Last week, I watched the championship game in my son’s little league at Mueller Park in Bountiful. Even though my son’s team lost earlier in the week, we attended the game to participate in some of the other activities offered to the boys of the Mueller Park Baseball League. After the skills contests were over, the majority of the people attending turned their attention to the 9-10 year old championship game.
The two best teams in the league were going head-to-head in a very close game. As a result, the game was extended into extra innings. The teams, ironically, were the Yankees and the Red Sox. But this “rival” game turned out to be very different in the name of poor judgment and an awful decision made by the coach of the Yankees.
The Yankees were the visiting team and scored a run in the last inning to break the tie.
In the bottom of the inning, the Red Sox were down to their last out with runners on base.
This is where the story becomes shameful for the coaches of the Yankees and the young players who witnessed the decision made by these coaches.
The Yankees coach instructed the pitcher, a very good pitcher, to intentionally walk the next batter. Why? Because earlier in the game, he hit a solo home run to help lead the Red Sox to an early lead. Some of you may say, so what. But being at the game, two points need to be made. First of all, these are 9 and 10 yr old boys and one of the best pitchers in the league was pitching. Both the batter and pitcher are talented baseball players, but are young enough to make mistakes due to the lack of experience. In other words, pitch to the best hitter and challenge the hitter, a great sports lesson for little leaguers to learn. Second, and the most disturbing reason of all, was about the next batter. He has struggled with hitting all season and would be an easy out to end the game. With the lack of physical abilities that other players have, this boy should be admired for surviving cancer and challenging himself to participate in sports. By the way, most of the spectators booed the coach. As expected, they pitched to this young man and struck him out to win the game.
The sports editor of the Davis County Clipper was also at the game and has made some very good observations about the coach’s decision. Read here.
In the world of politics, we also see an increase in “meanness” with an attitude of “winning at all costs”. But incivility has now gone beyond politics and it constantly surrounds us. Everyday, we see people wanting to “get ahead”. Not only is consideration for others lacking, but common sense seems to be absent as well. As we head into the general election campaign season, we need to remember that incivility will more than likely continue to grow as individuals will try to divide our neighborhoods, our cities, our counties, our state and our country. I hope and pray that citizens, LDS and non-LDS alike, will grasp the words of President Hinckley:
"…We can be more tolerant, more neighborly, more friendly, more of an example than we have been in the past. Let us teach our children to treat others with friendship, respect, love, and admiration. That will yield a far better result than will an attitude of egotism and arrogance."—President Gordon B. Hinckley; General Conference, April 2000
For me, I prefer to live in a community full of considerate people because happy people make a happy community.
Chair, Davis County Democrats
and Candidate for State House Dist. 19