As is traditional in America since 1953, it’s time to glorify 12-year-olds to ridiculous extremes while making an enormous ton of cash for a large entertainment corporation. It’s the Little League World Series, brought to you by Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, Xfinity Comcast, etc. ® © (all rights reserved).
This year’s LLWS will end just prior to Labor Day, meaning that at least four Little League teams will have been in mathematical contention longer than the majority of the National League East. Here are five other reasons the LLWS sucks:
If your kid hit this home run, I can kind of see you jumping into the bushes to get the ball. Maybe. Almost certainly, however, this man’s kid did not. Yes, a grown man dove into shrubbery for a baseball hit by a preteen. And it’s the second time it’s happened this week.
The first minute upon receiving your team hat should be spent creasing the top and rolling the brim, preferably so that the ends almost touch your temples. When I played, a cap such as this at left would have gotten you tied to a tree in the woods every day for the entire summer. Flat brims are a disturbing trend, and must be stamped out if baseball is to survive. One should not be able to eat breakfast off the bill of one’s baseball cap.
ESPN feeds on children’s tears
The old newspaper adage “If it bleeds, it leads” is slightly different for ESPN in August: “If the kids don’t wail, viewers bail.” Capturing overwrought emotion can make for compelling television … if it’s Terrell Owens or an Olympic winner on the podium. If it’s a 12-year-old who just struck out in front of a national audience, that’s child abuse. The thing you hear all the time during the LLWS, that a kid “will forget about his mistake an hour later, and be playing in the pool with his friends” is complete bullshit. Tell that to this kid when he’s 34, at the grocery store with his own kids and someone blurts out “Aren’t you the kid that lost that Little League game on TV?”
Umpires who think that they’re the show
Perhaps your day job is not fulfilling. Perhaps you don’t get any respect at home. Maybe you feel forgotten and alone on a barren, forsaken planet. But that’s no reason to put on a blue uniform and make a mockery of a game for children. No one wants to see your cheap theatrics, blue. The best umpires are the ones you never notice are there.
Giants dressed as kids are allowed to play
We’re all for kids being able to play baseball with their friends, but shouldn’t there be limits? The two above actually played in the LLWS (the kid on the right this year), and were allowed to pitch and have access to aluminum bats. Both are 6-foot-3 or above, and weigh more than 200 pounds, while some of their opponents are no taller than Oompa Loompas. Sure, they can carry all the bats, and they provide shade. But having these guys play a game on 60-foot bases is just comical. And having them throwing fastballs at you from 46 feet is terrifying.