Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Jericho Scott - Welcome to the Real World

Jericho Scott is a nine year old boy. He plays baseball, or at least he did until recently. It seems little Jericho throws a 40 mile per hour fastball. That is not typical for those in his peer group. Indeed, many of those who had to face this demon of the diamond were frightened.

Reading the story, it turns out that there were more than a few parents also who felt Jericho was just too good to be facing their little Johnnys and Joanies (it's a mixed gender league). He might strike them out - and that could hurt their feelings. He might strike them - and that would just plain hurt. Not that he ever has hit a batter, but hey, it could happen.

Reading further, it turns out that another team in the league wanted him to join them at the start of the season. That team happens to be the defending league champion. That team also happens to be sponsored by the employer of one of the league administrators. That would also just happen be one of the same league administrators who decided that when Jericho's team was going to let him continue pitching instead of exiling him to second base or the outfield that Jericho's team would simply be disbanded and the players distributed to other teams.

Well, most of the players anyway. Jericho of course isn't all that welcome in these parts any more. The league did offer to refund his $50.00 registration fee, and many have even suggested he should be placed on an older team or in a more competitive league. Because letting a little boy play a child's game with his friends and neighbors for the simple joy of it is ridiculous.

Jericho Scott has been taught at nine years old one of the most fundamental rules of our society: Strive to succeed at all costs, just don't be so good at it that you actually do succeed or your jealous peers will tear you down. The corollary lesson learned is that wild success is okay, so long as you do it on the terms of those in power rather than your own terms. The winners, the leaders, the successful ones are those who say screw it and do what they want and do it well.

Quoting from the article:

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 [League attorney Peter Noble] said.
Scott [Nicole Scott, Jericho's mother] denies threatening any one, but said she did call the police.

What planet has Noble been living on that he's never seen a parent get feisty over a group of self-important idiots trying to keep their kid down? I'm disappointed for my kids when they are kept on the bench instead of put into the game, but I accept that some kids are better than other kids at certain things, and that there not only will but in fact should be winners in losers in most facets of life. If others are better and get the bulk of the field time, so be it. However, if one of my children were a stand-out star in their sport and they were being benched in favor of a kid without the capacity to find the ground with their foot I would be inclined to call into question either the mental capacity or the ethical development of the coaching staff and or league officials. Their choice - admitting to either explanation for their incompetence would be acceptable to me.

Jericho Scott - you go ahead and keep doing what you want and doing it well. I guarantee you that fifteen years from now when you win your first Cy Young award that there will be several current officials of the Youth Baseball League of New Haven who will be telling anyone who will listen how they recognized your talent way back in 2008 and pushed you onward and upward to bigger and better things when lesser souls would have tried to hold you back. When that happens, I hope you have the grace and class to smile indulgently and ignore them.

Then you truly will be a winner, and they will be revealed for the petulant children they truly are.

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