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9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

Old 08-25-08, 05:29 PM
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9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch
By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN, Associated Press Writer
5 minutes ago

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Nine-year-old Jericho Scott is a good baseball player — too good, it turns out. The right-hander has a fastball that tops out at about 40 mph. He throws so hard that the Youth Baseball League of New Haven told his coach that the boy could not pitch any more. When Jericho took the mound anyway last week, the opposing team forfeited the game, packed its gear and left, his coach said.

Officials for the three-year-old league, which has eight teams and about 100 players, said they will disband Jericho's team, redistributing its players among other squads, and offered to refund $50 sign-up fees to anyone who asks for it. They say Jericho's coach, Wilfred Vidro, has resigned.

But Vidro says he didn't quit and the team refuses to disband. Players and parents held a protest at the league's field on Saturday urging the league to let Jericho pitch.

"He's never hurt any one," Vidro said. "He's on target all the time. How can you punish a kid for being too good?"

The controversy bothers Jericho, who says he misses pitching.

"I feel sad," he said. "I feel like it's all my fault nobody could play."

Jericho's coach and parents say the boy is being unfairly targeted because he turned down an invitation to join the defending league champion, which is sponsored by an employer of one of the league's administrators.

Jericho instead joined a team sponsored by Will Power Fitness. The team was 8-0 and on its way to the playoffs when Jericho was banned from pitching.


"I think it's discouraging when you're telling a 9-year-old you're too good at something," said his mother, Nicole Scott. "The whole objective in life is to find something you're good at and stick with it. I'd rather he spend all his time on the baseball field than idolizing someone standing on the street corner."

League attorney Peter Noble says the only factor in banning Jericho from the mound is his pitches are just too fast.

"He is a very skilled player, a very hard thrower," Noble said. "There are a lot of beginners. This is not a high-powered league. This is a developmental league whose main purpose is to promote the sport."


Noble acknowledged that Jericho had not beaned any batters in the co-ed league of 8- to 10-year-olds, but say parents expressed safety concerns.

"Facing that kind of speed" is frighteneing for beginning players, Noble said.

League officials say they first told Vidro that the boy could not pitch after a game on Aug. 13. Jericho played second base the next game on Aug. 16. But when he took the mound Wednesday, the other team walked off and a forfeit was called.

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 said.

Scott denies threatening any one, but said she did call the police.

League officials suggested that Jericho play other positions, or pitch against older players or in a different league.

Local attorney John Williams was planning to meet with Jericho's parents Monday to discuss legal options.

"You don't have to be learned in the law to know in your heart that it's wrong," he said. "Now you have to be punished because you excel at something?"
-------------------------------------------

btw, congratulations to Hawaii on winning the Little League World Series.
Old 08-25-08, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by devilshalo View Post
League officials suggested that Jericho play other positions, or pitch against older players or in a different league.
Seems like this would be a fair solution. If I was the parent, I'd be content/happy with this.
Old 08-25-08, 05:42 PM
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When I played little league, there were 6 inning games, and each pitcher was limited to a maximum of 2 IP per game, or 3 IP and he couldn't pitch the next game.

Do they not have a rule like that? I don't care if it's friggen Papelbon out there, if he's only throwing 2 innings a game, that's not grounds to disband the team or forfeit games against them. Well, unless the opposing teams are poor sports and aren't happy that one team, by virtue of it's players, has an advantage.

Then again, we also had a draft in little league to balance the teams and prevent something like this.
Old 08-25-08, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by cardsfan111 View Post
Seems like this would be a fair solution. If I was the parent, I'd be content/happy with this.
It's hard to tell without any information. If the kid wants to play with his friends, then moving him to an older league might make him lose interest in the game. Some kids like baseball because it's baseball, but other kids like baseball because it's a team sport.
Old 08-25-08, 06:02 PM
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The Braves need to sign him, im sure he's better than anyone else they have right now.
Old 08-25-08, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by matta View Post
It's hard to tell without any information. If the kid wants to play with his friends, then moving him to an older league might make him lose interest in the game. Some kids like baseball because it's baseball, but other kids like baseball because it's a team sport.
I can understand that. The article indicated he played another position previously. I guess it's a matter of what the kid/parents want to do. Have him play for the joy of playing a game with his friends, or have him develop a skill he obviously has by bumping him up to a different league.

I also like your point on an innings limitation. I don't recall anything like that when I played (guess I'm too old to remember back that far ). A rule like this though would help if it's not already in place.
Old 08-25-08, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by HydroX2 View Post
The Braves need to sign him, im sure he's better than anyone else they have right now.
Teach the kid to throw a slider and he's Tom Glavine.

Am I the only one who would love to see a YouTube video of 9 year olds trying to hit Papelbon? Put the kids in suits of armor if you have to, but someone needs to make this happen.
Old 08-25-08, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by cardsfan111 View Post
I can understand that. The article indicated he played another position previously. I guess it's a matter of what the kid/parents want to do.
The only concern I have is the lesson that teaches the kids, especially if they perceive that he's not allowed to pitch because the other team is being a poor sport (even if this is not true, though it probably is).
Old 08-25-08, 06:33 PM
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Shoot, when I was in LL, we had pitchers who could throw 45mph, and we just dealt with it.
Old 08-25-08, 07:01 PM
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Both LL and Women's softball fields need to expand dimension-wise. Move the bases to 70 damn feet already, which would move the pitchers mound back a few feet.
Old 08-25-08, 09:28 PM
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I remember a couple of pitchers in youth baseball who were faster than everybody else. Want to know what we did? Sucked it up and played anyways. One of the best moments I ever had was getting the only hit of the game against one of the pitchers, a bloop single into right field.

I just love how people want to dumb down youth sports to the point of not keeping score and giving everyone a trophy at the end of the season and yet at the same time, not allow a gifted athlete to fully utilize his talents.

I don't remember the OSHAA trying to tell Lebron James to go play against college or pro players when he was 16 or 17.

Last edited by zekeburger1979; 08-25-08 at 09:54 PM.
Old 08-25-08, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by zekeburger1979 View Post
I just love how people want to dumb down youth sports to the point of not keeping score and giving everyone a trophy at the end of the season and yet at the same time, not allow a gifted athlete to fully utilize his talents.
I don't get these. In t-ball where the kids couldn't keep score if they wanted to, sure. But in little league, why does everyone have to be a "winner"? In real life, there are winners and losers, and unless you teach kids at a young age how to be gracious winners and that it's OK to lose sometimes, the kids will have problems later in life.
Old 08-25-08, 09:40 PM
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all the parents and kids who dont wanna play against him should grab their purses and go play soccer instead.
Old 08-25-08, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by scarredgod View Post
all the parents and kids who dont wanna play against him should grab their purses and go play soccer instead.
Old 08-25-08, 10:52 PM
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This is pathetic, in my opinion. I played little league every year when I was a kid, and every now and then we'd face a pitcher no one could hit. I still remember going up against a kid who threw curveballs about 2 years before anyone else could, and we dealt with it the best we could. It scared the hell outta me, because every pitch looked like it was going to hit me in the mind, but no one threatened to quit.
Old 08-26-08, 01:58 AM
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One of my highlights in babe ruth league was getting a hit off a pitcher who threw in the mid-80's mph, and I pulled a fastball which turned into a seeing-eye single on the right side of the infield (batted left-handed). That was some nasty velocity on fastballs back then (probably 13 years old), and it was intimidating, but you go up and take your swings and hope for the best.
Old 08-26-08, 09:09 AM
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Shoot, when I was in LL, we had pitchers who could throw 45mph, and we just dealt with it.

I know. this is just another straw in the hat of political correctiveness. It creates the illusion that nobody has to do anything wrong anymore. If a picther is too good and throws too hard so nobody can hit him, lets get rid of the picher instead of having the kids learn something new about trying to hit this kid. The hell with teaching kids how to problem solve things, let's just get rid of the problem ( the pitcher ). So now everybody's happy right? Why don't they just give everyone a trophy too, oh the'yre already doing that also.
Old 08-26-08, 09:22 AM
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When Jericho took the mound anyway last week, the opposing team forfeited the game, packed its gear and left, his coach said.
Okay ladyboys, line up for your wedgies.
Old 08-26-08, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Charlie Goose View Post
When Jericho took the mound anyway last week, the opposing team forfeited the game, packed its gear and left, his coach said.
Okay ladyboys, line up for your wedgies.
I highly doubt it was the players that forfeit. Stupid coaches. Hell, you'd think any kid would love to be the one to knock one out on superboy.

Pitching against older kids makes sense - from the mound. But he's not going to hang with them batting or running or fielding, methinks. Though what better way to improve?

Scott denies threatening any one, but said she did call the police.
Lady, it's not like they left mayo off your sandwich. Leave the cops alone for the emergencies.
Old 08-26-08, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Rockmjd23 View Post
Sounds like sour grapes from the defending champ team.
Sounds like it, at least the way the article is written. There may be more to the story we haven't heard. But that's the way I read it right now.

The safety concerns argument seems pretty lame and a complete misdirection.
Old 08-26-08, 10:07 AM
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^ Well, speak of the devil. It's ok to take a more personal stance on this issue, Jericho. Give us all the dirt or have your mom come post with all the info (have her bring pics).
Old 08-26-08, 10:21 AM
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this is stupid..
our machine pitch kids use a machine throwing 43mph at age 7 and 8 (or 6, if they play up)
and we have a handful of 8 year olds in our league throwing 40+

hell.. most of our kids prefer to hit off the kids that actually can throw it those speeds, since thats what they were use to seeing off the machine
Old 08-26-08, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by pinata242 View Post
I highly doubt it was the players that forfeit. Stupid coaches. Hell, you'd think any kid would love to be the one to knock one out on superboy.
I don't think it's coach, it's PARENTS who doesn't want their kids getting hit by 40 mph pitch.

I think that whole thing is stupid. That kid deserved to play at his age level and other teams should suck it up and learn to hit 40-mph pitch. Bunch of pansies...
Old 08-26-08, 10:52 AM
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The kid hasn't hit anyone (yet). It's baseball, forchrissakes!, how do they think the ball gets there, carried by pixies on a bed of roses?

Ok, so, as twikoff gave evidence. Machines pitch as fast or faster. Maybe they're more predictable in a straight-line sort of way, sure.

How fast does your average 9 year-old pitch? Anybody have stats or charts or graphs?
Old 08-26-08, 10:58 AM
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my boy is 8.. and currently playing fall baseball (developmental).. our real season is in the spring.. we have 8-10 year olds in fall.. then in the spring it will be split up 9s and 10s playing seperately. (the 8s are only there because they will be 9 by spring).

i can say for a fact that each team has at least a couple of boys throwing 40+

the official machine we used in cal ripken league was set to throw 43
of course, its not considered dangerous because it throws right down the middle.. but i have plunked a few kids with it over the years

kids get hit all the time in kid pitch.. alot more kids throwing 40+.. its not a big deal.. part of the game.

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