Sure, there are plenty of things I like about Little League: For example, it keeps kids off of my lawn. Also it promotes exercise … unless the player in question is in the outfield. But when the final week of August rolls around, I expect to see children in football pads and cleats, or at least in the gym watching girls volleyball.
Take the lad above, for instance. Luke Ramirez is 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, and plays for the Parkview (Chula Vista, CA) Little League All-Stars. He should be hunting quarterbacks right now in some Pop Warner youth program, but instead he’s still terrorizing kids half his size on the baseball diamond — his team is 2-0 in the Little League World Series at Williamsport, PA. ESPN loves the this time of year, of course. But below are 10 reasons to not like it so much … only one of which involves gigantic kids who might kill you with a foul ball.
10. Giant, Shrek-like 12-year-olds. (See above). Parkview rampaged through the regionals outscoring opponents 98-15, with 38 home runs. After watching one of their games on television, it’s easy to see why: Not only is Ramirez already man-sized, but several of his teammates are almost there as well. Time for a height and weight limit, Little League baseball?
9. Grownups fighting for foul balls. Um, this is a Little League game, gentlemen. Cripes. Oh, and nice effort there, Mr. Cubs fan.
8. Going crazy with the rosin bag. Also unwise — giving kids access to eye black. It all only leads to mess and regret.
7. Crying in baseball. Hey, here’s an idea: Let’s take a genuine, heartfelt moment and exploit it by broadcasting it to millions, and adding commercials!
6. Flat-brimmed caps. Roll that brim, son. You could eat dinner off of that thing.
5. Canada. Their fields didn’t thaw until two weeks ago, and their bat racks contain mostly brooms, umbrellas and hockey sticks. Yet they show up every year and we let them in.
4. Adult base coaches. Would be OK I guess, if they understood the basic concept of the high-five. FAIL.
3. Spontaneous Bloomberg appearance. If this doesn’t spell bad luck, nothing does. Sorry Staten Island All-Stars, but you’re doomed.
2. Dubious fundamentals. Another graduate of the Gary Sheffield School of Moving the Runners Along. Sad, really.
1. Come on, Bloomberg! At least honor your phony-baloney photo shoot by actually watching the game.