It's all about being afraid of getting sued.

dale at bat1

Yup. That's me, fifty-five years ago, baseball bat cocked and ready. The last thing on my mind when that picture was snapped was getting sued or suing someone.


Fast forward to the present. I remember this letter to the editor in the New York Times. It was maybe three years ago. The writer was an academic, an anthropologist. He was at a sports park with his son and they were getting ready for a little league baseball game along with a bunch of other kids and their parents. Everything was ready. Everyone was there. Well, almost everyone.

Everyone except the umpires. The two umpires sanctioned by the League were nowhere to be found. Everyone waited. Until finally, they cancelled the game and everyone went home.

The point of the letter was, if this had happened anywhere else in the world, it would been, screw the umps, let's play ball. But we Americans, with our obsession about lawsuits and the courts, can always, ALWAYS, be counted on to back off in the face of potential litigation.

Take a look inside the American mind. Specifically, inside the minds of the adults at that sports park. They're thinking, what if we played? What if a kid gets hurt? The League insurance policy won't kick in because the game wasn't played by League rules, which require League-sanctioned umpires AT ALL TIMES. Dollars to doughnuts, someone'll sue someone. Can't have that.

Yup. When in doubt, don't.


A kid never sues. Not unless a big person's in the mix showing him how or doing it for him.

Which leads us to our first story of the day.


Forget all the bullshit in there about how they just want their kids to play ball. That's crap. Cut to the chase. The Rogerses are a pain in the ass. The key point in the article is, in addition to their house in San Juan Cap, they maintain an apartment in Irvine (which is 20 miles north of Dana Point) for the SOLE PURPOSE of establishing residency so their kids can play in the Irvine Pony League (Pony League is a kind of Little League).

Who rents a place for Little League? A pair of morons, that's who. These people are obsessed. They are consumed. They have their priorities mixed up big time. Deep down, they are fucking weird. Their kids' little league baseball is their obsession. Has anyone ever told them to "get a life?"

When I worked for the FDIC, there was a woman in the office there whose son was in Triple A Ball. Triple A is just below the Majors. When his team came to town, she got tickets. Great tickets. Right behind home plate. I went with her one time and the experience was illustrative of how big people can totally screw things up. Through the whole game, she's watching his every move. Never cracking a smile. Never clapping. Not even when he got a base hit. Or made a great throw from deep short to nip the guy at first. Never a sign that's she's having a good time. Because she wasn't. This was a woman who'd gone to his every little league game, who'd made a cottage industry of being a pain in the ass, of lobbying umpires, coaches, league officials on her son's behalf, bullying the parents of kids with lesser skills. In short, making her son's life a fucking ordeal.

And maybe that's the underlying purpose of kids' games. To evoke the inner asshole in each one of us at an early age. Which brings us to another little league news article. About another Little League lawsuit.


Yup. There it is. Grown up egos. Grown up politics. Grown up emotions. Assholes acting out.

Back to the picture of me as a ten-year-old. Scroll on up and look at it again. The one thing you don't see is an adult anywhere in there. Just me and my bat and the hint of a smile.

Because the ump didn't say "work ball."

He said, "play ball."


Update on the Entwisle/Larry Jackson fiasco. 

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