but really, the league is meant for beginners. If you were just starting to play baseball at that age, would you want to try to hit a 40mph pitch. I don't think what the league did was right, but I really think that he should have been in a much more advanced league to begin with.

Which is true, but the league still handled this very poorly. They should've let him play while encouraging a higher league.

I think it was the league that said they were disbanding the team and redistributing the players as a result of the coach refusing to take him off the mound.

Another idiotic punishment.

its part of the game. all the big hitter from baseball didn't get banned until the steroids were found, should be the same for this kid.

Huh???
 

Dusty90

Another Canuck
May 6, 2007
457
0
JEFF4i said:
Which is true, but the league still handled this very poorly. They should've let him play while encouraging a higher league.

And I completly agree with you about that
 
OP
Harry Longshanks

Harry Longshanks

bow-chicka-bow-wow
Jul 20, 2008
718
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Another example of how stupid adults can ruin kid's sports.

Yep. My feelings exactly.

Like I said, it looks to me like they knew before the season started how good this kid was, but they didn't take care of the issue then (because a league administrator wanted him on the administrator's preferred team. )

And once the season starts, let the kid play out the season and have his glory year. For Pete's sake, it's only one team out of the whole league. All of the other games the teams play are going to be somewhat competitive. And one team always wins the whole shebang anyway. Why can't it be this kid's team and because of this kid's talent. Then, next season, get the kid in a more advanced league.

And I don't care what kind of excuse they have, showing up because you think the kid isn't pitching, and then forfeiting because he is - that is some of the worst sportsmanship I have ever seen.

Why can't more people be like those college softball players who carried the opposing hitter around the bases after she hit a home run (in fact, IIRC, it was the game winning home run), but tore her ACL before she finished rounding the bases and couldn't walk on her own? THAT'S what we need more of.
 

Pa Jayhawk

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2005
7,101
4
Another idiotic punishment.
I have to agree, I think the coach showed real class for having the stones to stand up and look out for the kids interests. To me, he and the kids are the only ones that seem to have a clue.
Another example of how stupid adults can ruin kid's sports.
I whole heartedly agree and the reason while I see no problem with the kid going to a better league, if this crap is already going on, the next thing I would expect to hear is someone suing the other league because their "Little Johnny" got benched because the league allowed a 9 year old in when it clearly stated it is a league for 10 and 11 year olds and he took "Little Johnny's" spot.

Not that I side with the league, but reading the stories, this kids mother sounds no better. Like the police have nothing better to do but come down to the ball field to investigate a complaint that the league is trying to disband a team and the other team won't play, and you "don't have to be learned in the law to know...." Just another example that while what they did to the kid was wrong, there are more important things in life and the police could likely be out doing more important things and this lady sounds no better than the league officials.

edit 1 - Simply put, I'm not convinced with the nature of the mothers actions if we are getting the whole story. Just a shame the parents actions put their kids in the middle of something like this.

Interesting, I noticed on Wiki the don't list a birth date, which is one of the first things you usually see argued is stuff like this.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jericho_Scott
 

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