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Friday, May 16, 2014

Witnesses: Mitch Williams Called Child “A Pussy,” Ordered Beanball

Here’s video of an incident that happened in the fifth inning, when the SJ Titans pitcher came to bat in the leadoff position. Watch as Williams says something to his catcher, after which the catcher goes out to the mound to say something to his pitcher. SJ Titans coaches and players overheard this interaction, and report that Williams ordered his pitcher to intentionally hit the SJ Titans batter with the first pitch. One witness told us it was in an attempt to knock the SJ Titans pitcher out of the game.

Sure enough, the first pitch hits the SJ Titans player square in the ribs. (The home plate umpire, who had been made aware of the upcoming beanball, warned both benches.) One SJ Titans assistant coach confronted Williams about the pitch after the game, and reported that Williams stated, “I told him to throw it inside.”

Mitch Williams sounds like a really classy dude.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 16, 2014 at 04:44 PM | 69 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: amateur, general

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   1. bjhanke Posted: May 17, 2014 at 11:17 AM (#4708665)
If I were the home plate umpire, and I was "made aware" that a pitcher was deliberately about to hit a batter, on orders from his manager, I'd throw the manager out of the game on the spot, and inform the pitcher that, if he did hit the batter, not only would he be gone, but I'd report the entire incident to the league office and ask for a suspension of both pitcher and manager, with the special stipulation that, no matter how long the pitcher got suspended for, the MINIMUM would be until the batter he hit was able to return to full time play. My opinion is that the main blame here lies with the man in blue. Which doesn't make Williams any less of a jerk. It just points out that, if the person who is supposed to enforce rules doesn't do that, there might as well be no rules. - Brock Hanke
   2. GregD Posted: May 17, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4708674)
You are right, Brock, though in fairness people who enforce rules are often prepared to deal with true sociopaths
   3. theboyqueen Posted: May 17, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4708682)
Seriously, the appropriate response to something like this is not to involve the league office -- it's to involve the police. If this is true Mitch Williams should have been arrested.
   4. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:45 PM (#4708722)
The kid is what, 10-11 years old? I'm going to assume he knew it was wrong but when a grown up tells you to do something you do it. I'm sure the kid has heard that knock down pitches are "part of the game" and I suspect Mitch is a bit of a scary dude to a kid.

I agree that Mitch would be investigated by authorities. Cal caters said MLBN. Should fire him too and I agree with that. What a scumbag.
   5. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4708726)
The kid is what, 10-11 years old? I'm going to assume he knew it was wrong but when a grown up tells you to do something you do it.

Yeah, not just a grown-up but your coach, a former MLB player, who's telling you this is how the game is played. I find it hard to fault any kid that age for doing what Mitch told him to.
   6. AuntBea Posted: May 17, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4708785)
I do fault the kid. Surely, had I found myself in the kid's position, I would have thrown the beanball as well. Equally surely I would have regretted it, blamed myself afterward, and wished I had been man enough to stand up to my coach and not throw it in the first place. I would have faulted myself and so I fault the kid. That being said, a minor reprimand like being ejected from the game probably would have sufficed.

Edit: Of course, I am talking about a minor reprimand for the kid. Williams can be banned from coaching kids for life, as far as I am concerned.
   7. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: May 17, 2014 at 02:38 PM (#4708792)
In all seriousness, he should have his kids taken away. If that's what he is doing in public, what is he doing/instructing at home?
   8. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: May 17, 2014 at 03:34 PM (#4708811)
If I were the home plate umpire, and I was "made aware" that a pitcher was deliberately about to hit a batter, on orders from his manager, I'd throw the manager out of the game on the spot

Sorry, but throwing out a manager based on the opposing team's word about future intent is stupid on its face.
   9. AuntBea Posted: May 17, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4708812)
Sorry, but throwing out a manager based on the opposing team's word about future intent is stupid on its face.


Oh yeah I agree. I would have immediately warned both managers (before the pitch was thrown), and certainly if the next pitch was a beanball would have ejected both the pitcher and Williams.
   10. Dale Sams Posted: May 17, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4708836)
(insert sarcastic remark contrasting getting fired for sexual harassment and Williams recent antics)
   11. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 17, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4708856)
Won't be able to completely evaluate this story until I can determine if the child is in fact a #####.
   12. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 17, 2014 at 08:01 PM (#4708922)
That ump should never be allowed to ump again. Knows an umpire ordered a kid to throw at another kid, and does nothing about it. What a #####.
   13. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: May 17, 2014 at 08:17 PM (#4708927)
That ump should never be allowed to ump again. Knows an umpire ordered a kid to throw at another kid, and does nothing about it. What a #####.


I agree with #8, and lean strongly to #9's position. If it were me, and the opposing coach told me "Hey, he just told his pitcher to bean the batter.", I would stop play, question the other coach, and depending on his answer "Yes I did = ejection, No, I told him to pitch inside = warning that unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated, No, I said nothing of the kind = further investigation with both coaches and me having a discussion as to what was said and what the intentions are. Warning may or may not be issued.
   14. Publius Publicola Posted: May 17, 2014 at 08:21 PM (#4708928)
For those keeping score at home:

-Williams is a ##### for telling a little leaguer to throw at an opposing batter.
-Williams' pitcher is a ##### for listening to Williams and doing it.
-The umpire is a ##### for not tossing Williams out of the game.
-The father of the hit batter is a ##### for not immediately stomping Williams guts out.

   15. bjhanke Posted: May 17, 2014 at 08:36 PM (#4708937)
Misirlou's #13 is a good comment. I missed the part where the umpire only had info from the opposing team. My fault. If that was all I had, I'd call Williams over and say, "I heard this from the opposing players. If it does happen, you are gone, the pitcher is gone, and a report is going to the league office ad maybe to the local police. I will recommend that you get suspended and possibly thrown out of the league altogether if this turns out to be true. I don't need to hear you defend yourself, so don't start talking. I'm going to judge things based on what happens to the next few pitches to the next few batters, so you don't try to get out of this by just having your guy hit the next batter. Oh, and BTW, both benches are warned, as of right now." - Brock.
   16. Publius Publicola Posted: May 17, 2014 at 08:39 PM (#4708939)
BTW, I get a "Tag Not Found" error message when I click on the link.
   17. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: May 17, 2014 at 08:47 PM (#4708942)
maybe to the local police.


I wouldn't involve the police. 10 year olds rarely if ever posses the arm strength to do harm to a batter wearing a helmet. An ejection, suspension, and possibly expulsion of the offending coach is more than enough. Also, if this is little league, if a parent is ejected, the kid goes too, unless there is another parent present.
   18. Bruce Markusen Posted: May 17, 2014 at 09:11 PM (#4708953)
I wonder what the MLB Network thinks of all this. If the story is true, I would hope that Williams is disciplined by his employer, too.
   19. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 17, 2014 at 09:15 PM (#4708954)
Far be it for me to defend Mitch Williams, but it is worth noting that this is a Deadspin article that doesn't identify any of the supposed witnesses by name. Furthermore, in the video, no opposing player or coach is near the catcher when Williams comes out to talk to the him between innings, although the closest person, the home plate umpire, is only about 10 feet away. Finally, after the batter is hit, the opposing team doesn't make a big fuss, which I think would be the case if they actually were aware that the opposing manager had called for the HBP. Maybe the article is dead on, but I'd need more evidence to convict.
   20. bunyon Posted: May 17, 2014 at 09:39 PM (#4708964)
Like 10 year olds have the control to throw beanballs. That is, I'm sure a lot of kids in those leagues get hit in the head. I both got hit in the head and hit guys in the head. But it was because none of us had a clue where the ball was going. (Much like Mitch).

Anyway, yes, if Williams did what is claimed here, he's a despicable guy who shouldn't be near kids in any capacity.

But I'd like to get a bit more in the way of evidence before deciding such a thing.


PS I played one year in a league where the rule was if a pitcher hit a guy in the head, he had to leave the mound for the rest of the game. Happened a fair amount. As stated, the helmets were very thick and no one was throwing hard. The time I got hit in the head at 17? Now that smarted. And the sound, my god.
   21. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 10:09 PM (#4708970)
I wouldn't involve the police. 10 year olds rarely if ever posses the arm strength to do harm to a batter wearing a helmet.


I was in an 11 year old league when I took a fastball to the face fracturing my orbital bone and requiring me to wear glasses. In fairness that was a travel game (so the kid was one of the elite pitchers) and it was a rarity but it can cause an injury.

As a little league coach player safety is one of the things I take most seriously. If Williams did this he needs to never be allowed near a youth league sporting event again.
   22. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: May 17, 2014 at 10:13 PM (#4708972)
If Williams did this he needs to never be allowed near a youth league sporting event again.


I agree. I just wouldn't involve the police. It's not necessary.
   23. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 18, 2014 at 10:15 PM (#4709303)

Like 10 year olds have the control to throw beanballs. That is, I'm sure a lot of kids in those leagues get hit in the head. I both got hit in the head and hit guys in the head. But it was because none of us had a clue where the ball was going. (Much like Mitch).

I thought the same thing as your first sentence, but with a different conclusion -- that, even ignoring the moral aspect of the situation, this is just terrible coaching by Williams (if true). That a 10-year-old has enough control and velocity to intentionally injure the batter with one pitch is unlikely. And sure enough, it looks like they just put the leadoff batter on first for no good reason.

I was in an 11 year old league when I took a fastball to the face fracturing my orbital bone and requiring me to wear glasses. In fairness that was a travel game (so the kid was one of the elite pitchers) and it was a rarity but it can cause an injury.

Yeah I think there's a difference between a fastball to the helmet, which at that age is unlikely to cause much damage, and a fastball to the face, which almost certainly can. Even if it's a rarity, it's still worth it to minimize the incidence of such things by not calling for intentional beanings, particularly with the intent to injure.
   24. Lassus Posted: May 18, 2014 at 11:07 PM (#4709312)
Just as a side note, it isn't like an 11-year-old is completely incapable of hitting a target, ever. They can actually get strikeouts. I definitely practiced throwing at a small target drawn on the side of a barn as a kid, and hit it enough times.
   25. Baldrick Posted: May 18, 2014 at 11:31 PM (#4709318)
When I was 11 I I broke a kid's finger with a pitch. Not on purpose, obviously.

I certainly had the control to hit someone with a pitch if I had wanted to. Not 100% of the time or anything, but I could pretty regularly throw strikes. I had better control than the average pitcher at that age, but not massively better. I'm sure most of them could've hit someone if they wanted.
   26. Greg K Posted: May 18, 2014 at 11:34 PM (#4709320)
I had an 11-year old team-mate go down with a concussion once while pitching. They called "balls in!" and the rightfielder tried to be a hero and throw the ball straight into the third base dugout. Caught the unaware pitcher in the side of the head on the fly.
   27. cardsfanboy Posted: May 19, 2014 at 12:30 AM (#4709333)
I certainly had the control to hit someone with a pitch if I had wanted to. Not 100% of the time or anything, but I could pretty regularly throw strikes. I had better control than the average pitcher at that age, but not massively better. I'm sure most of them could've hit someone if they wanted.


Agreed. I wasn't even a pitcher but I could hit a glove easily from 40-60 feet away consistently without it moving at 11 years old. There might have been two to three people on a team able to do that, at that age, but generally speaking, one of them is going to probably be the pitcher. (and in todays age, where you have a league that has a team with a former major league player as a manager, I imagine is competitive enough that almost everyone could do that.)
   28. bigglou115 Posted: May 19, 2014 at 02:22 AM (#4709350)
Last night I was coaching a game where hit batsmen became a real issue.

To start off, we were on our 6th game of the day roughly 13 hours after the first, the other team on their 4th over about 8 hours, so both teams were exhausted. In the first inning two of our players were hit in the face, at this point we were told if they couldn't be replaced or hit we'd have to take outs in the lineup when they came to bat. At no point did the kid show any remorse after hitting either player, even as the umpire cleared blood off of home plate.

Me and my assistants met and decided if that same pitcher (who was still in the game) hit anybody else we'd demand his withdrawal and forfeit if he stayed in the game.

As our team was taking the field for the first time the other team tried to get our pitcher removed for throwing too many innings that day. He's a 180 lb 9 year old who stands about 5'8", so they were scared. I'd point out though that he probably only had 20 lbs on the other teams pitcher (they grow them big in Arkansas farm country). Our pitcher gets a tiny strike zone (did I mention the other team's HC was the commissioner of the league and literally wrote the 18 year old umpire's checks?) he loses one and hits the opposing pitcher in the backside, he lays on the ground screaming for 5 minutes before taking his base. Our pitcher walks over, apologizes, and shakes his hand. He's so scared he throws the next 4 in the opposite batters box, and we pull him. We lose the game by 1 because the only other pitcher we still had was pitching his 10th inning if the day.

All this to say, little league is screwed up and I needed to vent.
   29. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 19, 2014 at 07:47 AM (#4709368)
180 lb 9 year old who stands about 5'8"


What?
   30. Kurt Posted: May 19, 2014 at 08:06 AM (#4709370)
All this to say, little league is screwed up and I needed to vent.


No offense, but it sure sounds like *your* league is screwed up. I've never heard of anything like six games in one day.
   31. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 19, 2014 at 09:07 AM (#4709382)
as someone who umped and was involved in little league/babe ruth league/vfw league a few points

--there is a difference between a 10 and 11 year old. pretty typical age range for growth spurts and enhanced coordination/motor control. so all you guys claiming you had decent control at age 11 that likely does not apply to a 10 year old
--anyone blaming the kid is being pretty silly. kids want to play. kids know pleasing the coach (doing what is asked) will likely confirm more playing time. always has, always will
--the ump here was caught between hearsay and having to discern intent. nevertheless, a stern talking to once word was heard could have happened privately between the coahces and the ump where the ump told both that if a batter was struck above the waist by a pitch that pitcher would have to be replaced for safety reasons. the ump could up the ante by stating the once pulled the pitcher would not be allowed to re-enter the game. since pitchers tend to be among the better players at that age that would get most coaches attention
   32. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: May 19, 2014 at 09:49 AM (#4709408)
I concussed someone with a beanball as an 11 year old - and was *very* willing to work inside. That said, I'd've never hit someone on purpose, if only because I was loathe to put someone on base.

Your league is f'ed up, bigglou.
   33. Publius Publicola Posted: May 19, 2014 at 10:03 AM (#4709412)
When I was 11 I I broke a kid's finger with a pitch. Not on purpose, obviously.


Yeah, in Little League as a 12 year old, I knocked the wind out of someone by hitting him in the back. I didn't realize I could throw hard enough to actually hurt somebody.
   34. bigglou115 Posted: May 19, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4709471)
@29 I'm not kidding or exaggerating. He's not obese either, a little heavy sure, but mostly just big. I suspect a thyroid or pituitary issue, but I'm no doctor. Maybe 1/100 kids is just a huge 9 year old?

@30 & 32. Yeah, that's what I meant to say, our league has some issues. When I was that age I certainly don't remember anything like that.
   35. AJMcCringleberry Posted: May 19, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4709481)
I got hit in the head when I was 10 or so. It stung for a bit, but I was ready to keep playing, unfortunately they wouldn't let me. I hit someone in the ribs at about the same age, he was in pain and I felt bad.
   36. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: May 19, 2014 at 11:50 AM (#4709482)
For all this talk of control, everyone has to remember that this was a travel ball tournament. Even with travel ball being watered down, these are essentially all-star teams and even the 6th or 7th pitcher on the team probably throws a decent amount of innings on his rec league team. It looks like 10u (what this tournament was) is the around the same age as Mustang in Pony or the player pitch stuff in the Minors division in Little League.

If it was a rec league (pony, little league, etc) kind of thing, I would agree that most of those kids would be lucky to hit a batter even if they tried. Just from being an umpire, though, I will say that there are a handful of pitchers in each league that could do it. With a travel ball team, all of those kids (more or less) are playing on the same team.

I will say this after doing a little bit of tournament ball as an umpire, part of this lies at the feet of tournament organizer*. If that meeting took place and the umpire didn't take control, the tournament folks should have handled it instead, especially since Williams was ejected the day before**.

* I come at this from a unique perspective. During my parks and recreation career, I ran enough youth leagues (and adult softball for that matter) to know that the person running the league (or tournament) can make a huge difference in how the officials do their job. I would never step on a field to correct an official, but the officials always knew that I trusted them if they ejected a coach or player.
** Again, another perception from my parks and rec time. We hosted the ASA National 10-u Tournament (Girl's Softball) twice during my parks and rec years. ASA doesn't play around. If this crap had happened at one of their tournaments, Mitch might have never coached another AAU game again (and considering that ASA damn near runs girl's softball - even college and international play, it's a big thing).
   37. Baldrick Posted: May 19, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4709483)
28: I'm not saying that you are making your story up, because what on earth would be the point of making it up. But it sure sounds made up. There are like five or six implausible things about it.

Did you also have breakfast at The Restaurant at the End of the Universe?
   38. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: May 19, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4709494)
He's a 180 lb 9 year old who stands about 5'8", so they were scared.


I don't even think Shaq was 180 lbs. at 9, or 5'8.
   39. bigglou115 Posted: May 19, 2014 at 12:16 PM (#4709500)
37: I know, I wish it was. I can't prove that we have a giant 9 year old, but the bracket's online.

https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1480545492178637&id=1449925351907318&set=a.1450831555150031.1073741827.1449925351907318&source=46&refid=17

I'm not good at posting stuff so I'm not sure if that'll work. But if it does and you follow Sardis down the line and the first game is at 8 you'll see they play again at 9:30, then when we lost at 2 we fell to the losers bracket and had to play back to back games for the rest of the way. We won the next 2, but the third is the one that got us. The team that beat us at 2 had it's 9:30 no-show, and the one that we lost to at around 7:30-8 pm played their first game on Friday so we were their 4th game that day. Luck of the draw and all, but that just seems really intense.

One of our other coaches also had a 6 year old who was playing past 8 pm in their 4th or 5th game. Yeah, there's no pitchers but that still seems equally dumb if not worse.

Douglas Adams himself couldn't have made the schedule any more outlandish.

Edit: also note, if we'd won the whole thing we'd have had to play 2 more games to win since the other team hadn't lost, so in a hypothetical were we won we'd have been there from 8 am to 10-11 pm, played 8 games, and the last 6 of them would've been back to back.

Edit edit: I know it seems implausible, but think of the handicap that size would be at 9. Yeah he's stronger and intimidating, but he's several sizes too big for his own good. He's not particularly coordinated and couldn't hear a 2 legged dog in a race.
   40. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 19, 2014 at 12:28 PM (#4709512)
I've got a son who's playing his first year of travel ball, so he's just getting into these weekend tournaments, but I've got to say that 6-plus games in one day seems like an excellent way of burning out young kids on baseball.

   41. Greg K Posted: May 19, 2014 at 12:34 PM (#4709517)
Yeah, when I played tournaments on weekends I think the most we ever played in a day was 4 or 5...and that would be on the Sunday if you managed to play all the way to the final game.

I've played six softball games in one day, but that's softball. Though even that was pretty exhausting. Though, exhausting for the 30 year old me. I suspect the 10 year old me would have had more energy.
   42. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: May 19, 2014 at 12:34 PM (#4709519)
I've got a son who's playing his first year of travel ball, so he's just getting into these weekend tournaments, but I've got to say that 6-plus games in one day seems like an excellent way of burning out young kids on baseball.


I just want to know how 6 plus games is even possible, schedule wise.
   43. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 19, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4709527)
I just want to know how 6 plus games is even possible, schedule wise.


Time limits and no pre-game infield, presumably. Oh, and being completely indifferent to getting elementary school kids home at a reasonable hour (on a school night?).

My son played three games Saturday. 10 a.m.-noon-2 p.m. His team didn't play in the 8 a.m. games, and if the field had lights they easily could have kept playing through evening. New innings couldn't start past the 90-minute mark, so most of the games started on time.

Six games would have been easily manageable, but in my view, completely counterproductive.

   44. DL from MN Posted: May 19, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4709551)
If I'm a parent of one of the kids on Mitch Williams' team I'm issuing an ultimatum that either he goes or I want my money back. If there is any justice then Mitch Williams arrives at practice and there aren't any kids there.
   45. bunyon Posted: May 19, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4709569)
For all the talk of great control at a young age, I'm not saying you couldn't hit a target occasionally but "hit a glove from 60 feet without it moving" frequently? I flat don't believe you. Mostly because that is a skill sought after all across the land up through the minor leagues. We're not talking throwing strikes, we're talking a small target. If you can consistently hit the corners and control elevation, you have a future in the game. Throwing beanballs ain't easy. Throwing inside, scaring hitters, that's easy. Actually making contact, on purpose, is hard.

One usually hears exaggeration about youthful athletic exploits in HR distance and pitch velocity but this sounds like the equivalent in control.

Also, just want to emphasize, if Williams did what he's accused of, I absolutely agree he should be banned, even if the kid was incapable of doing it. If I go up to a student and advise them to nuke Moscow, I should be removed from teaching, even if Moscow is never in any danger.
   46. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: May 19, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4709581)
For all the talk of great control at a young age, I'm not saying you couldn't hit a target occasionally but "hit a glove from 60 feet without it moving" frequently?


For one, these kids are pitching from 46 feet. The bases are only 60 feet apart. I promise you, I have worked games with kids at this age who (if they decided to) could hit a batter if they wanted to especially if they were travel ball players. 95% of rec league players probably couldn't do it, but the vast majority of travel league kids can.
   47. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 19, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4709588)
kids at this age who (if they decided to) could hit a batter if they wanted to especially if they were travel ball players. 95% of rec league players probably couldn't do it, but the vast majority of travel league kids can.


Yup. And frankly I think the 95% of rec leaguers not doing it is an oversell. The kids who pitch are pitching because they have the ability to throw the ball with relative accuracy. They aren't Maddux but they can hit spots to some degree. I was warming up one of our pitchers yesterday, he's probably 3rd/4th on the depth chart and I was moving my glove around and he was hitting pretty regularly. Not necessarily spot on but if I set up outside, he threw to the outside half, if he went low he got the ball down. It's amazing to me how good some of these kids can be.

Throwing inside, scaring hitters, that's easy. Actually making contact, on purpose, is hard.


Actually you are leaving out an important aspect of the youth baseball experience. Kids are TERRIBLE at avoiding pitches. If you throw the ball inside the likelihood of a kid getting plunked are pretty high. They react just a bit too slow and rather than lifting their hands or jackknifing out of the way kind of flail their bodies making a larger, not smaller, target.
   48. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 19, 2014 at 02:10 PM (#4709598)
Kids are TERRIBLE at avoiding pitches.


Some are. Some most definitely aren't. Much like the big leagues (though there it's usually by choice - some guys like Papi really don't like to get hit, so they don't. Guys who rank among the league leaders in HBP are guys who welcome, or are at least indifferent to, that fate).

I do think the idea of hitting batters on purpose, at all levels, is much more difficult than many people claim. The ability to throw in the general direction of the catcher is a much more simple task, for a variety of reasons, than planting one in another guy's ribs.

Oh, and agree with bunyon - there's no way in hell CFB was frequently throwing balls from 60 feet that didn't require the glove to move.
   49. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: May 19, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4709603)
Yup. And frankly I think the 95% of rec leaguers not doing it is an oversell.


You're right. I was being generous. Honestly, a 9 or 10 year old kid is a pretty damned big target. Much bigger than the glove (and bigger than the plate for that matter). I would say it is probably 80/20 on the generous side and 70/30 on the conservative side and that is only because in a blowout, you are going to your 4th or 5th pitcher on an 11 or 12 player team.
   50. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: May 19, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4709619)
Not picking on typos, I swear, but
and couldn't hear a 2 legged dog in a race.

I am trying to figure out what this would mean, taken literally.
   51. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 19, 2014 at 02:41 PM (#4709627)
kids recognize better than adults that the baseball is a weapon. most kids are not comfortable throwing at someone with intent. and if they do you can almost tell by their facial expressions and body language that the throw is on purpose
   52. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: May 19, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4709629)
Also, Williams is now on a leave of absence from the MLB Network.
   53. PreservedFish Posted: May 19, 2014 at 02:46 PM (#4709632)
When I was in little league, for some reason I reacted to any ball that came at my upper body by swinging at it (while also hopping out of the way). This turned balls into strikes. In order to try to cure myself of this tendency, I had my father throw wiffleballs at my head while I focused on not swinging.
   54. bunyon Posted: May 19, 2014 at 03:01 PM (#4709642)
You're right. I was being generous. Honestly, a 9 or 10 year old kid is a pretty damned big target.

Sure, but we're talking about hitting guys in the head aren't we? If it's "just hit the guy" then, yes, a lot of 10 year olds can pull that off. But I'm not so worried about that. I'm worried about headhunters.
   55. Baldrick Posted: May 19, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4709663)
You're right. I was being generous. Honestly, a 9 or 10 year old kid is a pretty damned big target

Especially in this league where they are apparently full-sized adults already!
   56. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 19, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4709667)
Williams is now on a leave of absence from the MLB Network.

hopefully permanently
   57. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: May 19, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4709669)
Especially in this league where they are apparently full-sized adults already!


Bigger than the glove or the plate..
   58. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 19, 2014 at 03:35 PM (#4709680)
my son had a kid on one of his little league teams who could have easily passed as a major league ballplayer in uniform just standing htere. kid was from a dairy farm near manawa, wi and his dad was a 6'6" block of granite. my boy had to keep a copy of the kid's birth certificate whith him all season as everyone and their cousin wanted to challenge the kid becase while he couldn't run and was planted at first base he could hit like nobody's business and broke not one but two infielder's wrists with line drives. i think i have told the whole story before but the kid's mother was in the uw hospital for a terminal illness and the dad moved his kids down for the summer to be with their mom. he wanted the kid to play ball as a change from the days spent at the hospital. it was very touching see his two older sisters in the stands whooping it up for their little brother. of course they were also 'solidly built' and i think one ended up at an sec school on a track shcholarship throwing shot and discus. as boisterous as the girls were larry (the 12 year old) wouldn't say 2 words if none would do. quietest d8mn kid. he didn't even say all of "OK". it was always 'k'.

so i hear folks skepticism but you run across all kinds with kids.
   59. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 19, 2014 at 03:37 PM (#4709682)
kids recognize better than adults that the baseball is a weapon. most kids are not comfortable throwing at someone with intent. and if they do you can almost tell by their facial expressions and body language that the throw is on purpose


Yup. One of the biggest problems with figuring out who can and can't pitch is adjusting for the hitter. I have a kid on my team right now, really sweet, intelligent and big. Put him in the bullpen and he's firing BBs with great accuracy. Stick someone in the batter's box and everything is about 10 MPH slower and strikes seem accidental. The kid is just too nice. Alternatively I got a kid who is a bit of a punk (in a good way, I love him) but put a hitter in there and he's throwing harder, he gets geared up.
   60. Publius Publicola Posted: May 19, 2014 at 04:43 PM (#4709732)
Via Twitter, Williams denies swearing at umpire:


Mitch Williams@WildThingMLBN

I did not curse at the umpire & will walk away in the future. Again, I apologize.


But them sort of admits he ordered the beanball:


Mitch Williams@WildThingMLBN

I regret what happened at this weekend’s tournament & apologize. I love baseball & coaching.


What a dumbass.
   61. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 19, 2014 at 05:22 PM (#4709749)
But them sort of admits he ordered the beanball:

I doubt that is the only, or intended, interpretation of Williams' comment. Again I'm somewhat loathe to defend Williams, but if you watch the video at the link, the only person anywhere near Williams and the catcher is the home plate umpire, so I don't see how the opposing team overheard an order to hit the batter, but the umpire didn't. And the reaction after the HBP doesn't seem to reach the level of outrage that would accompany knowing that the opposing manager ordered the HBP. Maybe it happened, but it seems possible that the dislike of Williams escalated as the game went on, as did the story.
   62. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: May 19, 2014 at 07:03 PM (#4709785)
So, last night I ejected a parent from the game. On a play at first that shouldn't have been remotely close, the first baseman dropped the ball. He then picked it up well before the runner got there, but in the act of reaching for the ball, he pulled his foot off the bag every so slightly. It was only an inch or so, but to my eyes, standing less than 6 feet away, it was very obvious that he never had his foot on the bag and control of the ball at the same time. So naturally I called the runner safe. A parent from the stands starts yelling " you bastard! You're a ####### cheating bastard! ". I point to him and he comes charging at the fence "yeah, you heard me you bastard." So I toss him, which of course fires him up even more. So I look at the coach and say"If he's not gone in 1minute, I am forfeiting the game to the other team."

Some people. In a little league game no less.
   63. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: May 19, 2014 at 07:21 PM (#4709793)
So, last night I ejected a parent from the game. On a play at first that shouldn't have been remotely close, the first baseman dropped the ball. He then picked it up well before the runner got there, but in the act of reaching for the ball, he pulled his foot off the bag every so slightly. It was only an inch or so, but to my eyes, standing less than 6 feet away, it was very obvious that he never had his foot on the bag and control of the ball at the same time. So naturally I called the runner safe. A parent from the stands starts yelling " you bastard! You're a ####### cheating bastard! ". I point to him and he comes charging at the fence "yeah, you heard me you bastard." So I toss him, which of course fires him up even more. So I look at the coach and say"If he's not gone in 1minute, I am forfeiting the game to the other team."

Something like this happened when I was coaching LL - except the parent said something but not what the umpire heard him say (it's been a long time & I don't remember the exact words). The umpire said if the parent didn't leave, he was going to forfeit the game to the other team - and he didn't want to hear anything about, Maybe he misheard. I ended up asking the parent to just please go sit in the car so we could finish the game, and he finally (very unhappily) agreed.
I still wish I'd stuck up for the parent more, or done something different, so he could watch his kid play Little League without all the bad feelings.
(the ump was an underpaid teenager, and he was horse####, but I never saw much point in complaining about it)
   64. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: May 19, 2014 at 07:31 PM (#4709800)
I remember going to my younger (by about three years, I guess) cousin's little league game in the Shreveport area when I was a kid & being surprised to see that the ump set up behind the pitcher. In my league, the ump was behind the plate. How common (if at all) is the former arrangement?
   65. theboyqueen Posted: May 19, 2014 at 10:08 PM (#4709879)
I think it's fairly common if there is only one ump and/or if there is a pitching machine.
   66. Lassus Posted: May 19, 2014 at 10:23 PM (#4709893)
So naturally I called the runner safe. A parent from the stands starts yelling " you bastard! You're a ####### cheating bastard! ". I point to him and he comes charging at the fence "yeah, you heard me you bastard." So I toss him, which of course fires him up even more. So I look at the coach and say"If he's not gone in 1minute, I am forfeiting the game to the other team."

That is just some sort of mental illness, pure and simple.

Of course, we had one of our coaches when I played go out to the mound and start to choke a kid for walking someone.
   67. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 19, 2014 at 10:59 PM (#4709904)
When I was a kid the single ump standing behind the pitcher was pretty commonplace. Now it seems with one ump he just sets up behind the paste in that situation.
   68. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: May 20, 2014 at 12:03 AM (#4709930)
I coached LL for one year and umpired the next year, back in the early 80's. After those two seasons, I won't even attend a LL game anymore.
   69. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: May 20, 2014 at 12:04 AM (#4709932)
I think it's fairly common if there is only one ump and/or if there is a pitching machine.


The pitchers were kids in this case. Looking back more than 40 years later, I have no idea if my own league had more than one ump. Probably we didn't; we were a really small league, with only 3 teams per age-group.

When I was a kid the single ump standing behind the pitcher was pretty commonplace. Now it seems with one ump he just sets up behind the paste in that situation.


Interesting. This would've been maybe 1971.

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