Posts Tagged ‘pitching’

Back On The Mound

On Sunday, the Seattle Mariners defeated the Oakland Athletics 8-7 in 15 innings.  While neither team is high on my radar to follow, the Mariners possess one player with very close ties.  Denny Stark pitched to four batters in the game.  This came after an absence of 1747 days (last appearing on the mound in 2004) and two Tommy John replacement surgeries on his right elbow.

How well I remember back in the day (he was a year behind me in school) when Denny was on the mound or on the hardwood either scoring 1000 points in basketball or pitching on the mound at EHS.  Totally amazing and he was definitely one who started out as soon as he was big enough to throw a ball to his father.  I know for a fact that his parents encouraged his talent and gift.  His father, “Connie” (and mother, Roz), coaching, developing him, but never being the stereotypically domineering parent.

Sometimes, coming from a small town and knowing everyone and what they are doing is a good thing.  In little league, I remember having Connie as a coach who never demanded anything less than what you were capable of giving.  So often we hear of coaches or parents who push as hard as they can in order to realize their own dreams through their players or children, but it was absolutely untrue in this case: THIS IS DENNY”S DREAM and it has been realized once again… if only for four batters.  Hopefully, this is only the beginning.  Perseverence does have its rewards.  I remember going to a Ft. Wayne Wizards game one summer when Denny was scheduled to pitch for the opposing team.  However, we were unable to see him pitch as he was called up to the next level.

UPDATE: According to a more local newspaper, Denny will be used in a middle relief capacity.

Put Me In Coach, I’m Ready To Play

While chuckling through one of the daytime serials that my mother insists upon DVRing while she drives the school bus, a newsbreak came on and announced the following: “A little league player is told that he can no longer pitch because he is too good. He throws a 40mph fast ball.” Nine-year old Jericho Scott is like many a young man who enjoys playing baseball in a summer league in Connecticut; however, he finds himself in the middle of a full blown controversy. Opposing teams have forfeited games when they see the pitcher on the mound. Officials for the league have threatened to dismantle Jericho’s team, and either redistribute the players to the other teams, or offer the kids a refund of the $50 sign-up fee. However, Jericho’s coach has not given up and refuses to disband the team.

I suppose there are two ways to look at this. I’m not sure that at nine years of age, I would like to face an opposing pitcher who threw at 40mph. Parents may not want to face the outcome if their child is hit by a ball of such velocity. However, it was reported that Jericho has yet to have his pitches hit even one batter.  Would this not make the opposing teams WANT to work even harder?

If you ask me, the one who is really suffering is Jericho, himself. He misses doing what he loves to do: pitching. Although he has played different positions, should he have to suffer when he has been told that he is really good at something? While thinking about the article, I began to see similarities to Jericho’s dilemma and adults in the work place. Many times, a person is told that he is OVER-qualified for a position because they have received advanced training in the field for which they have applied. Am I correct in assuming that this often boils down to the prospective employer not wanting to pay the person for time learning the trade?

I just think that this is a sad tale and a terrible position in which to place a nine-year-old. Punishing a child because he is “too good” is a horrible message to send to a child.

Ironically, this came to light mere days after a team from Hawaii defeated their Mexican opponents to capture the Little League World Series crown.