What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
Obviously, this is a follow-up to my original post on this matter. Yesterday’s decision to strip the Jackie Robinson West (JRW) team from Chicago of it’s U.S. title came as a complete surprise to me, because I thought for sure there was no way Little League International (LLI) was going to kill it’s “feel-good” story from 2014. You can probably tell that from my original opening lines.
Try not to let that headline shake your faith in humanity. I know it’s hard to admit that something as innocent as Little League baseball might be fraught with corruption.
In case you didn’t realize it, that was pure sarcasm. Every year, I watch the Little League World Series if for no other reason that to spot the kids who look like they drove themselves to the ballpark. That’s why I’m not surprised at all to see this about last year’s feel good story from Williamsport.
Who are we kidding? We’ve corrupted sports down the elementary school level, and now we get to live through the consequences of that. Beyond that, I’m shocked by this turn of events if for no other reason that Little League International itself didn’t seem to want to deal with this…
Another of Jackie Robinson West’s rival teams is calling for an investigation into cheating allegations against the Little League World Series’ U.S. champs — but it still doesn’t sound like Little League International is going to budge. In the latest story to come out of Chicago, an official from a neighboring league is publicly calling for the main Little League headquarters to investigate Jackie Robinson West, even though Little League has said multiple times it considers the case closed.
So, what changed? Despite the crying you hear coming from the Chicago area, the people running Jackie Robinson West got caught breaking the rules. What the JRW supporters don’t want you to know is that despite the fact LLI considered this case “closed,” every day new damning evidence was being presented to them.
Specifically, in mid-December LLI stated in a press release that they “…began to learn of multiple issues with boundary maps and operational process with multiple leagues in Illinois District 4.”
So much for “case closed.”
But that wasn’t the end. Several more hearings were held, including the one that broke the proverbial “camel’s back” on January 31st. It was during that meeting the fact came to light that “…Jackie Robinson West Little League used a falsified boundary map for their 2014 tournament and that Jackie Robinson West Little League officials met with other leagues in District 4 to try to get the territory they wrongfully claimed was theirs for their 2014 tournament.”
The final nail in JRW’s coffin came in the following statement: “During our review, it became clear that both Jackie Robinson West officials and (the) District Administrator…signed documents to make players eligible who should not have been.”
As I said before, this all starts because a Little League official from Evergreen Park last month publicly accused Jackie Robinson West of recruiting players from outside its district and said he wants the team stripped of its title. Then, the word got out that prior to the 2014 season, a Little League administrator in Chicago’s District 4 approved a new district map that helped Jackie Robinson West load its team up with star players. The problem was that no other team in the district approved the map, which according to the league’s by-laws was a necessary step.
Well, those accusations turned out to be true, hence JRW gets it title stripped.
Now, there are some who say the kids are the real victims in this. While that may be true, “fairness” also goes two ways. What about being fair to those kids on teams who might very well have won the U.S. title had they been playing a team complying with the rules? We can have that argument for days, and it will go nowhere fast.
So, let’s take it up a notch. Let’s say you disagree with stripping JRW of it’s title. The whole point behind the founding of Little League was about fair play. If LLI were to abandon that premise in this case, then we might as well strip all the pretenses and simply convert this into semi-professional baseball where per-pubescent kids are the product, and a bunch of adults reap the benefits. Thanks, but no thanks…I’m really not interested in having a pre-teen version of the NCAA on my hands.
Now, let’s get to the real “elephant in the room” here; race. Professional race-baiter Jesse Jackson is already fanning the racism flames. The people at JRW deliberately hid behind race when they first got wind of these allegations and they (with the help of a willing media) exploited this team’s racial construct for it’s own benefit. So, why is anybody shocked they play the race card once they get called out for breaking the rules? After all, if we can celebrate a team for it’s success and racial construct, then culturally why can’t we assume such a similarly unprecedented move is also racially-motivated?
Because it’s complete bullshit. In this case, as in sooooo many others, the polarizing effect of playing the “race card” is intended to obfuscate critical facts. In this case, the JRW people want you to forget that it was they themselves who broke the rules, and they want you to believe that the reason they are being punished is because of race. Again, complete bullshit.
The real reason they are being punished is not about race, and it’s not even about cheating. It’s not even about that lofty load of shit somebody will eventually try to sell about the “integrity of the game.” The JRW people are being punished because they acted stupidly.
Think about it. In the first place, they got taken down by an organization which desperately wanted to look the other way about these allegations. That’s what the whole “case closed” song and dance was all about. Little League International (LLI) wasn’t the organization doing all the digging, it was the other Chicago-area leagues whom they frosted out with their illegal redistricting plot. They did that because this was all about money and prestige.
Once the JRW train left the station, it started getting financial support from big leaguers. Doesn’t it stand to reason that a team who got screwed out of sharing in the money train because its best players got swiped from them might want a bit of pay-back?” That’s where the stupidity on the JRW people comes into play.
Time for another “elephant in the room.” Sports is now, and has always been about cheating. That’s because it is a reflection of life, in which cheating is rampant. Everybody does it to one degree or another, and that won’t ever change. If there was a chance to change it, then we wouldn’t need cops, judges, priests, jails,and churches because everybody would be 100% honest. Cops, judges, and jails are all about the tangible consequences of getting caught breaking the rules, while priests and churches are about confessing the shit you got away with.
In other words, once the JRW people made the decision to cheat, they made several bad decisions about how to do it. If they had simply offered to cut the other leagues in on the action up front, they likely would have gone along with plan. Even if they didn’t have that much foresight, they could have easily offered the other leagues some cash to stop supplying LLI with all the damning evidence.
Lastly, the JRW people shot themselves in the foot because all along, they had the “side of the angels” even if they were cheating. The ugly truth is baseball is a dying sport in the inner-city, and JRW was all about changing that. That means baseball organizations at all levels would have been willing to look the other way at a lot of stuff if they can get the game to have an urban presence again. Little League International proved that.
There’s a bit of mushy-headed thinking that believes that something isn’t illegal if you don’t get caught. That may be the dumbest thing I’ve heard, because it something isn’t against the rules, then there’s no need to worry about getting caught.
That applies in this case because the real crime here wasn’t the actual act, it was the stupidity of how it was committed.