You're too good to play


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9-year-old boy told he's too good to pitch

By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN, Associated Press Writer

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP)—Nine-year-old Jericho Scott is a good baseball player— too good, it turns out.

The right-hander has a fastball that tops out at about 40 mph. He throws so hard that the Youth Baseball League of New Haven told his coach that the boy could not pitch any more. When Jericho took the mound anyway last week, the opposing team forfeited the game, packed its gear and left, his coach said.

Officials for the three-year-old league, which has eight teams and about 100 players, said they will disband Jericho's team, redistributing its players among other squads, and offered to refund $50 sign-up fees to anyone who asks for it. They say Jericho's coach, Wilfred Vidro, has resigned.

But Vidro says he didn't quit and the team refuses to disband. Players and parents held a protest at the league's field on Saturday urging the league to let Jericho pitch.

"He's never hurt any one," Vidro said. "He's on target all the time. How can you punish a kid for being too good?"

The controversy bothers Jericho, who says he misses pitching.

"I feel sad," he said. "I feel like it's all my fault nobody could play."

Jericho's coach and parents say the boy is being unfairly targeted because he turned down an invitation to join the defending league champion, which is sponsored by an employer of one of the league's administrators.

Jericho instead joined a team sponsored by Will Power Fitness. The team was 8-0 and on its way to the playoffs when Jericho was banned from pitching.

"I think it's discouraging when you're telling a 9-year-old you're too good at something," said his mother, Nicole Scott. "The whole objective in life is to find something you're good at and stick with it. I'd rather he spend all his time on the baseball field than idolizing someone standing on the street corner."

League attorney Peter Noble says the only factor in banning Jericho from the mound is his pitches are just too fast.

"He is a very skilled player, a very hard thrower," Noble said. "There are a lot of beginners. This is not a high-powered league. This is a developmental league whose main purpose is to promote the sport."

Noble acknowledged that Jericho had not beaned any batters in the co-ed league of 8- to 10-year-olds, but say parents expressed safety concerns.

"Facing that kind of speed" is frighteneing for beginning players, Noble said.

League officials say they first told Vidro that the boy could not pitch after a game on Aug. 13. Jericho played second base the next game on Aug. 16. But when he took the mound Wednesday, the other team walked off and a forfeit was called.

League officials say Jericho's mother became irate, threatening them and vowing to get the league shut down.

"I have never seen behavior of a parent like the behavior Jericho's mother exhibited Wednesday night," Noble said.

Scott denies threatening any one, but said she did call the police.

League officials suggested that Jericho play other positions, or pitch against older players or in a different league.

Local attorney John Williams was planning to meet with Jericho's parents Monday to discuss legal options.

"You don't have to be learned in the law to know in your heart that it's wrong," he said. "Now you have to be punished because you excel at something?"

This is bullshit. If the kid was reckless, then I could see asking him to play another position. But he's safe, so what's the problem?

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Private league or not, what message does that send to kids? When you're better than everyone else, you should tone it down, otherwise you might hurt someone's feelings? Crap!

I run kid's sports for a living. Trust me when I say this, he doesn't belong in a developmental league with kids who have never played before. They will be too scared to ever play again. If they won't play, the league won't make money. He belongs in a competitive league with people his caliber. It might not be fair to him, but letting him pitch isn't fair to the rest of the league.

"He is a very skilled player, a very hard thrower," Noble said. "There are a lot of beginners. This is not a high-powered league. This is a developmental league whose main purpose is to promote the sport."

This league is about teaching kids how to play, not about winning.

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Why doesn't he just go up a grade/age level then? That's what my friend did in basketball when he was too good for his group and in the end it made him a better player, cause he was playing with equal or better skilled players.

I don't think it's right he is banned, but I would get bored being that good, if there are other options for me to compete on a higher level.....

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  • 4 weeks later...

I hate to bump this, but I too run youth leagues (basketball) and I can tell you that the overtly talented kids actually help the not so talented kids out throughout the years and into high school because it forces them to become better players if they want to keep up. It's just another challenge for them. I would never tell a player to tone it down, that's what league rules are for like no backcourt pressure when a team is up by 20 or more points. It's up to the coaches how they want to discipline their kids, not the league.

Telling a kid to tone down his abilities is a total crock and is detrimental to the development of all the other players in the league.

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I hate to bump this, but I too run youth leagues (basketball) and I can tell you that the overtly talented kids actually help the not so talented kids out throughout the years and into high school because it forces them to become better players if they want to keep up. It's just another challenge for them. I would never tell a player to tone it down, that's what league rules are for like no backcourt pressure when a team is up by 20 or more points. It's up to the coaches how they want to discipline their kids, not the league.

Telling a kid to tone down his abilities is a total crock and is detrimental to the development of all the other players in the league.

That's bullshit. Overly talented players help nobody. everyone on his team knows they don't have to do anything to win. Every other kid in the league gets blown out every game, and don't want to play anymore. Exactly how does this help anyone get better? We are talking about a kid thats way above everyone else.It would be like an adult playing with 10 year olds. The adult doesn't get better by beating up on everyone, and the kids don't get any better by getting beat up on.

This kid was offered a spot in a competitive league but turned it down because he enjoys beating up on everyone.

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I hate to bump this, but I too run youth leagues (basketball) and I can tell you that the overtly talented kids actually help the not so talented kids out throughout the years and into high school because it forces them to become better players if they want to keep up. It's just another challenge for them. I would never tell a player to tone it down, that's what league rules are for like no backcourt pressure when a team is up by 20 or more points. It's up to the coaches how they want to discipline their kids, not the league.

Telling a kid to tone down his abilities is a total crock and is detrimental to the development of all the other players in the league.

That's bullshit. Overly talented players help nobody. everyone on his team knows they don't have to do anything to win. Every other kid in the league gets blown out every game, and don't want to play anymore. Exactly how does this help anyone get better? We are talking about a kid thats way above everyone else.It would be like an adult playing with 10 year olds. The adult doesn't get better by beating up on everyone, and the kids don't get any better by getting beat up on.

This kid was offered a spot in a competitive league but turned it down because he enjoys beating up on everyone.

I'm glad that something I have seen first hand is actually bullshit. Thanks. <_<

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I hate to bump this, but I too run youth leagues (basketball) and I can tell you that the overtly talented kids actually help the not so talented kids out throughout the years and into high school because it forces them to become better players if they want to keep up. It's just another challenge for them. I would never tell a player to tone it down, that's what league rules are for like no backcourt pressure when a team is up by 20 or more points. It's up to the coaches how they want to discipline their kids, not the league.

Telling a kid to tone down his abilities is a total crock and is detrimental to the development of all the other players in the league.

That's bullshit. Overly talented players help nobody. everyone on his team knows they don't have to do anything to win. Every other kid in the league gets blown out every game, and don't want to play anymore. Exactly how does this help anyone get better? We are talking about a kid thats way above everyone else.It would be like an adult playing with 10 year olds. The adult doesn't get better by beating up on everyone, and the kids don't get any better by getting beat up on.

This kid was offered a spot in a competitive league but turned it down because he enjoys beating up on everyone.

I'm glad that something I have seen first hand is actually bullshit. Thanks. <_<

It's what I do for a living, so I do know of what I speak.

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Think of players in the NBA or MLB that make everyone better around them. When thinking of something like basketball, I've seen the superstar players that score 20-30 points a game at the 3rd and 4th grade level. That kind of talent forces other kids that want to play basketball and middle school to work harder and therefore they become better because of the talent around them. I've seen it happen with the likes of my brother happen.

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Think of players in the NBA or MLB that make everyone better around them. When thinking of something like basketball, I've seen the superstar players that score 20-30 points a game at the 3rd and 4th grade level. That kind of talent forces other kids that want to play basketball and middle school to work harder and therefore they become better because of the talent around them. I've seen it happen with the likes of my brother happen.

Then I'm going to go play against the Yankees since that will make me better.

Look, if this kid was just better that might be true, but he is in a league of his own and way too good for an instructional league. He is doing himself a disservice by not playing in better competition because he will never get better playing against kids too scared to swing at his pitches. Those kids will just not want to play, which is exactly what happened and is the reason the league had to do what they did. This is not an average Little League. It's an instructional league for the kids that never played, or just aren't very good.

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