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Thursday, August 11, 2011

ABQ Journal:  Little League’s Antics Spur Uproar

Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg was unimpressed with Caesar Garcia on Tuesday, never mind the Altamont Little Leaguer’s three-run home run Tuesday in a nationally televised Southwest Regional game from Waco, Texas.
Garcia and his father, in turn, are unimpressed with Strasburg.

Twitter “journalism” at its finest, and further proof that not much of newsworthy consequence occurs in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

frannyzoo Posted: August 11, 2011 at 12:22 PM | 55 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: amateur, nationals, summer leagues

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   1. Cris E Posted: August 11, 2011 at 03:17 PM (#3897947)
That link goes to a pay-only page, but going to it from google news worked. I bet if BTF had a billion dollar market cap our link would work.

Also, If you go to the story from their front page it appends a little thing to the story so it can be read. Try this link.


EDIT:
"“Pretty sad seeing 12 year olds pimp home runs and throwing all curve balls. Times have changed…” the 23-year-old former No. 1 draft pick, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, tweeted at about the time of the blast."


Maybe Strasburg's injury is related to the fact that he's actually in his mid-70s.
   2. SteveM. Posted: August 11, 2011 at 03:26 PM (#3897959)
Twitter “journalism” at its finest, and further proof that not much of newsworthy consequence occurs in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


As a native of Albuquerque, I would assume you are kidding about a town of over 500,000. As someone who lives in the Northeast now, I can attest that a bad day in Albuquerque is better then a good day in Philadelphia.
   3. Austin Posted: August 11, 2011 at 03:29 PM (#3897962)
I'm also from Albuquerque, and I can confirm that the Journal is a shitty publication. It's also sort of true that not a lot of "newsworthy" events take place here, but that's largely because it's peaceful, not because it's some podunk town in the middle of nowhere.
   4. frannyzoo Posted: August 11, 2011 at 03:52 PM (#3897997)
Sorry for the bad link...I thought I was going from the Google News link. As for ABQ, at least this story brings out my 'Burque brethren. I don't know if I'd describe the city as "peaceful" given the crime rate and all, but I tend to see the bad in everything.

As for the Journal....one does not need to be generally negative to observe just how true the sentiment expressed in #3 is.
   5. rombuu Posted: August 11, 2011 at 03:55 PM (#3897998)
Did they ever find that Heisenberg guy down there?
   6. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: August 11, 2011 at 03:57 PM (#3898001)
Word is he got shot in the head.
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 11, 2011 at 03:59 PM (#3898004)
That kid should have his children taken away?
   8. SteveM. Posted: August 11, 2011 at 03:59 PM (#3898006)
I will agree that the Journal has become rather shitty. They don't even have a beat writer covering the Aggies anymore. Not all the damn state went to UNM.
   9. KingKaufman Posted: August 11, 2011 at 04:21 PM (#3898026)
I haven't been watching the LLWS in the last few years, but if Strasburg's right that there are 12-year-olds throwing all curveballs, that's a much bigger issue than some kid admiring his home run, which would have to multiply by 1,000 times in significance to reach "meh."
   10. rpackrat Posted: August 11, 2011 at 04:27 PM (#3898029)
I was on the Board of my local Little League (one of the biggest in the country) the last 2 years. Last month, we hosted the Texas District 28 10 year old tournament. I saw one pitcher from another league throw several curve balls. They certainly were not a majority of his pitches, but there were enough to notice. This was a 10 year old kid. My 12 year old pitches, but I told him that I wouldn't teach him any breaking pitches until he's at least 13. He throws 3 different fastballs and 2 different changeups. The differences in speed and movement are more than sufficient for him to be very effective at this age.
   11. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 11, 2011 at 04:29 PM (#3898030)
Albuquerque started down hill when they ran Bill Gates out of town.
   12. Dale Sams Posted: August 11, 2011 at 04:37 PM (#3898038)
which would have to multiply by 1,000 times


Heh. You just gave me a 'Police Squad/Airplane' image of one batter pulling out a camera before he runs the bases, and the next sitting down on a stool, between home and first, to do a watercolor painting of his home run.
   13. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 11, 2011 at 04:38 PM (#3898040)
I haven't been watching the LLWS in the last few years, but if Strasburg's right that there are 12-year-olds throwing all curveballs, that's a much bigger issue than some kid admiring his home run, which would have to multiply by 1,000 times in significance to reach "meh."


The summer team I coached we had a 10 year old throwing curveballs. We talked to his dad about it but he basically said "it's my kid, he can do it if he wants."
   14. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: August 11, 2011 at 04:48 PM (#3898047)
The summer team I coached we had a 10 year old throwing curveballs. We talked to his dad about it but he basically said "it's my kid, he can do it if he wants."

And why shouldn't he? Kids throwing curveballs may not make it to the big leagues, because of arm damage, but they probably weren't going to make it there anyway. And it's not like they're going to be crippled for life because of this. Worst case is they'll end up playing first base on their slow pitch team, or only 3 innings at third instead of the whole game.
   15. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 11, 2011 at 04:48 PM (#3898048)
Is there evidence that shows curveballs hurt a kids arm? I don't really have a problem with it to be honest. What are we saving their arm for exactly? The odds any of these kids will pitch past high school is what, 1-1000? Less than that? The odds that any of them are ever paid to pitch is what 1-10,000? Its much more likely they'll instead look fondly at the time they struck out a bunch of hitters when they're working at their cubicle in ten years.*

*-noted as a guy that is sitting in his cubicle thinking of the time he threw a no-hitter in 8th grade with a steady diet of curveballs, the apex of my athletic career.
   16. Lassus Posted: August 11, 2011 at 04:49 PM (#3898050)
The summer team I coached we had a 10 year old throwing curveballs. We talked to his dad about it but he basically said "it's my kid, he can do it if he wants."

Ahhh the time-tested 'Don't tell me how to raise my kids' trump card.
   17. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: August 11, 2011 at 04:51 PM (#3898052)
*-noted as a guy that is sitting in his cubicle thinking of the time he threw a no-hitter in 8th grade with a steady diet of curveballs, the apex of my athletic career.

And yeah, I'm looking back fondly on my junkballing days as a 12 year old. 3 straight one hitters!

But you know what? Sure, my shoulder's not great, from whatever abuse I gave it in Little League, but I had a lot of fun.
   18. Dave Spiwak Posted: August 11, 2011 at 05:01 PM (#3898059)
Hey 12 year olds: ACT LIKE YOU'VE BEEN THERE!
   19. SoSH U at work Posted: August 11, 2011 at 05:01 PM (#3898060)
Is there evidence that shows curveballs hurt a kids arm? I don't really have a problem with it to be honest. What are we saving their arm for exactly? The odds any of these kids will pitch past high school is what, 1-1000? Less than that? The odds that any of them are ever paid to pitch is what 1-10,000? Its much more likely they'll instead look fondly at the time they struck out a bunch of hitters when they're working at their cubicle in ten years.*


But you know what? Sure, my shoulder's not great, from whatever abuse I gave it in Little League, but I had a lot of fun.

This is why I've got my youngest boy on a serious PED regimen now. Sure, it may not help him down the line, but since he probably wasn't going to make the big leagues anyway, the fact that he can have warm memories of crushing the competition as a 9-year-old will make it all worthwhile.
   20. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: August 11, 2011 at 05:08 PM (#3898065)
This is why I've got my youngest boy on a serious PED regimen now. Sure, it may not help him down the line, but since he probably wasn't going to make the big leagues anyway, the fact that he can have warm memories of crushing the competition as a 9-year-old will make it all worthwhile.

PEDs will ACTUALLY hurt him. Not in some overwrought "Yeah, my arm hurts every now and then when I play softball" sense, but in an actual sickness that will affect his life.

Also, it's really unfair to the other little kids.

But if he's capable of striking them out without cheating, and all it MIGHT cost him is a small slice of the tiny shred of a chance he had to make it to AA ball? Seems worth it to me. YMMV. I know that playing little league all star baseball is one of my happiest memories, and I wouldn't have gotten there without a curveball. And what did I pay for that? A grimace when I throw the ball in from left field in my slow pitch games. Fair trade.
   21. Dave Spiwak Posted: August 11, 2011 at 05:10 PM (#3898068)
Here's more from the link in 1:

Garcia’s father, Steven, an Altamont assistant coach, said his kid was doing no more than mimicking his favorite baseball player, the Yankees’ Robinson Cano, and, “it’s crazy that a pro baseball player would tweet hateful stuff.”

Meanwhile Caesar, who turned 13 last month, didn’t seem to mind Strasburg’s critique, posting on his own (very accessible to the public) Facebook page, “(A)nd strasburg tweeted about me pimpin my home run!!!!!… blahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh epicness”


Two things:

I'm sick of every time someone says something critical it's either "hateful" or "hatin.'" If you do something even remotely controversial in public, it's likely to draw a reaction. It's hardly hate. Deal with it.

Also, and call me old fashioned (kind of like Strasburg), but I'm not a big fan of 12 year olds using the word "pimp" in this or in any other context like "pimpin' they cribz" or whatever. HAHA we're using a word that describes someone who beats up women and gets them hooked on dope and trades them like cattle. So funny blahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh epicness LOLZ!
   22. spike Posted: August 11, 2011 at 05:13 PM (#3898071)
Did they ever find that Heisenberg guy down there?

I think so, but nobody's certain.
   23. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 11, 2011 at 05:14 PM (#3898072)
Did they ever find that Heisenberg guy down there?


It's impossible to know with certainty.

Edit: Damn you spike!

Double edit: How about "They were only able to figure out his velocity."?
   24. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 11, 2011 at 05:16 PM (#3898073)
I don't think it's too much to ask that 12 year old kids play with respect. One of the lessons of youth sports should be respect for yourself and your opponents because that is a lesson that can carry over into other aspects of life as these kids grow up.

As for the curves, I get where Fly is coming from but I don't buy it. I see no reason to put a kid in a position where he is likely to do damage to himself, even if it is relatively minor. Maybe I'm wrong but as a coach I feel I have a responsiblity to protect the kids from themselves at times. Their health and enjoyment of the game are the most important things.
   25. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: August 11, 2011 at 05:16 PM (#3898074)
Nah, that was meanspirited.
   26. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: August 11, 2011 at 05:18 PM (#3898076)
Maybe I'm wrong but as a coach I feel I have a responsiblity to protect the kids from themselves at times. Their health and enjoyment of the game are the most important things.

And you do, to the point that you should mention it to the dad. But it's hardly the end of the world, or an indictment of the guy's parenting, for him to say "Meh. Kid's having fun."
   27. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: August 11, 2011 at 05:23 PM (#3898081)
And here's the thing, if the kid is just dominant, and clearly the best kid on the field, then sure, maybe he has a career and a chance to screw that career up by throwing curveballs. He won't need the curve ball to win every game he pitches, if he's the real deal.

But if the curveball is what makes him good? He wasn't that good anyway, and hasn't cost himself anything.
   28. Nasty Nate Posted: August 11, 2011 at 05:31 PM (#3898091)
Also, and call me old fashioned (kind of like Strasburg), but I'm not a big fan of 12 year olds using the word "pimp" in this or in any other context like "pimpin' they cribz" or whatever. HAHA we're using a word that describes someone who beats up women and gets them hooked on dope and trades them like cattle.


The word describes other things besides that, and has for a while now. I understand your point, but that ship has sailed.

Similarly, if the kid says "I have a killer curveball," we barely notice anymore that he is using a word about murder.
   29. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 11, 2011 at 05:34 PM (#3898093)
And you do, to the point that you should mention it to the dad. But it's hardly the end of the world, or an indictment of the guy's parenting, for him to say "Meh. Kid's having fun."


Agreed and I did say something to his dad as noted above. I'm not saying it's the end of the world or makes the guy a bad parent (though he was kind of a jackass for so many reasons) but I don't think it's right.
   30. PreservedFish Posted: August 11, 2011 at 05:34 PM (#3898094)
Also, and call me old fashioned (kind of like Strasburg), but I'm not a big fan of 12 year olds using the word "pimp" in this or in any other context like "pimpin' they cribz" or whatever. HAHA we're using a word that describes someone who beats up women and gets them hooked on dope and trades them like cattle. So funny blahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh epicness LOLZ!


"Pimp My Ride" may have pushed this meaning solidly into the mainstream.
   31. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: August 11, 2011 at 05:38 PM (#3898101)
I slid headfirst into first and now I'm a lawyer. So these things have repercussions, people.
   32. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: August 11, 2011 at 05:38 PM (#3898104)
"I have a rapey change-up."
   33. Jeff R., P***y Mainlander Posted: August 11, 2011 at 05:54 PM (#3898117)
"I have a rapey change-up."


I was hesitant to bring this one up, but yeah, you can't listen to kids talk about video games without hearing "rape" about every 10 seconds - "Man, that greater demon in WoW totally raped my paladin last night." Ugh.

OK, "rapey change-up" makes me laugh, though.
   34. Kurt Posted: August 11, 2011 at 06:07 PM (#3898131)
The main thing a talented 12 year old is risking with curveballs is not an MLB career, but a college scholarship. Plus the ability to lead a normal life I guess, but I really don't know how much damage you could do.
   35. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 11, 2011 at 06:07 PM (#3898132)
"I have a rapey change-up."


I don't know, can you really own someone with a slow pitch? Rapey to me suggests fastball all the way. A change up is just too tricky to be rapey.
   36. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 11, 2011 at 06:12 PM (#3898138)

Also, and call me old fashioned (kind of like Strasburg), but I'm not a big fan of 12 year olds using the word "pimp" in this or in any other context like "pimpin' they cribz" or whatever. HAHA we're using a word that describes someone who beats up women and gets them hooked on dope and trades them like cattle. So funny blahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh epicness LOLZ!


I thought it was funny that on Sportscenter they would put the full quote onscreen, but the anchors refused to say "pimp" and kept changing it to "showboat."



The main thing a talented 12 year old is risking with curveballs is not an MLB career, but a college scholarship. Plus the ability to lead a normal life I guess, but I really don't know how much damage you could do.


Isn't that pretty rare too? How many programs even offer full rides anymore? I have to think the number of pitchers getting baseball scholarships in the entire country is not significantly larger than the number of professional pitchers overall.

And I have a hard time believing throwing tons of curves at a young age will inhibit you from having a normal life. Its a twist of the wrist, not getting knocked in the head repeatedly.
   37. Kurt Posted: August 11, 2011 at 06:19 PM (#3898142)
And I have a hard time believing throwing tons of curves at a young age will inhibit you from having a normal life. Its a twist of the wrist, not getting knocked in the head repeatedly

If this were deadspin, this would set off an avalanche of posts involving young males, "normal life" and "twist of the wrist".

Since this place is much classier, hopefully mine will be the first and last.
   38. spike Posted: August 11, 2011 at 06:25 PM (#3898143)
A change up is just too tricky to be rapey.

Roofies are plenty tricky.
   39. PreservedFish Posted: August 11, 2011 at 06:29 PM (#3898150)
WANG BLAMES INJURIES ON EXCESSIVE WRIST-TWISTING AS A YOUTH
   40. Bob Tufts Posted: August 11, 2011 at 06:39 PM (#3898158)
Isn't that pretty rare too? How many programs even offer full rides anymore? I have to think the number of pitchers getting baseball scholarships in the entire country is not significantly larger than the number of professional pitchers overall.


NCAA schools are allowed only 11.7 scholarships per year, and they are given out in pieces with very few full rides. So, if you're planning on spending serious change on your kid's baseball travel team career in order to get a scholarship - you're a economic moron.
   41. SoSH U at work Posted: August 11, 2011 at 06:50 PM (#3898169)
NCAA schools are allowed only 11.7 scholarships per year, and they are given out in pieces with very few full rides. So, if you're planning on spending serious change on your kid's baseball travel team career in order to get a scholarship - you're a economic moron.


I would love to see this message be required to be stamped on all sign-up sheets* for travel ball (which my son won't be playing, once I saw the absurd price tag just to register for one local team).

* I'd probably allow the grammar to be cleaned up. (-:
   42. dlf Posted: August 11, 2011 at 07:07 PM (#3898189)
Bob, if you don't mind the personal question, I'm interested in knowing at what age you started throwing breaking balls and at what age did you stop playing other positions.
   43. Bob Tufts Posted: August 11, 2011 at 07:41 PM (#3898223)
DLF - learned to throw a curve at age 8. Did not throw it in a game until age 11 in little league and only when told by the coach (2 or 3 per game).

I threw very few per game in high school and only started to use it regularly when I went to college. At that point I changed my motion from throwing overhamd and 12-6 curves to 3/4 and changing the curve to be a slider/hard curve.

Once I was in college, that was it for position play for me - pitching only!
   44. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: August 11, 2011 at 07:53 PM (#3898235)
Worst case is they'll end up playing first base on their slow pitch team, or only 3 innings at third instead of the whole game.

Or, like me, maybe their arm will hurt every time they play catch, or play golf. I will never be a ball coach, because I can't throw BP.

AG#1F, sorry to burst your bubble, but the research is very clear that breaking pitches involving supination are very damaging to young men's arms.

And as someone who has had the process happen to him, once the elbow starts to go, it's actually fairly exruciating.

You can throw a little dolly curve with just a wrist movement but (a) it's actually hard to throw properly and (b) it ain't any good.

Agreed with SoSHU on wishing parents knew more about the NCAA scholarship system. Not only have I seen parents pouring their energy (and all the kid's time and concentration) into a dream of a free ride that was never going to happen, I have even seen a kid turn down a good six-figure bonus offer to take a scholarship to a shitty state school - that he ended up leaving after two years anyway, because the kid was obviously not a scholar.
   45. McCoy Posted: August 11, 2011 at 07:56 PM (#3898239)
ESPN 30 for 30 had a doc about the 1982 Kirkland LL team that won the LLWS. The 12 year old pitcher on that team had apparently a blazing fastball and a good curveball that he used frequently. He also had a generous umpire by what I could tell from the video clips.

Didn't Juan Marichal know how to throw 3 or 4 different kind of breaking balls from 3 or 4 different arm slots by the time he was 12?
   46. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 11, 2011 at 07:57 PM (#3898241)
Announcer 1: So [announcer 2], what are the "All-State Insurance Keys For the Game" for this pitcher.

Announcer 2: Thanks [announcer 1], let's go over them. First off, he needs to establish his the inside corner. Secondly, he definitely needs to make sure his killer fastball is working so the batters have to expect it. Finally, his needs to sprinkle in some usage of his rapey change-up to keep them off balance.

Announcer 1: ...
   47. Kurt Posted: August 11, 2011 at 11:07 PM (#3898370)
36, 40, 41 - Thanks for correcting me, I didn't know baseball scholarships had dried up quite that much.
   48. McCoy Posted: August 11, 2011 at 11:28 PM (#3898381)
I don't think it is a matter drying up. I don't think they ever had a ton of scholarships to go around for most of the 20th century.
   49. The Well-Tempered Javier Vasquez (loungehead) Posted: August 12, 2011 at 12:03 AM (#3898404)
#22, #23... one of my favorite jokes that has earned me plenty of blank stares:

Heisenberg was driving down the freeway when he got pulled over by a cop. The cop came to his window and said, "Do you know how fast you were going?"

"No," Heisenberg replied, "but I know exactly where I am."
   50. bigglou115 Posted: August 12, 2011 at 12:41 AM (#3898423)
#22, #23... one of my favorite jokes that has earned me plenty of blank stares:

Heisenberg was driving down the freeway when he got pulled over by a cop. The cop came to his window and said, "Do you know how fast you were going?"

"No," Heisenberg replied, "but I know exactly where I am."


Ok, love this. Do you mind if I use it to illicet blank stares of my own?
   51. The Well-Tempered Javier Vasquez (loungehead) Posted: August 12, 2011 at 12:51 AM (#3898431)
Please do! (I can't claim it as original anyway.)
   52. frannyzoo Posted: August 12, 2011 at 01:02 AM (#3898438)
Of course the cop really clocked Heisenberg at precisely 94 mph, but could never find him.
   53. flournoy Posted: August 12, 2011 at 01:19 AM (#3898447)
I threw curveballs as a kid, starting at about age 11 or so. Fortunately I never hurt my arm. These days, among other athletic pursuits, I throw and coach javelin and swim, and if I had screwed up my arm as a kid, I'm sure that would have a big impact on those activities. I don't think it's responsible for a coach to let a young athlete put undue risk* on his future because the coach figures that the kid won't mind the condition as an adult.

* - I can't really speak to whether throwing curveballs as a kid truly poses that kind of risk, but obviously that's what everyone has said for years. As a coach, even if I doubted the veracity of that, I wouldn't let young kids throw curveballs. If you have a kid throw curves, you're one arm injury away from a lawsuit. When you coach kids, err on the side of conventional wisdom when it comes to injury prevention.
   54. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: August 12, 2011 at 10:39 AM (#3898558)
"I have a rapey change-up."


I don't know, can you really own someone with a slow pitch? Rapey to me suggests fastball all the way. A change up is just too tricky to be rapey.


How about date rapey change up? You only throw it to batters who are passed out drunk.
   55. Dan from NM Posted: August 13, 2011 at 04:20 AM (#3899128)
Weird. I wasn't expecting to log on to Baseball Primer today and see my employer dissed! (Dan McKay, City Hall reporter for the Albuquerque Journal.)

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