Yesterday at Gero Park I witnessed a 45-year-old team manager argue vehemently with a 16-year-old umpire about a foul ball in a baseball game for 9 year olds.
The embarassing event ended with a toss of a clipboard and the players on his team leaning up against the fence in the dugout chanting. "Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!"
Something is very wrong with this picture. This is my first year at Gero park. My kid is 8. But I have heard more yelling and criticism of children and umpires in the past 10 weeks then I hear at MLB games.
We don't tolerate our children talking back to the umps...why do we tolerate it from team managers?
Young kids who play baseball are trying their best under intense scrutiny, and yet, repeatedly, over-zealous base coaches invariably shout criticisms.
What is it about a fully grown adult that celebrates the idea of making somebody much smaller than them feel even smaller?
MSHYB needs to rid itself of the teapot despots who pollute Gero Park with their complete loss of perspective and fixation on the scoreboard.
There are lots of great parents, managers, coaches, etc., who always do the right thing; who encourage kids, who pick them up when they fall and applaud them for doing their best even if they boot a grounder or strike out swinging.
As for the teapot despots? There should be zero tolerance for this kind of poor role-modeling, anti-social conduct and just plain bullying.
When kids leave the Little League field despondent or crying or mimicking this bad behavior, the entire league has failed in its duty to do what Little League is supposed to do -- to teach kids life skills, good sportsmanship and the idea that sometimes calls go with us, sometimes against. The best we can do is drive on and try to get the next one.
So...next time you see an adult shouting at a teenager in front of a bunch of kids...how about this as a response...
"Pick on somebody your own size!!"