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August 26th, 2008
08:53 PM ET

Striking Out

There's one thing here that everyone can agree on: Nine-year-old Jericho Scott pitches like nobody's business. The kid may be the best in his league. But when I first heard this story, I couldn't imagine why another team would forfeit a game because of it. Think of the Padres going home because they heard Brandon Webb was pitching! I think an attorney hired by Scott's family had a good point: He said that though it's tough to play against someone better than you, doing it "is part of life's lessons." And I'd add that a good way to get better yourself is to play against someone who's better than you are.

Fine. But, as in every controversy you hear about on our show, there's another side to this. Some folks feel that the league Scott plays in is a league for beginners - kids just starting out and learning to play - and that it's not fair for them to have to face someone as talented as Scott.

I'd argue that there's always someone better. I get passed on mountain bike trails by better riders. I lift less weight than some of the guys at my gym. I see better news anchors every day. But I try to learn from them; none of that keeps me from doing the things I love to do.

Can you convince me why Scott shouldn't be allowed to play?

Carl Azuz, Anchor


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Ariel

    I dont think thats right that the kids wouldnt be able to play it isnt fair these young boys is doing something with there spare time instead of fighting and making trouble in the streets. Why should a youth baseball team have to suffer because one of there plays are really good that like saying if a kid is really good in school they should be kick out it isnt fair they should let the kids play weather they are good or not so good as some of the other players.

    August 27, 2008 at 11:04 am |
  2. Jade

    I think that that was really crule and mean to Jericho because he was wanting to play baseball and win because he loves it. I also think that the team that they were sopposed to compete over were being sore losers because they were to afraid.

    August 27, 2008 at 11:08 am |
  3. Adam

    My students, at Jorge Mas Canosa in Miami, FL, don't feel the decision not to let Jericho play is unfair. It may be unsportmanslike, but not necessarily unfair. The league is private, and by the sound of the story probably rather small. Private leagues generally don't have to abide by the same standards as public organizations, where this decision may seem like discrimination. If this is a league for beginners and Jericho is advanced. He isn't benefitting anyone, including himself, by playing as a pitcher! He is getting poor practice by not playing against equal or better players, and the other teams are simply unable to hit his pitches, so they are not learning anything either. Everyone should be challenged based on their skill set, and it seems like Jericho is in a leage of his own. Remember, this isn't professional sports...these are kids who should all have the opportunity to HAVE A GOOD TIME!!!

    August 27, 2008 at 11:20 am |
  4. Ray

    Well I think he should be able to play because what if he's the next Josh Beckett or something it would hurt him in skill wise if they won't let him play aginst compotision thats what i think.

    August 27, 2008 at 12:58 pm |
  5. hannah

    i think they should let him play because, he is not that dangerous. if there are kids out there getting hurt they should fix the problum, not make him quit!!!

    August 27, 2008 at 1:04 pm |
  6. Laura

    This is totally unfair. If the president of the teams son was a good player he wouldn't make him not play. He's just afraid his team will get beat.

    August 27, 2008 at 1:07 pm |
  7. Jessi

    i think they should let him play because he
    has never hurt anyone and he doesn't have
    like, radeoactive powers and there are no rules
    against it so they have no right to ban his team from playing.

    August 27, 2008 at 1:09 pm |
  8. Nic

    This is rediculous!! All the kid wants to do is play baseball and have fun. How can people not let him play because he's "dangerous"?

    August 27, 2008 at 1:27 pm |
  9. mrs. Summe

    Dear Carl - My 6th graders at Advent Episcopal in Birmingham, Al say: we understand the problem because we all know the frustration of playing a game when the teams are "unfair'" BUT the bottom line is that part of the point of competition is learning to deal with frustration and be a good sport!

    August 27, 2008 at 1:31 pm |
  10. Wade

    My class, at Lincoln Elementary in Gallup, New Mexico, feels the child in the baseball story was treated very unfairly. True, it is a private league, as Adam discussed. However, it is also a format to teach students to learn how to play baseball. We have many students who play against pitching machines, which are quite accurate. They are also amateurs playing against something that physically throws a ball better than any player can achieve. Children do not forfeit games in this scenario. What ever happened to teaching good sportsmanship?

    August 27, 2008 at 1:41 pm |
  11. Sara

    Well, coming into this blog I thought I had it all figured out, Jericho is a great player and his team should be allowed to play. 😀 But, reading Adam's comment made me think of the flip side of things. What if Jericho is in a "league of his own" and should be playing in a higher league? That is a possibility, unless there is no where else for him to go. If he is advanced what practice is he getting from beating less experienced players? Both sides have good points.

    My verdict is that they should have handled the situation better. If he was too advanced for this league they could have talked to his family about a better option and then waited untill the end of the season to move him to a higher league. Then Jericho, his team, and all the supporters would not have been let down.

    August 27, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  12. Bobby

    I disagree with Adam and I think that Jericho should be able to play if he wants to. He is good at what he does and should be able to succeed at it.

    August 27, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  13. shae & kaitlyn

    my friend and i think that its unfair to not let jerico play against the other teams because its not his fault that he is so good !! its not even about winning its about having fun and the other team should play just for fun because i would !

    August 27, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  14. Laura and Heather

    We think the team should play with other kids even if he is fast! If they dont want to play aginst him then u should bring him up. If Jericho loves to play let him!! Since Jericho is so good and the other kids can't hit it will be practice to get better. LET THEM PLAY!!!!

    August 27, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  15. Kinzy

    I think that not letting Jericho play is unfair! He can't help the fact that he is an amazing pitcher! (My younger brother is a baseball player too!) If he is "too good for the team", he should be in a more advanced level; still, that should be HIS choice! I also think that the other teams are being bad sports. If they are hitting against Jericho, they will get so much better! If Jericho wants to play, I only have one thing to say... LET HIM PLAY!!!!!

    August 27, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  16. Jordan

    i think it is unfair for jerico to not be able to play because hes good what also isnt fair that the president has a kid in the lead that jerico beat so thats the reason he wont let jerico play. i think they should get a new president that doesnt have in faimley members in the laeage to take sides on.because the one they have now is biased

    August 27, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  17. Evan

    I feel like its just not fair. Its like taking Tom Brady and Randy Moss away from football!

    August 27, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  18. Matthew

    That is very unfair that this team is out for the year because of an awsome pitcher. This 9 year-old is very good at his sport and he should be allowed to play. If he was in the MLB, would they tell him that he isn't allowed to be near is favorite sport.

    August 27, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  19. michelle

    i dont think that thats right because its not fair for them to kick that team off. there not a rule saying if you good you have to stop playing baseball so they need to let the little boy and his team play baseball

    August 27, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  20. ariel

    LET HIM PITCH!!! JUST CUZ HE'S BETTER MEANS Y'ALL R A BUNCH OF WIMPS!! Y'ALL R JUST SCARED CUZ HE'S GOOD AND NOT HORRIBLE LIKE U ALL!!! HE LOOKS LIKE A PRETTY GOOD PITCHER!!! LET HIM PITCH!!! LET HIM PITCH!!! LET HIM PITCH!!!

    August 27, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  21. deja

    I think that he should play ball with the team because he is a good player. He throws pretty good. I think he is much better than the other team. His team is cool. The only way is to let him play ball, he should not get kicked off the team, nor should his friends. I feel sorry for them. (4th grader)

    August 27, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  22. William

    I think he should play because he is a good athelete and he knows that he has a good throwing arm that he has to stay in good shape.
    so I hope he has the best luck on getting his team back in. And I hope God bless him to be a good baseball player when he gets older.

    August 27, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  23. Tate

    Yes because he can get kids out fast. He is good at baseball.
    (5th grader)

    August 27, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  24. Mahkahthe

    Yes, he should keep playing because he is very good. (4th grader)

    August 27, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  25. Joe

    Yes, it's absurd the team can't play. the team would be better if they could play. (5th grader)

    August 27, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  26. Garret

    He should pitch because he could beat everyone who bats. He could even win. But it's just my opinion. (4th grader)

    August 27, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  27. Mechipyeha

    I think that little boy should pitch because my ;little league coach always said put your best effort in it. So I think he shouls play. His dream is baseball. (5th grader)

    August 27, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  28. Keti

    I think that boy should pitch because the other boys can throw harder than him. He just pitches. (5th grader)

    August 27, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  29. Nessy

    Yes, they could put him with the older boys so they can go to be champions. (5th grader)

    August 27, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  30. Shelby

    I think that league baseball..is FOR KIDS! Not for the parents to be complaining about how good of a pitcher Jericho is. Other teams are just intimidated by this boy. Go Jericho! Let their team play. It's just for the KIDS!

    August 27, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  31. Craig

    I think they should let him play because if stops playing a little nine year old boy like him would lose intrest in the sport quickly because of his tiny attention span and his true talent might never be shown again.

    August 27, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  32. Rachael

    I think he should be allowed to play. If he's never hit anyone on the field as the show said, then how is he dangerous?
    The fact he's quite an advanced player just adds a challenge for the opposing team. Again, if Jericho is not really "dangerous" then it will just be almost a learning experience for the other team. If they can hit what he pitches, they are just one step closer to being very good players. If not, it's a goal they can make for whenever they play him again.
    Besides, he's only a 4th grader. Telling him he can't play just because he's talented is like telling a 4th grade student they can't go to school because they're very smart.

    August 27, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  33. Shannon

    I don't think that it's fair to have him kicked out of the league just because he's good at something. I don't think that anybody would like being kicked out of something just because their good at it, i mean, isn't that why their in the sport in the first place? Plus, he's only one player, and baseball is a team sport, so why just forfeit a game? I also don't think it's right because there will ALWAYS be someone who's better than you at something, and facing them will only make them better players...so why kick him out of the league? Gosh, some people these days.....

    August 27, 2008 at 6:08 pm |
  34. Hunter

    There is no enforced reason he can't pitch!If you want to be the big leagues to have to do good,right?Let Jericho pitch!

    August 27, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  35. Sydney

    I think that the other team could have handeled the situation better and another point if you want the kids to have fun then you wouldnt break a little kids heart just because he is better than you. i think it might be hard if he were in an older leage but if thats what it takes then he could adjust and his friends would understand if they knew it was the only way he could play without getting his team in trouble with the president of the leage.

    August 27, 2008 at 6:55 pm |
  36. Ben

    I think that the team should play and there should be something done about this.

    August 27, 2008 at 6:56 pm |
  37. Skyler

    Even though he is better than other players he should be aloud. If he goes to an older league he could be worse and not have fun and be made fun of. People who are protesting against him playing are probably making him sad because if they win he can't play his sport with his teammates.

    August 27, 2008 at 7:40 pm |
  38. zack

    let the kid play. I am a pitcher as well, throw much,much harder and no team has forfeited against my team. And, I am as wild as Kyle Farnsworth!! Shame on that league. I hope that they know that they know what they are doing. JUST LET THE KID PITCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 27, 2008 at 7:45 pm |
  39. Robert

    I think he should play because the other players pitch as hard as him and hits the baters.

    August 27, 2008 at 9:43 pm |
  40. sarabeth

    Ok i understand the fact that the kid is a great pitcher and all but why in the world would he be kicked out? Aren't you supposed to encourage their abilities not discourage it?

    I don't know what's going through that man's head but he needs to lay off the kid big time, let him play!!!

    August 27, 2008 at 11:09 pm |
  41. Beth

    I think he should be allowed to play. He's not breaking any rules by pitching well. He's in the age limit and it's ridiculous for the league to decide he's too good to be allowed to play. Do they stop letting teams play because they're not very good? It's the exact same thing. So the other teams will lose. They can get over it or they can work hard to improve. That's life.

    August 28, 2008 at 12:11 am |
  42. Mrs. Emmert's Class

    We feel that Jericho Scott should be able to play in the league. If anyone is good at a sport they should be able to play. You wouldn't want someone to quit if you were a good player. Sports are meant to be fun not just for winning or losing. Have good sportsmanship!

    August 28, 2008 at 8:20 am |
  43. Mike

    That's unfair! They should let the team play even though Jericho is a really good pitcher. If I were them (the league) I would let the team play and move Jericho up to the next level if he's too good for his age. The league isn't handling the situation the correct way. BUT then again that's just my opinion. Also the other team that they played quit after the coach put Jericho in as pitcher.

    August 28, 2008 at 6:33 pm |
  44. Molly

    Coaches spend the entire baseball season try to help their players become the best of their ability. Obviously, Jericho has practiced hard and taken to out of his life to do so. Since when was being good a bad thing? It is ridiculous to kick that team off of the league. Things like this can discourage players and may cause them not to sing up again for the next season. It is not unfair to the other teams. If they really wanted to win, they would have practiced harder and become better!!!!!!!!!

    August 28, 2008 at 8:38 pm |
  45. emaan

    he should play. if they dont like it move him up to the next level. its obvioslley true that he is a great baseball player. he has to play.

    August 28, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  46. Lane

    The only thing that I can say is that the other teams are using their connections with the board unfairly. The boy should be able to play wether he can or can't pitch well.

    August 28, 2008 at 11:42 pm |
  47. Danny

    This is outragious! That was my first thought when I heard about this. There have to be other players who are better than this kid, so why are they still pitching!? I thought you were supposed to encourage abilities like being an awesome pitcher, not dicourage it. I think this entire situation is silly and clear. Let the kid pitch!

    August 29, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  48. matt

    i think its stuped that someone cant play because he's better than all the other kids because its not faire

    August 29, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  49. Cris

    My schools dress code is ao in Florida, but students should be able to ware gean shorts if they wants to!!!!!!!!!!

    August 29, 2008 at 8:27 pm |
  50. Elizabeth

    I think that he should play. Sure he is good but if he loves the sport. I would let him play but just at a different age group.

    August 29, 2008 at 9:57 pm |
  51. Melody

    The kid cant help it if he is such a fantastic pitcher. All the other kids could play if they weren't so scared. At some point, they have to face their fears and get it done with and it will be over in a second.

    August 30, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  52. Joshua

    I think the young base ball player should be able to play because if he has a talant for base ball and he is of age then I do not see why he should not play.

    August 31, 2008 at 12:43 pm |
  53. Kellie

    This is very unfair! Anyone, and everyone should be allowed to play, especially if your good! On the other hand, his league does have a throwing average, so it is rather unfair. If they don't like it, they should put him in another league.... one that "suits him".

    August 31, 2008 at 11:01 pm |
  54. Kellie

    I believe that anyone and everyone should be allowed to play, especially if your GREAT! The coaches should not single a kid down, just because he's BETTER than the rest. On the other hand, the league does assign pitching averages, and if they believe his pitching average is unfair, they should put him in a higher league.

    September 1, 2008 at 12:01 pm |
  55. JImmy

    This thought is very unfair. Most of what people have said is not true. They shouldn't move him up to a higher level, the team should just FACE the FACT that he's an excellent pitcher.

    September 1, 2008 at 12:05 pm |
  56. Min Soo

    True its unfair to Jericho but to the other players it
    could be a very good opportunity because if a pitcher
    is too good then the batters have literally no chance
    to hit it. thats good in the MLB or the minor league but for this
    private little league that might have been a good call

    September 1, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  57. Jared

    I think they should put him in 13-14 select ball then he wouldn't be crushing the other boys

    September 2, 2008 at 9:10 am |
  58. paula

    i dont think that that was right. they should let that kid play if he wanted to. i also got anotther tip he can play for the profesionals in the little ligge so no one will kick him out.

    September 3, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  59. matina

    i THiNK THEY SHOULD TAKE HiM OUTTA BASEBALL OR PUT HiM iN A SMALLER LEAGUE

    September 3, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  60. Morgan

    If someone is good at something they should let him express themselves.DUH!

    September 4, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  61. George

    LET THE BOY PITCH WHATS THE POINT OF PLAYING IF THERES NO COPETITION!!

    September 5, 2008 at 11:42 am |
  62. Kelsey

    What's the point of having a (competitive) league if they won't let the good players play??? Do they make michael phelps swim slower?? LET HIM PLAY!!

    September 6, 2008 at 10:19 am |
  63. Tyler

    I think he should be able to play beacuse it is a sport and there are going to great players like him to play and learn against. If they are not going to let him play at least move them up to an older league so that they can play.

    September 8, 2008 at 11:04 am |
  64. Abby

    They should have made it like a feild trip so they wouldent miss school

    September 8, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  65. caleb

    i think the kid should be able to play i play and im older than him so he should be able to play

    September 9, 2008 at 8:13 am |
  66. Stephanie

    I think they should let the little dude play. I mean is it really the end of the world for the other team if they dont win.

    September 9, 2008 at 9:00 pm |
  67. Yukito

    personally i think that the big bang machine is pointless. i know that that 10 billion dollars could have been spent for a waaaay better purpose than for sending atoms through a big tunnel to make a small explosion and maybe a black hole to suck up the earth. anyhow the big bang machine is a complete waste of time and money 😦

    September 11, 2008 at 9:56 pm |
  68. sara

    I think that Scott should be allowed to play baseball, but in a different league. He isn't getting any better playing against kids that aren't as good as him. And the other kids aren't getting any better either. Scott should play with kids his own skill level or better. But they say it's not fair for the other kids to play against him, it's not fair for Scott either to be discriminated against.

    September 12, 2008 at 10:46 am |
  69. Kristin

    I think that this all unfair! Jericho should have got to play baseball. He probably should of been put into a higher league with kids that have the same talent or better. It wasn't fair because Jericho is just a kid and would like to play baseball. The other teams shouldn't have forfeited just because they were playing against a better pitcher. Since Jericho is better he could of a least made the other kids better too. And if the other teams were scared they were going to get beat, that is bad sportsmanship. The kids aren't there to play to win, they are there to have fun.

    September 13, 2008 at 9:19 pm |
  70. j

    this is so rediculous. i can't believe that just because a kid is good at playing a game then he can't play. he's works just as hard as everyone else and he pays just as much money to be on the team as everyone else. the other kids need to learn that they are goin to win and lose in their lives. they can't always win.

    September 23, 2008 at 6:45 pm |