Monday, August 26, 2013

The Real Boys of Summer

All hail the Little League World Champions, Tokyo! The purity of the game these young people (boys and girls) play more than makes up for the asshat multi-millionaires who ply their trade at the "professional" level of the sport. 

Yes, Ryan Dempster, you cowardly custard I'm talking about you and you, David Ortiz, are an enabler because you could have called the brat on his behavior last weekend in Boston against Rodriguez but you didn't. I am also very proud of myself for not referring to Dempster as Dumpster. Until just now. Oh dear.

The kids from Westport, Connecticut were thisclose to being in the championship game of the Little League World Series, LLWS, but as Sly might argue what wasn't to be, just wasn't. Adversity builds character-ask President Karzai of Afghanistan. 

What's not to like about the LLWS? Great competition and singular athleticism-superlative sportsmanship on the field, in the dugouts as well as in the stands. I think of it as a sort of Woodstock with mitts and bats, minus the brown acid or any other stimulant or performance enhancer. 

I was struck watching by how wholesomeness abounds and I am confounded by how we let the purity of the game at one end of the spectrum get so corrupted by the time we get to the other and all the difference I can see is the dollars. 

Major League Baseball isn't so much a sport as it is a business-the product is whatever goes on down there between the white lines. And pass me a beer and whatever snack product is endorsed during the half-inning break.

If we could remember that first catch, the first feel of the bat in our hands when we made contact with the ball--none of that is at the same level as that first kiss and I'm not suggesting it is, but if we could recall that, we'd have zero tolerance for the Ryan Brauns, Melky Carbreras and the Ryan Dumpsters of the sport. 

Why didn't I mention Alex Rodriguez as an object of scorn? Not because I don't dislike him, far from it, but because he's innocent unless/until proven guilty. So much for the rush to judgment, Ryan. 

And should the day come, tough guy, when either the American League does away with the designated hitter or you find yourself in a National League game batter's box, perhaps at that moment you'll have a better appreciation of the game. The kind the kids display in Williamsport this time of the year and across the USA all season long display. 
-bill kenny 

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