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Little League Baseball Enters Our World for the Next Week

The roar of the crowd. The anticipation of a game-changing play. The elation of victory. These were all things I knew nothing about after a truncated and disconsolate career in the game of baseball, a career which drove me to a Big League Chew addiction and left my batting average at just a notch below my weight, or IQ, depending on whether I was in a slump or not.

Baseball memories are always ingrained in young athletes. I meant that figuratively, by the way, not like the time I fielded a line drive off my jaw. The reward for that was no solid food for several weeks and, to this day, persistent questions of why I have a faded Rawlings tattoo in close proximity to my right ear.

Like any other uncoordinated urchin, I, too, remember the first time I tried to make an eye-popping catch only to land in an uncoordinated flop, missing the ball by no less than 5 feet and soon realizing that batting practice foul balls don’t count as outs once the game starts. And, yes, everyone remembers their initial time getting to first base, as well as the first time it happens in a game (a hit, that is). Of course, for me, I accomplished both after getting beaned in the head with a piece of cowhide.

Little League Baseball is an important part in a child’s life. (I copied and pasted that from some website, FYI.) The motto of the organization is courage, character, and loyalty. I presumably have stumbled upon the reason why I never flourished at this level. Where else would one expect such a spectacle to be staged but in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, a 30,000-person town once known as “The Lumber Capital of the World,” presumably because of its liveliness. Adding to the town’s pizzazz is its wet/dry vacuum and wire rope manufacturing industries, and it being one of the largest destinations for Bavarian tourists in Pennsylvania.

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Yet Another Reason Never to Televise Little Leaguers

Seems like we come to this point every single year. Why on Earth is the Little League World Series shown on TV? Someone please explain to me why any of us (outside of friends, classmates, and family) should actually care about a bunch of 11 and 12-year-olds playing baseball? Why are regional rounds now televised? Why are their scores and highlights filling up my shows (other than because they’re ESPN properties)? I don’t want to watch these kids play just because it’s the “Little League World Series” any more than I would want to go down to West LA Little League on my free time to go watch some 11 and 12-year-olds throw the ball around. The Little League World Series has been good for three things and three things only: Danny Almonte, fat Sean Burroughs, and Derek Bell still having bags under his eyes at age 12. Oh yeah, it’s also been good for the following lesson in excellent sportsmanship, brought to you by our friends from Deadspin. This kid must have learned from Brad Penny how to pout:

Remind me again why I’m supposed to be interested in this? Does ESPN realize they’re making this kid suicidal? Do they enjoy televising tears on the faces of 11-year-old Japanese kids? I guess so.