Utah in the National Spotlight – Over Walking a Pony League Baseball Player??

Some talk show hosts and journalists are trying to create an uproar over a coaches decision to walk a baseball player in a Pony League championship baseball game that took place in Bountiful, Utah. In the bottom of the ninth with men on base and the game in the balance, the star hitter was up. Instead of pitching to him and taking a higher risk of losing the game, the coach ordered a deliberate walk. The next batter was young Romney Oaks, the worst hitter on the team. Seems like a smart call. But he happens to be a cancer survivor with some physical limitations. The media, aided by the boy’s father (he was a guest on the “Radio Factor” talk show today), are huffing and puffing over the allegedly unfair treatment that “victimized” a boy with disabilities. Hello?

Romney was there to play baseball. He was next in line after the star batter. He was waiting for a turn to bat – and he got exactly what he and his parents wanted, a chance to bat. He got it one turn earlier than normal. In fact, he was given more than just his turn at bat: he was given a turn to be a hero. Had he delivered a hit and the winning RBI, he would have all over the media and possibly the subject of a major Disney film. But he struck out. Game over. But not for the easily offended.

This is being reported with headlines like, “When youth baseball goes bad . . . really bad.” Very sad.

The coach who ordered the walk says he didn’t know Romney was a cancer survivor – something the media is glossing over in some circles. But even if he did know that, the call was a good one for the situation. If the boy is tough enough to take on baseball, he shouldn’t be shielded from the realities of the game – including the reality that he will have turns at bat and chances to succeed, or fail.

Can’t believe I’m even writing about this. The Utah angle caught my eye – and the tendency of so many people to always find a reason to be outraged over something. You know, it kind of outrages me at times.


Author: Jeff Lindsay

8 thoughts on “Utah in the National Spotlight – Over Walking a Pony League Baseball Player??

  1. The opposing coach, I think, did know Romney was a cancer survivor. What he didn’t know was that Romney was on deck.

    BTW, why did the Utah ‘angle’ catch your eye? It wasn’t exactly played up in the reports I saw (Sports Illustrated, AP reports, etc).


  2. I totally agree with you. I can’t believe that it has received such attention. The kid struck out- game over- go home and eat some ice cream for crying out loud. My son played baseball and he was both hero and the cause of losing- gee, bummer- guess I will just go eat some ice cream- no big deal.

    Preferential treatment helps no one in that situation. Try and strike him out and win the game, but if he is the hero- heck, go eat some ice cream with him, gee, eat ice cream with him no matter who wins. Man I am getting hungry for Ice cream!

  3. It sounds to me like a case of bad sportsmanship on the part of the parent, which is a serious problem in youth sports programs. Too bad the media missed the real story. He didn’t go beat up the opposing team’s coach–he chose to assault him in the media.

    But I’ve had my own sportsmanship problems watching my children compete, so I’m really not qualified to say anything. All I ever really wanted was for my kids to get a fair chance. Romney Oaks got a fair chance, and I bet Romney knows it. In a lot of leagues, he would have been sitting on the bench.

  4. I’ve had my oldest boy in little little league sports for the past few years, and I’ve seen some pretty horrible parental coaching going on out there. I even caught myself getting a little hot under the collar at my boy for what I felt was a lack of trying.
    But my wife kindly showed me the error of my ways, and now i sit back and watch these parents get so steamed over a missed hit in tee ball, a missed black in soccer – when most of these kids just want to run around and get that treat at the end of the game. I’ve learned to just let my kid have fun. I’ve found that I have a better time (ie quality) just praticing with my son versus golig out there screaming at the kids and the coach to see my son’s team win.
    I say boo to this dad…way to show your kid how bad you think he is in national media coverage!

  5. “But even if he did know that [the kid had cancer], the call was a good one for the situation”

    Are you kidding me? Keep posting gospel, Jeff, not sport wisdom. There is never–NEVER a “good [call]” when it comes to picking on kids who have cancer. What next, “go home, eat ice cream” and teach the kids how to pull wings off of butterflys?

    That was a missed opportunity to teach kids a great lesson: winning doesnt need to come at “all expenses” especially when it means picking on an 11 year old with cancer.

    Granted, I’m a few months late, but I just ran across your page. I couldn’t disagree more with your post. Little league is for teaching life’s lessons and as such a proud Mormon, I’m surprised that you support the “win at all costs” mentality. These are 11 year old kids, why not teach them to always give their best effort; or sometimes your best isn’t good enough; or, let’s not go down in history as the team that picked on a cancer survivor?

    Maybe in college and for sure in the majors that is a good call, not in little league.

  6. Jacob Weisberg of Slate says the following: “But if he gets anywhere in the primaries, Romney’s religion will become an issue with moderate and secular voters—and rightly so. Objecting to someone because of his religious beliefs is not the same thing as prejudice based on religious heritage, race, or gender.”


    How did Jacob get his Job at slate? Did someone ask him what religion he was, or did someone ask what experience he had? Perhaps someone asked to see his Resume.

    Jacob Weisberg said, “Such views are disqualifying because they’re dogmatic, irrational, and absurd. By holding them, someone indicates a basic failure to think for himself or see the world as it is.”

    Jacob can pre-judge religious people based solely on their religious beliefs? He does not need a Resume. He does not want to look at their IQ, ACT scores, or accomplishments to judge them. All he needs to know is what religion we belong to in order to classify us as “dogmatic, irrational, and absurd”. Jacob actually said, “by holding them (these beliefs), someone indicates a basic failure to think for himself or see the world as it is.”

    Is that how Jacob Weisberg got a job at slate? They asked him for a Resume, and he said, “don’t worry, I’m an atheist”. And the head-honcho at Slate, said, “Good, I don’t have enough time to look at people’s qualifications. I hate Résumé’s with all those stupid things like, ‘graduated from Harvard Business and Law School Cum Laude. Valedictorian. These don’t really mean anything. All I need to do is hear a profession of faith (testimony), or lack thereof, depending on what is fashionable in this day and time. By proclaiming your religious beliefs or lack there of you have told me everything I need to know about you. Welcome to Slate.’”

    No, I assume that Jacob had to show some qualifications maybe even a Resume. It would have been against federal law for his boss to ask him what religion he was, wouldn’t it? Jacob thinks that he should be able to disqualify individuals because of their religious beliefs when they run for president. I wonder if that is how he runs things at slate. Has Jacob ever hired someone who was not an atheist, or is that a pre-requisite at slate? You know, we don’t know what is going on over their at slate, but the rest of the world, Jacob, does not just look at a religious litmus test. There is at least some talk of qualifications. If that is all you need in order to be disqualified to be president, if it is that obvious that Mormons do not deserve any respect, no matter how hard they work or what they accomplish, why should they be allowed into college? All Mormons and the other religions that Jacob should be mentioned should be outlawed from college for the reasons that Jacob outlines. He says; “Such views are disqualifying because they’re dogmatic, irrational, and absurd. By holding them, someone indicates a basic failure to think for himself or see the world as it is.” Sorry Mitt, we are going to have to take away your degrees from Harvard Law and Business school. You are an irrational, dogmatic, and absurd Mormon. You do not deserve them.

    Jacob says, “By the same token, I wouldn’t vote for someone who truly believed in the founding whoppers of Mormonism.” Is that so Jacob? If you owned a business would you hire a Mormon? They have obviously proven to you that they are stupid. Do you want stupid people working for you? Do you feel comfortable admitting to the world that you are a bigot?

    Jacob says that Mitt Romney is an “Elder” in the church. If Jacob would have spent 30 seconds talking to someone from the church, he would have realized that Romney is not an Elder.

    I think it is great that Jacob wants America to be more like Northern Ireland and Iran were people are judged based on which religion they belong to.

    I’m glad that Jacob can take a short cut to intellectualism. He doesn’t have to debate Mitt Romney, he doesn’t have to read the Old Testament, New Testament, or Book of Mormon. He doesn’t have to do better in school, on the ACT’s, SAT’s or in life than Mitt Romney in order to be smarter than he is. All he has to do is reject Mormonism, and therefore he is smarter than Mitt Romney, and deserves more than Romney does, to be president. Forget that Romney balanced the budget without raising taxes; forget that he came up with a new way corralling people away from the emergency rooms and into insurance plans. None of that Matters. Jacob Weisberg is more qualified to be president, in his view, because he is not a Mormon.

    Then Jacob says about the stupidest thing I have ever heard. It is his only argument that he brings to the table besides that Mormons are too stupid to be president. The rest of his article is him parading around in his naked bigotry. But here is the only argument that he bring to the table and it makes me wonder how he got a job working anywhere, even at slate magazine.

    He says, “Perhaps Christianity and Judaism are merely more venerable and poetic versions of the same [transparent fraud]. But a few eons makes a big difference. The world’s greater religions have had time to splinter, moderate, and turn their myths into metaphor.” So according to Jacob every other time there was a religious movement were people left one church and joined another, it was healthy. It was good, because it was a reformation. But when my ancestor, George Laub, who was a Baptist preacher left his church to become a Mormon it was not part of this refining process? He does not think that Mormonism had anything to draw my grandparents to it? It was not a healthy splintering or moderation? Why are all the other new religions good, but Mormonism was bad? Jacob does not tell us. He wants us to judge mitt Romney, without looking at any of the details of his life, and he wants us to agree with him (that religious bigotry towards Mormons is good) without giving us any reason to agree with him. No substance. No reasons to come to his conclusion. No logic. No independent way of judging Mitt. No use of a Resume. No looking at his skills or experience. And Jacob gives us no reason to agree with him, except other religions have been around longer, and for some reason their leaders that started new churches were good, and our leaders were not. We are just supposed to jump to his side without any substance, without any reason besides his self righteous mockery.

    I would like to see Jacob Weisberg’s Resume, and I can get Mitt Romney’s resume, and we can see who America thinks is smarter.


    This is kind of a rough draft. I got my degree in electrical engineering, and I don’t write very well. Could someone who can use words better than me take a stab at this?


    This from Nancy

    He also thinks President Bush relies too heavily on his faith, that he’s a religious nut as well…

    Good company I guess…

    This from Peter

    It seems likely that Mr. Weisberg has spent more time researching Mormonism by watching South Park than reading Fawn Brodie’s biography, or anything actually published by the LDS Church. His errors in reasoning would be laughable if he were some anonymous blogger like yours truly.

    I suspect this type of argument is what we can expect from those on the left who oppose Romney. Notice how he chides Mitt for being a man of “flexible principles” then extols this as an admirable quality. The whole “He’s not a pure conservative” argument just doesn’t work coming from the left so they can only resort to attacking people of all faith, but those ignorant Mormons in particular because they’re newer and all. I guess being in possession of “religious heritage” diminishes the role of faith so the longer your religion has been around, the easier it becomes to follow your parents footsteps because that’s what is expected. People with “religious heritage” can’t be accused of being true believers because faith plays a lesser role than it does if your brand of faith is a newer variety. In other words, Mr. Weisberg won’t hold you accountable for the duping of your ancestors as long as it happened more than say 500 years ago.

    I’m also quite sure that many of the recent attacks on Romney come from people who harbor similar opinions as Mr. Weisberg, but they can’t openly express this because of the obvious hypocrisy they open themselves up to. So instead of a direct religious attack, they opt for any other real or perceived weakness. Thus the firestorm over quotes taken out of context and accusations of moral expediency. I’m kind of tired of it, but I expect they’re going to come with all they’ve got. Thanks for the post Mike. It’s comforting that just about wherever I go in the blogosphere, I find well articulated responses to the endless attacks. In most cases, the replies to the attacks are much better than the accusers deserve and I think in the end, that’s a big reason Mitt is going to come out on top. Here’s hoping anyway.

  7. Fifteen years ago, I saw a coach order an intentional walk in a 9-10year old league and I was rather befuddled. Of course, this was a guy who regularly yelled, cursed, and generally acted like a game played by grade schoolers had worldwide importance, so the intentional walk fit his style.

    I think sports can be used to teach great lessons to youth and I HATE it when leagues don’t keep score just to spare someone’s feelings. I’ve even known some leagues that intentionally reported false scores to newspapers so the score would seem closer than it was.

    However, in a 9-10 year-old league, winning should be the least important consideration. An intentional walk at that level is ridiculous and any coach who orders it has his/her values out of whack.

    The cancer angle, obviously, makes it worse, but it’s bad under any cirumcstance.

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