Political correctness gone awry

Renee Rosenow

What happens when a salesman dominates and outsells his competition? In a normal, real world he would be setting himself up for a promotion in the near or far future. As far as I know, that seems to be a logical thing to do when someone is getting too good for their job.

I guess a Connecticut Youth League didn’t exactly get that memo.

An entire New Haven, Conn., Youth League team’s season was put on hold because one of its pitchers, 9-year-old Jericho Scott, was too good for the rest of the league.

Parents and coaches complained that he was throwing too hard and accurate — a blazing 40 mile per hour fastball capable of grazing the black of the plate. As a result the league said he couldn’t play anymore.

Scott was quoted as saying that he was “sad” and felt that was “all (his) fault nobody can play.” He was also already playing in another league with players on par with his skills, but the younger league allowed him to play with his friends. I’m sure if given the choice at that age, we’d all take friends over higher skill levels in a heartbeat.

Now Scott and his teammates are sitting on the sidelines unsure as to what the problem is while their parents, league officials and lawyers rabble, rabble at each other.

Sprinkle a little irony in the form of jealousy from the coaches because he was drafted by a team other than the one they’re on, and we have a great lesson in political correctness courtesy of Homer Simpson: “If something’s hard to do, then it’s not worth doing.”

Scott and the rest of the league is being told that if life gets tough and if you get frustrated, quit whatever your doing and don’t fight through it. The whole point of youth sports is to get kids used to dealing with failure and keeping your confidence up in the face of adversity. These are lessons that are necessary to learn as they get closer to high school and their first job, car and date.

The relationship between over-competitive parents and coaches, and their respective sports leagues has gotten much better since I was suiting up in my Arizona Diamondbacks jersey, now autographed and framed on my bathroom wall. But it’s also not a good thing to keep kids from experiencing and dealing with failure.

What’s wrong with teaching players to make adjustments or give them the opportunity to prove they can beat Scott? If this league wants to carry consistency in their rulings, they better be prepared to kick the best hitter out if he becomes too dominant or the worst team because its players have problems connecting with a ball on a tee.

Personally, if I was the kid who got a hit against Scott I would feel a great sense of accomplishment knowing it was hard to come by. I always thought that’s what you were supposed to feel after a tough challenge.

Nowadays, we’re so afraid of offending someone or seeing a kid cry that we forget that those are necessary experiences for continued growth so it doesn’t happen later in the future when you cross that road again.

Of course there are always the coaches who see themselves as the next Joe Torre and try to pull off a draft day trade because he wants the same team he had last year so they can dominate all the way to the championship game against the Puff N’ Stuffs, but those are the minority and typically look pretty stupid by season’s end.

Even putting those types of coaches and parents aside, the majority of kids in the league are playing because they want to win like their idols and have fun while doing it. But because one team is much better than the others, they aren’t allowed to maximize their potential while the others can.

If you want to win, you’d better be prepared to lose, but unfortunately for Scott and the Will Power Fitness Youth League team, they’re winning resulted in a much worse loss.

McCormick is a senior print journalism major and managing editor of The Spectator.