Baseball, Oh, Baseball

I never thought I would be a person who loved baseball. Sure, its fun to go to the park with friends and hang out in the stands with some peanuts and beer. But the actual game? I just never really got it. When my son started playing baseball, there were so many moments of my heart in my throat--if he hit a ball, would he make it to first base? Would he catch that flyball headed right for him? And so on.

And then my husband started coaching. And he needed someone to keep score. Can I just tell you how terrifying it is to keep score when you really only know the bare basics of the game? But I did it. For him. And then the next year, I knew a lot more about the game. And I read the rule book (CRAZY! I know!). And then I agreed to join the Little League Board.

And then it all went wrong.

I do love baseball. I have fully embraced the Little League Mission statement:
Little League Baseball, Incorporated is a non-profit organization whose mission is to "to promote, develop, supervise, and voluntarily assist in all lawful ways, the interest of those who will participate in Little League Baseball and Softball."

Through proper guidance and exemplary leadership, the Little League program assists youth in developing the qualities of citizenship, discipline, teamwork and physical well-being. By espousing the virtues of character, courage and loyalty,(emphasis is mine) the Little League Baseball and Softball program is designed to develop superior citizens rather than superior athletes.
But today I am wondering about several of the people who serve on the local Little League Board. They seem to be blinded by the overwhelming desire to win, at any cost. Instead of following Little League rules, an "exhibition" team has been developed, with all of the presumed All-Star players (whom some on the board know, but officially--they aren't supposed to be announced until June 15). They are practicing already, even though the coaches of the other teams had no say whatsoever in the choice of these "exhibition" players. Note: Each coach was supposed to choose 4 players from their own teams to play on the exhibition team. When I asked about what was going on, I was told that this is "how Vegas does it--we have to be competitive." I'm sorry--WHAT!!!??? I don't care how another League does it--I care about how we do it. What are we teaching these boys when we tell them it is ok to cheat and lie to get what we want? How does that help them at all?

I am so very angry about what has happened. We have a board meeting on Tuesday. I suspect that there will be yelling on my part. I only hope that we can come together and do what is RIGHT for these boys. I can only hope that we do what is FAIR for these boys. I can only hope that we turn this around and make it ABOUT these boys, because right now it isn't.

I have a really good idea now who ends up making the Derby Cars for the various Pinewood Derbies held in our town, and for sure--it isn't the boys...