Cheers & Boos

It’s a great time of year for fans of kids playing baseball, with the Little League World Series

The Inimitable Jake Stevens

taking place in South Williamsport, PA.  Of course, just because it’s kids participating doesn’t mean adults aren’t doing their best to commercialize and montetize what should be just fun and games.

The latest disgusting display comes with the announcement the game between Pennsylvania and Louisiana is being moved from 4pm ET to the prime time 8pm slot, changing places with the game between Georgia and Kentucky.  The move was made, according to the article on, “based on the recommendations from law enforcement to help with crowds, traffic control and security.”

Being the cynic I am, I figured the real reason was the Clinton County, PA team was drawing record-setting crowds to the games and would likely produce a big TV audience as well.  But wanting to hear from those who actually know, I asked a state trooper I’m friends with if that explanation made any sense.

His response was that the move made no sense.  In fact, he said, because it will be dark out when the 8pm game is over, there will be more problems with traffic and spectator safety, not fewer.  Thank goodness!  I’d hate to think people started doing the right thing for the right reasons instead of the wrong thing for money.

With my faith in the worst of man once again justified, let’s move on to the real professional ranks:

CHEERS for the Detroit Tigers, who used a game-ending flyball double play to beat the Cleveland Indians, 8-7, and opened up a 4 1/2 game lead in the AL Central.  The throw by Austin Jackson to nail Kosuke Fukudome at the plate was impressive by itself and even more so considering a centerfielder hadn’t thrown out a runner at the plate on a flyball double play to preserve a one-run lead and end a game since 1988!
MORE CHEERS for the Tigers, since they swept the series without leading Cy Young Award-candidate Justin Verlander throwing a single pitch.  If one of their other starters can deliver consistent outings down the stretch, that bodes well for their chances in the playoffs.
BOOS to Cleveland’s Ubaldo Jimenez, who was rocked by Detroit for eight runs in 3.1 innings and now has a 7.29 era in four outings since being acquired.  It’s starting to look like Cleveland will regret giving up multiple top prospects in an effort to win this year.
LOUD BOOS to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, giving Jered Weaver a five-year contract extension just weeks after his selfish tantrum and subsequent suspension cost his team precious games in the standings during a playoff race.  Yes, it’s a good contract for the Angels, but announcing the deal now is a slap in the face to his teammates.
CHEERS for Tom Brady and the Patriots, who look ready to obliterate opposing defenses.  As I’ve been preaching, veteran teams and players will have an advantage thanks to the lockout (as though the Pats need any more advantages).  I suspect my J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS won’t be reaching the Super Bowl this year either.  Damn you, Brady!
DEAFENING BOOS to the human garbage involved in assaults and shootings during and after the Raiders/49ers game in San Francisco.  It’s time for sports leagues and teams to break out the serious security and hammer violators to the fullest extent of the law.  I don’t like a world where the scoreboard is the least of my worries when I go to a game.
BOOS to the LSU players involved in a bar fight who hired an attorney and delayed giving statements to the police.  I understand the need to protect yourself, but if you didn’t do anything wrong you have nothing to hide.  How many signs of the apocalypse (USC, Ohio State, Miami, now LSU) do we need before the NCAA decides on serious reform?  Oh wait, it’s the NCAA, never mind.
CHEERS for the kids in the Little League World Series.  No matter what the adults in charge do to ruin the spectacle, the youngster are still a beautiful example of what sports should be all about.


-Jake Stevens

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