This article is written with the hope of being wrong. I encourage you to talk to your brothers, sons, and dads about this and see what you think and please let me know.
As you know I am a very big New York Mets fan. I attend about 30 games a season and am very interested in all levels of baseball.
Anyways I decided this spring to help out with the coaching of my brothers little league team. I have acted as a first base coach and also have stepped in to help out the pitching staff.
I very quickly noticed a shocking correlation between the New York Mets and my brothers little league team, the Pirates. The two teams do not have ace pitchers, or speedy lead-off shortstops, or even experienced managers; no the problem goes much deeper than that.
These two teams just seem to have no passion for the game. Just like the current state of the New York Mets, the team seems sluggish and uninspired. My friends and I were watching one of these little league games and he said to me "didn't we used to run hard and smile when we played?" I responded yes we did.
To me it just seems like some of the fun of the game has been removed for one reason or another.
Of course I will point the finger at someone as I always do.
The professional players that play for anyone's favorite team need to show passion for the game. Jose Reyes has to know that anytime he does anything, negative or positive, that thousands of little kids are watching, reacting and imitating their every move.
If a 14 year old kids observes Carlos Beltran not running out a ground out, then why will they?
I pulled some of the players individually during the game and told them that they need to be running out every ball because you never know what's going to happen once the infielder gets the ball.
The point is that anyone in any venue in which kids look up to need to get their act together and remember that just because you might not beat out the play, thousands of kids will remember that you couldn't do it, so they probably can't either.
Please let me know if anyone has any other thoughts on this topic.