"There's no crying in Baseball"

  1. 'There's no crying in baseball'
    Rich Lowry (archive)
    June 6, 2003 |

    The target of the RICO suit isn't the mob, but a youth football league. Syracuse-area parents unhappy with the way their gridiron tots have been treated are suing the league's umbrella organization for $5 million and asking $10,000 per each aggrieved little linebacker and quarterback.

    The suit is part of a burgeoning trend across the nation of lawsuits lodged against youth leagues and coaches, in a sign that contemporary America has achieved a perfect storm of whininess and litigiousness. The movie "A League of Their Own" made famous the line "There's no crying in baseball." Well, now there is crying in baseball, football, hockey and much else, and if you are a coach anywhere near it, you had better get yourself a good lawyer.

    The father of a 16-year-old Bantam hockey player in Canada sued the New Brunswick Amateur Hockey Association for $300,000 in psychological and punitive damages because his son didn't win the league MVP award. Of course, neither did every other player in the league, save one.

    A father in Brunswick, Ohio, sued the coach of his son's baseball team a few years ago for $2,000, the value of a trip to Florida the team could have made if it hadn't been in what is euphemistically called "a rebuilding year" -- i.e., the team lost all 15 of its games, often by the 10-run mercy rule.

    A father sued the New Haven, Conn., school district in 2001 for $1.5 million when his son was demoted from varsity to junior-varsity basketball, and probably would have asked for $3 million if his kid had been cut altogether.

    There have been suits over players not having enough playing time, over players being slotted in the "wrong position," in short, over everything imaginable that typically makes youth sports a bittersweet experience, tinged both with fond memories and disappointment.

    It is the disappointment that players and their parents can't abide, a sign of the steady erosion of any stern, "stiff upper lip" culture in America. They think they have a "right" not to be disappointed, and so have a legal grievance when it happens.

    Winston Churchill once said, "Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm." The lawsuit parents define success as getting their way. They realize lawsuits are an excellent tool of bullying -- the larger and more spectacular, the better.

    "If you sue because your son didn't make the team," says University of Missouri law-school professor Doug Abrams, who tracks sports suits, "you can be pretty sure that he is going to make the team within days."

    Many parents also conceive of sports as a way to pay their childrens' college education through scholarships. Most sports-obsessed parents would be better off simply saving for future tuition the thousands of dollars a year they spend on private coaches, training camps, etc.

    So far, none of the sports suits has succeeded. But that is small comfort. Judges should seek to stem the tide of the suits altogether by enforcing "loser pays" laws -- in states that have them -- making the plaintiffs pick up the legal fees of defendants in frivolous suits.

    The historical pattern of novel litigation -- tobacco suits, for instance -- is that it is dismissed as ridiculous for years, up until the time one suit succeeds. Then the suits begin to win everywhere, a new bonanza is opened up for trial lawyers, and another corner of American life is changed forever.

    There's already plenty of crying in baseball and other youth sports. Prepare for big damage awards next.

    entire article: http://www.townhall.com/columnists/r...20030606.shtml

    I came across this article and thought it was unbelievable. What ever happend to sports being FUN for kids. The Canadian case really has me flabbergasted, suing because your sons team didn't win.. ugh. Maybe there is more to it, I don't know, it's weird.
    •  
  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   passing thru
    Anything that says ""There's no crying in baseball !""
    I have to pause and read.
    What a wonderful and entertaining movie, and that was my favorite scene. I must have watched that scene 30 times, and if it was on now, I'd make sure I didn't miss it this morning.

    As a rabid baseball fan, it just never ceases to entertain.
    (Quote by Tom Hanks as Dugan in "A League of Their Own")

    Re: your thread mkue, on a local sports talk show yesterday, one of the broadcasters was commenting on Sosa being suspended
    for eight games. One of the others replied, "that's too bad. He is the ONLY professional baseball player who actually smiles
    and acts like he is ENJOYING playing."

    Re: kids leagues, ..........Parents need to butt out .
  4. by   funnygirl_rn
    Sheeeeeeeesh!
  5. by   Mkue
    passing thru, I love that movie too "A League of Their Own" I have the movie and the soundtrack.

    I wish more of the Big Leagers would smile, I love baseball.

    Baseball is hugely popular in my area and some parents do complain if their kids don't get to play as much. Our coaches make sure that everyone gets a chance to play but ppl still complain. I'm beginning to think that some parents live vicariously through their kids and want them to be the superstar that they weren't. I would dread being a coach or umpire.

    Parents are doing a lot of the crying.. they need to butt out !
  6. by   mattsmom81
    You're so right about parents needing to butt out and let their kids have THEIR game. My hubby and I were on the Little League board of our area for years, and involved with coaching, umpiring, etc. and ALWAYS it was the parents who gave the most headaches.

    We liked working with the kids and stuck it out for them...to try and give 'em a fair program.. Many adult volunteers would only get involved so they could try and advance or manipulate their kids' status too...or advance their own personal agenda....so sad.

    Too many parents definitely living vicariously thru their own children!!!!!
  7. by   Mkue
    mattmom81 I can't imagine the stress of being on a LL Board..ugh. I admire you for volunteering your time for the kids.

    Our coaches are all volunteer and the Umps don't make very much money for what they do.

    I agree there are parents that get involved who do so for advancing status of their kids.

    I love to watch all the kids and how they improve each year and work together as a team
  8. by   ktwlpn
    Holy crow! My husband and I coached a t-ball team for 2 years-what a frigging nightmare.Even at that young age children were verbally abused off the field and harangued on it by their parents.It was NOT fun.My family was heavily involved in our local Little League years ago as my father was one of the founders.Back in his day it was a rarity for a parent to be disruptive in this way and if they were then they we led off of the property.These people think they are doing Junior a favor by never letting him loose? Yeah-and Scott Petersons mom thinks he's innocent....What is with people thinking they are raising demi-gods? I almost got knocked on my arse in a Disney park by a parent trying to push me out of the way so his kids could get close to Donald Duck....Excuse me-I would have gladly moved had I been nicely asked-after my child greeted him.
  9. by   passing thru
    Well said , ktw.

    I wish I knew the answers. Why do most parents these days
    think their little brats are so perfect?

    Kids aren't taught responsibility, accountability, work.....yes age-appropriate chores-- work,

    I observed a 12 year old leaving the breakfast table with little empty cereal boxes, banana peel and bowl left at the table...
    I asked my niece, "Don't you ask the kids to clear the table when
    they've finished?"
    LOL
    LOL some more !

    You would have thought I asked her if she required them to
    shovel out the septic tank !!

    LOL ! Her reply, "Oh, we NEVER expect the children to do any work around the house ! We want them to ENJOY their
    childhoods. !!""

    LOL !
    Same kids watching t.v. and playing video games, observed leaving candy wrappers, water bottles, and coke
    cans on the carpet or leaning up against the t.v. cabinet.

    LOL !! I gotta laugh....
    These parents actually believe these brats will grow up & go to college. I tried to explain to them that college is hard work, and if the kids are not used to working, how do they think one day, it will all change and the kids will be industrious college students?

    Did any of you live a responsibility-free childhood and then go
    to college & work hard ?

    Are any of you raising chore-free kids?

    I'm really curious. Maybe I'm wrong .....
  10. by   VickyRN
    My son was cleaning the bathroom toilet, sink, and bathtub when he was 6. He had his list of chores which kept growing as he got older. Was cutting the grass with a push mower when he was in his teens. Had his first job as a "clean-up boy" at the local grill/convenience store when he was 14. Along the discipline and responsibility, he was well-supervised and had a very happy and nurturing childhood. Now he is attending a prestigious military academy and doing well. We're not doing our children any favors if we treat them as demi-gods and aren't preparing them for real life.
  11. by   Mkue
    Originally posted by VickyRN
    We're not doing our children any favors if we treat them as demi-gods and aren't preparing them for real life.
    I agree with this 100%

  12. by   Mkue
    Originally posted by passing thru

    Are any of you raising chore-free kids?

    Not us, our boys have chores around the house and outside, they also help their Dad fix heavy equipment-grease/repair for which he does pay them a little. They are also involved in sports which take up a lot of their time, games and practices but the work is always finished before fun time with friends.

  13. by   ktwlpn
    Originally posted by passing thru

    I observed a 12 year old leaving the breakfast table with little empty cereal boxes, banana peel and bowl left at the table...
    I asked my niece, "Don't you ask the kids to clear the table when
    they've finished?"
    LOL
    LOL some more !

    You would have thought I asked her if she required them to
    shovel out the septic tank !!

    LOL ! Her reply, "Oh, we NEVER expect the children to do any work around the house ! We want them to ENJOY their
    childhoods. !!""

    .....
    Crapola---do the little angels even know how to wipe their own behinds? I want my son to make a nice life partner someday.I want him to be the kind of fella that embraces his domestic side and is not afraid of a dirty diaper or a load of laundry( a man like my husband-he does his share-usually)
  14. by   Mkue
    Well said ktwlpn !

close