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Pitching to a little league kid with cancer

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Pitching to a little league kid with cancer

Postby Starkmadfan » Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:29 pm

This is the link http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/rick_reilly/08/07/reilly0814/index.html

Basically it was the little league championship, the team with the lead chose to walk the opposing team's best hitter so they could get at the kid behind him who was being treated for cancer. They struck him out and won the championship.

Does anyone know what the batting order was for this game? I am curious - was this kid with cancer batting cleanup? Did the coaches set their lineup in a way that this should have been foreseen this could happen?

Without knowing all the details its hard for me to have an opinion either way.
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Postby Art Vandelay » Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:32 pm

If was healthy enough to be in the lineup, then he's healthy enough to walk someone to get to.
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Re: Pitching to a little league kid with cancer

Postby j_d_mcnugent » Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:53 pm

Starkmadfan wrote:
Does anyone know what the batting order was for this game? I am curious - was this kid with cancer batting cleanup? Did the coaches set their lineup in a way that this should have been foreseen this could happen?



i'm guessing he was a late inning sub. i probably would have pitched to the best hitter but i dont fault anyone for walking him either.

i kind of think the kid's family is overreacting a little. if they dont want the little kid to be traumatized by striking out they should put him in a bubble or something.
Last edited by j_d_mcnugent on Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mugrila » Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:55 pm

Art Vandelay wrote:If was healthy enough to be in the lineup, then he's healthy enough to walk someone to get to.


Thats how I feel about it too.
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Re: Pitching to a little league kid with cancer

Postby Starkmadfan » Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:57 pm

j_d_mcnugent wrote:
Starkmadfan wrote:
Does anyone know what the batting order was for this game? I am curious - was this kid with cancer batting cleanup? Did the coaches set their lineup in a way that this should have been foreseen this could happen?



i'm guessing he was a late inning sub. i probably would have pitched to the best hitter but i dont fault anyone for walking him either.


I just reread the article again - no substitutions were allowed, and the kid that they walked had hit a home run against them earlier in the game.

I agree - if the kid is healthy enough to play, then there shouldnt be any lesser expectation for him to peform.
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Postby j_d_mcnugent » Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:02 pm

so was this kid just a bad player or was he like 0 for the season?
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Postby MMoNeY24 » Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:15 pm

How was he hitting behind the best hitter if "he could barely swing"?

I would have pitched to the best hitter because it's a league for freakin' 9 and 10 year olds with loose rules on the game (everyone gets to bat, max 4 runs per inning, etc.) but at the same time I don't like the parents' saying he's getting picked on and he should get special treatment.

I'd have gone with the unintentional intentional walk or plunked the best hitter. !+)
Last edited by MMoNeY24 on Sat Aug 12, 2006 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby teddy ballgame » Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:18 pm

What does the family expect? Because their kid had cancer means that his team should automatically win or something? How about how upset the other kids would have been if they lost the game because they were forced to pitch to that other kid? No. If the parents didn't want the kid to strike out, he shouldn't be playing. It's not fair to have to change the game for all of the kids, so this one kid can play.

Btw, that's some great protection for the best kid on the team. ;-7 But I don't think anyone should be intentionally walked in little league.
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Postby AcidRock23 » Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:23 pm

It's not like the kid w/ cancer couldn't have faked a relapse to get somebody else to the plate... :-D

The whole trend towards non-competitive kids sports does get absurd and this is a good example 'don't play to win, play to have a Hollywood ending!'. Maybe if they'd taken the cancer kid to the batting cage a bit more regularly, he'd have been able to pop one past the 2B?
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Postby Mookie4ever » Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:27 pm

I'm of two minds on this.

First of all the article says that he has "beaten cancer" so I'm guessing that the issue really is how to treat scrawny and unathletic kids in competitive sports in general.

Secondly the article finished with him saying that he will work on his swing. I think that he wants to be treated like everyone else and doesn't want all of this special attention.

At the heart of it though is that with 9 and 10 year olds you pitch to everybody. Gamesmanship and strategy have no place with 9 & 10 year olds that aren't going to Williamsport. You are supposed to be teaching these kids a love for the game, sportsmanship and fundamentals. Dealing with little kids like this I don't even think that they should be keeping score. These coaches ruined it for everybody.


btw - congrats to everybody for not pointing out that it was the Yankees and making cracks about that ;-D ;-)
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