By now I'm sure you've all heard of nine year old Jericho Scott, the 40 mph flamethrower from New Haven, Connecticut. I'm sure you've also heard about the pansies running an independent youth baseball league and the equally weak parents who have banned young Jericho because he "pitches too fast." There are so many things just simply wrong with this whole situation.
I'll start off with the fact that these are just kids. Every child in that league is one of two things. He's either a young fan who just loves to play America's past time, or he's a young boy whose dad is making him play and he's not quite at that age to tell his old man where he can stick his Louisville Slugger. Bottom line is that they're kids out there having a good time. Part of baseball, and competition in general, is exactly that...competition. Every little league in the country has that one team with a dominant pitcher or that one youngster that can hit it out of the park. Every league has that one team the rest of the teams fear. It's part of the game. What's more...the level of competition is at its highest when one faces a boy like this. Facing a guy like this is nothing but beneficial to the youths that have to face him.
Second, what exactly is "too fast?" I've never heard of pitching at any level being "too fast." I have a daughter that plays select softball in roughly the same age group. On a regular basis, I see pitchers hurling balls at 50+ MPH from a shorter distance. I won't get into the facts about it being much harder to react to a softball pitch...that's another blog entry all together. I will say however, that a pitch in softball traveling at 50 MPH is closer to what a 75 MPH pitch in Major League Baseball is, to give you a general idea. My daughter has been hit on many, many, occasions. She's fine. No broken bones, no permanent physical damage...nothing. I guess I'm just curious as to how a pitch at 40 miles an hour is "too fast." Are there a lot of hospital visits involved? Broken arms? Too many deaths? What is it? What in the world make this kids pitches "too fast?"
Let's just say there is a justifiable answer to my aforementioned question. Let's just say there is in fact an explanation for why this kid's pitching is "too fast." So what? Have the parents in America become so soft, and coddled our children so much, that another kid's success is reason for them to create national outcry? To make things even more interesting, rumor has it that the whole thing is payback because Jericho did not accept an invitation from the defending league champion, which is sponsored by an employer of one of the league's administrators. So not only does this league and its parents look like a bunch of sissys, the whole thing smells fishy.
I've got advice for both Jericho and the league and its parents in question. Jericho, keep working at it son. Eventually that pitchers mound will get moved back and batters will begin to find a way to tee off your blazing speed. When you're not working on your pitching game, do a little reading on a guy named Bob Gibson. Officials and players from opposing teams didn't like him either. For the parents of New Haven and this bogus youth baseball league...grow a pair and take your kids to the batting cages for some extra practice.