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Old 08-26-2008, 07:11 PM
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Default Discourage Excellence! Mediocrity is the rule of the day

Baseball brouhaha goes into extra innings
By Pamela McLoughlin, Register Staff
08/24/2008

NEW HAVEN — Parents are angry. There are lawyers involved. Conflicting and wild accusations are flying. The adults are fighting over the kids.
Sounds like a nasty divorce, but it’s actually a fight between a youth baseball league, one of its coaches and some parents.
“The spirit of the league was community, family, well being, nurturing. It’s an extended family and it’s been disrupted,” said attorney Peter Noble, who represents Liga Juvenil De Baseball De New Haven, Spanish for Youth Baseball League of New Haven. The league is not affiliated with Little League baseball.
The fighting started this week when Coach Wilfred Vidro refused a directive by league officials to replace 9-year-old pitcher Jericho Scott, whose pitching they say is so hard, fast and accurate that it might frighten or discourage other players.
Despite being told by league officials that there would be no game Saturday morning at Criscuolo Park, Vidro, who refuses to leave the league and his team, which refuses to disband, showed up ready to play.
Parents posted brightly-colored signs and many wore handpainted T-shirts with sayings such as, “Let’s be fair, it’s all about the kids,” “They’re only kids,” and “Let Jericho Pitch.”
Jericho’s parents, Leroy and Nicole Scott, said Saturday they just want their son and his team to be given the right to continue their winning season, 8-0 so far, and go to the playoffs.
And they are already talking with a prominent New Haven lawyer to help get the team there.
Attorney John Williams will meet with the Scotts Monday, but had already heard enough from them by Saturday to proclaim, “Holy smoke!”
“You don’t have to be learned in the law to know in your heart that it’s wrong (removing Jericho as pitcher),” Williams said. “Now you have to be punished because you excel at something?”
Jericho, who said Saturday he was “sad” because there was no baseball game, practiced with his teammates, his drive to throw hard and fast apparently unaffected by the controversy.
Noble said they cancelled the game for fear the adults bickering would create an “unhealthy environment.”
“We didn’t want an escalation of the kind of tumultuous behavior caused by the coaching staff,” he said.
Nicole Scott said Jericho feels it’s his fault the team can’t play.
“I told him things like this happen in life and the message is, ‘Don’t give up, stay focused and be positive,’” she said.
She said league officials came to their house about five months ago to recruit Jericho, who also plays in another league.
Officials wanted him for a stronger team because of his pitching talent, but the Scotts wanted him to stay grounded and help a less experienced team succeed, she said.
“I said, ‘This is not always going to happen in life — you’re not always going to be number one,’” she said.
Leroy Scott said he threw the ball a lot with Jericho since he was young, but that Jericho is a talented natural athlete and shouldn’t be penalized because he applies himself.
“If you keep these kids on the field you keep them off the streets,” Leroy Scott said. “I’d rather have him (Jericho) in the midst of this controversy on the field than dealing drugs on a street corner.”
Coach Vidro and the Scotts claim the real reason league authorities want Jericho on a team other than Vidro’s Wilpower Fitness is because they have a vested interested in another team that is second in the standings and can’t get to number one past Jericho’s winning arm.
They said that team is sponsored by Carlito’s barber shop and that league president Reynaldo Reyes owns it. Noble said Reyes does have a chair at the barber shop temporarily while his own beauty shop is restored after a fire.
Valerie Tanner, mother of Kaymar Tanner, 10, an outfielder on Jericho’s team, said she believes league officials are upset because there is so much attention on Jericho’s team within the league.
“It’s really sad because it’s the children who are going to suffer,” Tanner said.
Noble said sanctions have been imposed by the league on Vidro and that his “resignation” was accepted — even though Vidro said Saturday he never resigned.
He was blamed for not switching Jericho, who was throwing warmup pitches Wednesday when the other team walked off the field.
The game was ruled a forfeit, but Vidro claimed his team was expelled.
Jericho walked away from the mound in tears.
Vidro said Saturday, “There’s no such thing as any kid pitching too hard. ... Let him play and your kid is going to get better,” he said.
“A lot of these kids don’t have father figures and we don’t want them to end up on the streets,” Vidro, a personal trainer, said.
Noble said all the kids were offered a spot on another team — it’s not known yet how many will take that offer.
Those who leave the league will get a full refund of fees paid.
He said parents and coaches, not players, expressed a fear of Jericho’s pitches.
Noble said he’s also researching options like travel teams that could be a good fit for the talented Jericho.
“We are mindful of his talent,” Noble said. “We want to be a resource for the family and find a place where he’ll be challenged and his talent can develop.”
On Saturday, with no other youth teams in sight, Jericho’s team took on the parents instead. And their winning streak continued, 7-5.



©New Haven Register 2008

http://www.nhregister.com/site/news....d=635049&rfi=6

Some of the reader's comments are right on!
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:57 AM
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Default Re: Discourage Excellence! Mediocrity is the rule of the day

What's wrong with that? It's the Union Way!

Look at any trade union or especially the teacher's union, the credo for all of them is promote medocraty and discourage excellence.

Ain't America great?





(Oh, yeah. Never mind.)
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:23 AM
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Default Re: Discourage Excellence! Mediocrity is the rule of the day

Just thought I would add the picture of the little boy this story is about. I wonder what is going through this little guys head?? OH don't let the ball scare you, it is just a picture.
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:49 AM
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Default Re: Discourage Excellence! Mediocrity is the rule of the day

It always happens when the parents get involved I bet if the team were left alone they love their pitcher the way he is.
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Old 08-29-2008, 01:01 AM
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Default Re: Discourage Excellence! Mediocrity is the rule of the day

I don't know if this is even related to this story but adolescent pitchers run a very high risk of burnout from shoulder injuries. Perhaps someone was trying to keep the kid from hurting himself and the message got misinterpreted.

It is certainly something I was aware of when I was getting my degree. We were always taught to watch out for gifted pitchers since they tended to burn themselves out really fast. Of course we were also taught about the crazy parents that like to push their kids too hard.

Just a thought.

http://www.asmi.org/asmiweb/research/adolescentepi.htm

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Risk Factors in Adolescent Baseball Pitchers Olsen SJ, Fleisig GS, Dun S, Loftice J, Andrews JR. Risk factors for shoulder and elbow injuries in adolescent baseball pitchers. The American Journal of Sports Medicine 34:905-912, 2006.
Olsen et al. examined 95 adolescent pitchers who had shoulder and elbow surgery, and 45 adolescent pitchers who never had a significant pitching-related injury. The adolescent pitchers ranged anywhere from 14 to 20 years of age. The study compared their responses to a survey to determine risk factors associated with pitching injuries and surgery. When a pitcher regularly threw with arm fatigue, he was 36 times more likely to be in the surgery group as opposed to the non-surgery group. When a pitcher engaged in more than 8 months of competitive pitching during a year, he was 5 times more likely to be in the surgery group. When a pitcher threw more than 80 pitches in a game/appearance, he was 4 times more likely to be in the surgery group. When a pitcher self-reported that he threw more than 85 mph, he was 2.5 times more likely to be in the surgery group. There were no significant differences regarding private pitching instruction, coach's chief concern, pitcher's self-rating, exercise programs, stretching practices, relieving frequency, or age at which pitch types were first thrown. In conclusion, the factors with the strongest association with injury were overuse and fatigue.
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Old 08-29-2008, 01:05 AM
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Default Re: Discourage Excellence! Mediocrity is the rule of the day

Quote:
Originally Posted by PBinWA View Post
I don't know if this is even related to this story but adolescent pitchers run a very high risk of burnout from shoulder injuries.
Probably true, but this was not mentioned at all in the story. I don't think anyone even thought of that. But if they read ForumsForums I bet that excuse comes up
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Old 08-29-2008, 07:40 AM
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Default Re: Discourage Excellence! Mediocrity is the rule of the day

Hmmmmmm. How about new league rule: Parents and coaches must stay at least fifty miles away from the players during the season.
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Old 08-29-2008, 08:19 AM
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Default Re: Discourage Excellence! Mediocrity is the rule of the day

When my daughter played league ball, there was a limit to the number of innings she could pitch per week. She was a good pitcher and fast. A lot of girls were intimidated by her and were scared to hit against her. Can't imagine her in this boy's situation. When you play against better players, it tends to make you a better player.
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Old 08-29-2008, 08:48 AM
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Default Re: Discourage Excellence! Mediocrity is the rule of the day

Quote:
Originally Posted by CityGirl View Post
When my daughter played league ball, there was a limit to the number of innings she could pitch per week.

This league did have a rule to the amount of innings per game. So this kid was not allowed to pitch the whole game.
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Old 08-29-2008, 08:51 AM
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Default Re: Discourage Excellence! Mediocrity is the rule of the day

So, what's the beef then?
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Old 08-29-2008, 09:53 AM
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Default Re: Discourage Excellence! Mediocrity is the rule of the day

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So, what's the beef then?

The beef is the fact that the other kids never get to win against this team because they have a dam good pitcher. All the parents of the other teams don't want their children to lose.


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