Monday, August 30, 2010

... the Japanese Little League team

First off, I have to congratulate the Japanese Little League World Series team for capturing the World Series crown. They were a talented group that played well.

This post is not meant as a shot at the Japanese team, but did you notice when, at a crucial point in the game, the runner at second was telling the hitter where the catcher was setting up. I understand that the runner may be trying to be a good teammate, as I discussed in my previous post. But there is a line of sportsmanship, fair play and competition that was crossed.

The beauty of baseball is that it is a team game, but at the same time, is a series of individual battles. In this case, it was pitcher versus hitter. But the hitter was getting help from the Japanese runner at second base. 

Do you ever why you do not see players at the Major League level doing the same actions? Well the answer is simple. If a runner is caught giving away signs, this typically results in someone getting hit with a pitch.

I am not going to discuss if it is appropriate for a pitcher to ever intentionally throw at a batter. But I think that you can learn what poor sportsmanship is through the Japanese player.

By the way, the batter made an out. This goes to show that even when the hitter knows where the pitch is being thrown, hitting a baseball is one of the most difficult things to do in sports.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

... Albert Haynesworth

I don't know a lot of details about the Albert Haynesworth situation that is and has been unfolding for the last month. But it does seem like Mr. Haynesworth was glad to accept his paycheck, but doesn't want to work for it.

Maybe it is because I only played minor league baseball and never made it to the majors, but I don't understand the mentality of entitlement. I don't know if it is just me, but it seems like conversations about the "contract year" and "he already got paid" are becoming more frequent and it's sad. Is it simply good fortune that some players have their best seasons when they are in the last year of a contract and are heading to free agency? Do some players take it easy or down a notch or two after they were paid?

Don't you owe it to your fans and teammates to give 100%? What about yourself? I will never understand someone not taking pride in what they do.  If I was on a team with someone like Mr. Haynesworth, how can I trust him?

One of the biggest compliments I think you can receive is for someone to say that you were a good teammate. You don't have to be a great friend to be a good teammate. Being a good teammate means that you are willing to do whatever you possibly can to help your team win. And unfortunately, there seems to be fewer and fewer athletes that are willing to be good teammates.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

... the Little League World Series

My wife and I went to Williamsport, PA this past weekend to watch the some of the opening games of the Little League World Series and the experience was incredible. If you have never been there, regardless if you are a baseball fan, it is an atmosphere you have to experience.

One of my essentials in life is to have fun. And to see the joy that those kids play baseball with was a breath of fresh air. Even in an international competition, from the stands, you can see how fun it is for these twelve and thirteen year old athletes.

I'm not suggesting that winning and losing doesn't or shouldn't matter to the teams, but you could tell how excited the players were to be a part of the Little League World Series.

No matter what you do in life, find a couple of hours to watch the Little League World Series this week, see the excitement on their faces and try to go about your day in the same way.