Little League Parents Need to be Curbed by JB Smoove

LONG ISLAND,NY – If you’ve never coached a youth baseball or Little League team, do yourself a favor… don’t. Don’t get me wrong, there are some parts of the “job” that are worth every minute of the ridiculous amount of time you invest. In the 10 years coaching my boys, I’ve had some unbelievably rewarding experiences. There is great satisfaction in working with a kid who, by the time he was 8 years-old, had already been told by 3 different coaches that he was no good.  Rather than pass final judgment on the athletic prowess of a 3rd grader, I’ve worked hard with such kids over the years. And you know what? Some can play! Some are even starring on their High School teams right now.

The offense committed by these kids to “earn” such rebuke was that their dads were not coaches. In the cut-throat atmosphere of Long Island’s North Shore, not being favored by a coach can bury a kid forever.

The absurd culture that is Little League baseball, allows coaches to determine the fate of each and every kid who signs up – in many cases before a kid turns 7! You’ve seen these guys: Their kid plays shortstop and hits leadoff… every game. If you’re not related to the coach or part of his kid’s inner circle, be prepared to watch your son bat 8th and play right field… every game. It’s no wonder kids are bored and uninterested in baseball. Being told that you suck when you’re seven and getting banished to the bench in favor of coaches’ pampered kids… can’t help. That’s where Little League and youth sports are today.

I admire the hell out of kids who want to play baseball; who ask their parents to sign them up. They want to play, they want to improve. But none one of these kids signed up so to watch Coach’s son play short and hit 1st or 3rd every friggin’ game. These soul-crushing “coaches” are the true douche bags of Long Island, a working title, incidentally, for a reality series to be based here in the land of malls and sumps.

There are 6 types of Little League Parents. I’ve been screamed at and spat upon by every one of them.

1. My kid’s going to be a big leaguer.  These parents have been sending their little sluggers to personal hitting specialists, workout trainers, and exercise physiologists since the kids were 4.   The kids come to every game with $300 bat bags, 4 different gloves, several pairs of $200 cleats that they change depending on what position they happen to be playing from inning to inning.

2. My kid is going to play till it hurts! These parents have their angels playing travel ball 9 months a year. The average cost for a kid to play in the these travel circuits and compete in various “tournaments?” About $3,500. Per league. Many kids participate in multiple travel leagues.  These parents believe that watching Junior play 200 games a year is the best way to fast-track them toward the Bigs. Guess what? It doesn’t. Over the last 10 years the kids that play in only their local community leagues tend to be better players, better teammates and nicer kids than their travel-heavy counterparts.

3. I’m just glad he’s not cutting himself anymore. Low expectations and lower muscle tone are typically the hallmarks for the kids of this kind of parent. These parents are thrilled to see their kid out and about. Very little eye contact is made, and with it-very little complaining.  As for these kids, they tend to be withdrawn and sullen, and unless they ask to Pitch, I’m basically OK with a couple of these kids on my team.

4. I am a Japanese tourist. These parents videotape everything their little Tateleh does. Every minute of the day is programmed for these kids by these freaks, whose biggest concern is that their kids are well rounded with expansive horizons. They record his at bats, then his tennis swing, his rich white kid Rap lessons and some of their softer stools.

5. Make a Man out of My kid! This is more common than one may think. These parents are totally fine with asking a stranger to instill some discipline, some “fear of God” into their little ones. Yelling at the kid
0 Sure. Belittling them after striking out? Why not.  These parents are not just outsourcing the athletic development of their kids but also their moral direction!  Sports are supposed to increase self esteem. Give the kids something to feel good about.  I’m happy to teach them baseball fundamentals, but I’ve got my hands full with my own monsters.

6. “You’re all Winners!” Still bringing orange slices to 8th grade games. Cheering every kid on all game long. Big advocates of participation trophies.

Be careful out there… Cheesy Bruin, tomorrow.


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About Fake Sandy Alderson 175 Articles
Big Al Sternberg/Fake Sandy Alderson is from a not-so-nice part of Queens. But through grit and elbow-grease finds himself living on Long Island with his bride and twin 12-year-old sons. He is a sports encyclopedia... and a loose cannon. In fact, Michael Baron of blocked him on Twitter. You can find The Blocked One's Tweets here: @AldersonFake