Tuesday, August 16, 2011

the scandal at cooperstown!

first of all, cooperstown (aside from being the home to the baseball hall of fame) is also the home of the cooperstown dreams park. some lucky kids get the opportunity to play baseball there during 13 weeks of tournaments. if you don't play when you're 12, you won't ever get the chance again. the concept is super cool.

SO, if you keep up with my facebook posts then you know that out of 104 teams, we made it to the championship game during the week we were there!

pretty awesome, right?

we definitely thought so.

now here's where things get dicey. and i must mention that the rumor mill runs rampant at that park. i can't even tell you the amount of crazy things i heard that week.

the other "team" that made it into the championship game wasn't even a team before the tournament. they were put together by the man who OWNS cooperstown dreams field. this team had kids from 5 different states on it. our boys were like, "they didn't even know each other's names." apparently, the team was put together so that the owner's grandson could play on a winning team. another thing i heard was that they flew the pitcher in that day to pitch in the championship game. i don't know if that's true or not, but it honestly wouldn't surprise me.

let me side note really quickly with a, ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!! your grandson HAS to win, or what? he feels just like the other 103 teams that played there and didn't win?!? what the hell are you teaching that kid? you have a sucky team that won't go very far.. don't worry kid, i'll BUILD one for you, and pay for the team to come there. i mean, what a freaking joke. it's one thing to care about your family, but it's another thing to seriously go overboard with the whole "winning" and "losing" concept. personally, i think that guy is sort of an asshole who needs to learn how to lose. not to mention the fact that he's probably not helping his grandson with any real character building experiences.... aside from having to deal with other kids hating him for being so spoiled. i suppose that builds character somewhere down the line.

now let me just say that teams being built like that- is not this totally crazy, far out concept. teams do it all the time. and if someone called me up and said, "hey jenn, we want to fly blake out to play on this team in florida- and all expenses are paid for." you'd find me hard pressed to say NO. so i get the concept. i understand the idea. and i'm not opposed to it, necessarily.....

but what i do think is...

there is a TIME and a PLACE for teams like that to be playing against one another. but that's the key- multiple teams like that- all sorts of built and put together teams to be playing against each other.

cooperstown dreams park tournament is NOT the time, NOR the place for something like that to happen.

you have to understand that the teams that go to those tournaments, are local little league times... or teams who play travel baseball together all the time. some of the teams are really great. and some aren't so great. but they're all there for the same reason- to play baseball in a really cool environment. to do the thing they enjoy doing. to play with heart. it isn't all about winning. it's about the experience.

so to have the freaking owner build a team to basically CRUSH all the other competetion, was just pathetic. no team that played that team stood a chance. we knew going into the game that there was no way in hell we were going to win. i don't care about that part- what i mean is, we didn't have to win the game, but it sure as hell would have been nice to at least have a GOOD game. there was no hope for a good game against this team of 6 foot 12 year olds, with a pitcher who threw 80 miles an hour.

yes people, 80 miles an hour for a 12 year old is NOT normal. that is crazy fast. the kid was ridiculously talented.

but how was that game fun for anyone? it wasn't fun to watch. it couldn't have been fun to play. not even for the team who crushed everyone. and really, didn't they do exactly what they were put together to do? oooooh, you guys got to the championship game? how shocking. you won the game? ooh, even bigger shocker.

i just think it was a really shitty move. not to mention pathetic.

what happened at that tournament should go against everything that park should be about. and the fact that it was the owner who did it, makes it even more jaw dropping. actually, that's the part that makes me ANGRY. that he knew what he was doing. what he was doing TO 103 other teams. he needs to see that he wasn't doing something great and nice for his grandson, but he was doing something selfish and mean to about 1200 other kids. his "gesture" was at the expense of everyone else there. and it wasn't fair. it wasn't a fair fight. and i just think it's wrong on every level, regardless of us being in the championship or not.

i know i wasn't the only one to feel that way because the ENTIRE stadium that night was rooting against that prebuilt team, and for us. they would have rooted against that team no matter what- everyone was so pissed off about the whole thing.

anyway, the true champions that night were this group of kids. at least in my eyes.


eoin said...

I'm happy to see in that picture that Blake wasn't still pissed or anything! hahaha his face is priceless!

Jill said...

His face is priceless but it looks more like disappointment and he is right. He should be so proud he has accomplished what he has done and continues to do. You can't help the politics and people pulling crap, you can only control what you can control Blake. Some times its just plain not easy. Adults that want to win at any cost to others. You did good kiddo!

Twenty Four At Heart said...

I went to Cooperstown twice. My oldest son's team lost to a team just like the one you describe - but they didn't make it as far as you guys did. My younger's son team won the championship game. What you describe happens at cooperstown all the time. (Just not usually a relation to one of the owners.) Both times I was there teams flew kids in from different spots. yes, it's ridiculous but it happens A LOT. Sometimes it's because of a ridiculous "coach" but often it's a travel team/organization that wants to add winning cooperstown to its reputation. You are my not so distant past .... (PS Just wait till high school baseball!)

Anonymous said...

How about just a local Little League All-Star team....
The team consisting of mostly coaches' sons or popular players (Some play good. Some play not so good)and they play most of the
game(s), while the rest of the players ride the bench and MAYBE get to play a little bit.
Reason? Because the players who play the most are the older players, who will move up in the league next season.
I say, it should be for the KIDS first. Let them all play and have fun. Winning's fun, but if you don't get to play at all...what fun is that?

judy in ky said...

That really stinks! That guy should be ashamed of himself, but people like that never are. I just hope he gets a lot of bad press about it.

Anonymous said...

My son went to Cooperstown at 10 u in 2010 . His home town team played their hearts out against "put together teams" they where seeded low but came back and almost beat the winning team ( 4 games in one day). Very humbling and proud experience. The team is going back again this year 2012 to give it another good fight. My son is also going back this year on a"put together team" cause sometimes you want to play with the best and win. Sorry but that's sports...

Anonymous said...

This Park has taken what should be a enjoyable time for kids a families and turned it into a money making sham.