Little League World Series' Fake Sportsmanship Breeds Soft Kids in America

MB MBSenior Analyst IAugust 25, 2008

Before I go off on my new pet peeve of sports, I want to congratulate the Hawaiian team for winning the Little League World Series.

The "Little Shane Victorinos" showed a lot of heart throughout the tournament and deserved to be crowned champions, even though the kids from Louisiana, or should I say the lefty closer/first baseman, choked the game harder than Jean Van de Velde at Carnoustie.

My pet peeve: Kids in the Little League World Series shaking the hands and congratulating their opponent for hitting a home run against them or making a great defensive play.

I’m sorry, and I’m sure Bleacher Report members are going to let me hear it on this, but I really don’t care. I need to get this out.

Just like I pleaded for kids to take their cleats off, I’m begging these kids to stop going up and shaking opponents’ hands after the other team does something good.

I’m fine when a kid makes a diving catch to tell him nice play, but don’t go out of your way and shake his hand and slap him on the rear to congratulate him.

That would be like when these kids go to their welcome back dance in junior high and they really want to dance with this one girl, but she decides, when the DJ plays Chris Brown’s “Say Goodbye,” to dance with a kid from another school, to go to that guy and give him a handshake.

So, just like I hope none of these kids would do that, why is it hard to ask for a kid not to congratulate an opposing player for making a great play on them?

Sure, you will write, “Scott, Little League is about sportsmanship." Well, that’s why, America, every year there are fewer and fewer Americans in the MLB. Little League should be about teaching the kids the fundamentals of baseball in an exciting and organized format.

Coaches should preach COMPETITION to their kids.

Competition is what life is about. For those that disagree, you aren’t making it in life. Unless mommy or daddy gives you everything, you will not succeed in life unless you compete. So why not drill this in kids’ heads?

Yes, these kids are 12, but in three years they will be in high school and will have to make a team. They need to compete hard or they will get the scissors.

Simple as that. You don’t compete in school; you will flunk out. You don’t compete to get that girl; you will be hugging your pillow at night. You don’t compete for that job or raise; you won’t have money.

I would also love to know the number of teams that made it to Williamsport that have coaches who preach sportsmanship.

Sure, the coaches tell the kids to be good sports, but would they really discipline their best player, probably their son, if he didn’t show sportsmanship?

Maybe that’s my ultimate frustration. I know the sportsmanship displayed is really faker than Michael Jackson’s face, post-"Thriller." That’s like a college football coach preaching his players are student athletes, and when the best running back is having trouble in class, grades get fixed.

This gets me to why kids are so soft in America today. Not only do I have to watch kids wear face guards up at the dish, but also shortstops wearing mouth guards and kids crying after they give up two runs in the first.

No, I’m not saying I want kids to be poor sports and have bad attitudes, but I do want to them to have some toughness and not lay down like a guy in the French military.

I even saw a kid go up and shake the hand of a kid he hit with a pitch. Are you kidding me? When you are on the bump, you are in control. Let the other team think you did that. Have them fear your pitching. By going and shaking the kid’s hand it shows, “I made a mistake I'm sorry.”

Why don't you just tell the kid at bat what you are throwing so he can get a hit and be happy?

Now, if you, as a pitcher, hit a kid and he is down and hurt, yes, go up make sure he is fine and be a good sport. But when the kid is perfectly fine, don’t run up to him and make sure he feels ok.

I’m sure people will be telling me, “Winning isn’t the only thing in life.”

Winning isn't everything?

Well, tell that to your boss or wife when you aren't bringing money in. Everything in life is a competition. Can I get that job, can I lose 20 pounds, can I buy that first home, and when the pressure is on and everyone is watching, can I come through?