Little League World Series: Why ESPN's LLWS Is a World Wide Joke

John Thomas@@JohnThomas227Correspondent IAugust 13, 2010

First of all, let me go ahead and say that these kids are probably better baseball players than I am.

I play high school baseball, and I certainly am not saying these kids do not have talent.

However, why in the world is the Little League World Series on ESPN?

Last night, I came home and turned my television to ESPN to see what was showing. Instead of seeing one of the ten Major League Baseball games being played, I find the regional portion of 12- and 13-year-old kids playing baseball.

I would much rather watch professionals play baseball than kids who, according to ESPN announcers, can do nothing wrong.

I have tried to watch the Little League World Series. It has been given several chances by me. But the following situations occur far too often to make the games enjoyable.

In a game between Montana and Washington in the Regional Semifinals, the Washington hitter hit a ground ball to the opposing first baseman. With a runner on first, the Montana first baseman then tagged the base.

This is a good start to a simple double play. All he has to do is throw the ball to second base, resulting in a tag of the runner to end the inning.


Well, instead of throwing the ball to second, the first baseman begins to run towards the runner.

For one, this is not proper procedure for this situation. Also, a player should never run a base runner toward the advance base. The runner returns to first safely after a delayed throw from the first baseman.

When I was that age, this would have resulted in a bit of yelling from my coach.

Instead, the ESPN announcers dismiss the issue and talk about the tremendous stop made at first on a routine ground ball.

Now, I know that these kids are only 12 and 13 years old.

However, I did not even play Little League baseball.

I played Dixie Youth and never even neared that World Series.

If I would have known what to do at the age, shouldn't a kid on national television, playing on one of the best Little League teams in the country know the same?

In addition, all of the kids are huge. Routinely, batters step to the plate that are 5'9" at age 12.

These guys are on national television, very big, and talented. However, mistakes are dismissed and routine plays are made out to be incredible.

I can understand broadcasting Little League World Series games on a local television station and maybe putting the semifinals and finals on national television.

But putting the Regional tournaments on ESPN is an incredible stretch. Most sports fans don't want to watch this sort of programming. Preseason football should get the nod over Little League.

Baseball is a great sport, but nationally televising Little Leagues games takes it a bit too far.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.