2002-04-20 / Sports

When Little League Parents Attack! (Not a Fox Special)

By Elio Velez

By Elio Velez

The idea for this shindig of an article came from the AP out of Sacramento, California. The locals just start to feel the warm weather around here (seriously, 85 degrees in the middle of April, ridiculous) but those sunny Californians get to play baseball early due to getting the warm stuff already. I may envy them but I don’t envy the story that came from Tulelake, CA.

Two men that were arguing about the shifting of little leaguers to hit the ball from pitchers instead of hitting from tees were arrested. Gary Fensler, 39, got mad and struck Bill Burrier, 37, Tulelake’s Little League president. Fensler punched Burrier. Burrier did one better by going to his truck, grabbed a baseball hit and pulled a Barry Bonds by hitting Fensler. Fensler then grabbed the bat, thought he was Jason Giambi, and hit Burrier.

Now both dummies have children that play in little league but their fighting was not about setting a good example for their children. It was a score to settle and damn the kids. Both were arrested, both quit the league and Burrier was replaced as president.

Get this bloody quote to explain this case of acting like characters in an action movie. Will Baley, new Little League President said, "They are both good, community-minded men who made some bad decisions in a heated moment." Their bad decisions made a disagreement turn into two gladiators fighting it out in the Roman Coliseum.

This isn’t the first time parents have fought each other or fought with coaches and umpires in the name of supposed fair play for their kids. The Little Leagues are about to start up and this is just a reminder to parents who may become perturbed or angry about a game.

It’s just a game folks. Remember that mantra, chant that mantra or write it down to look at during the game. Set the example for the children that fun is the name of the game. This isn’t Yankee Stadium the kids are playing on and the media with 50,000 screaming fans are not pressuring them.

I am not making an overall blanket statement that most parents act like maniacs way. In the games that I have witnessed at the BCAC Little League, Bayswater and other areas for the most part, parents and others have acted with respect and with civility. It’s just the few that go out of line after a questionable call that will ruin the atmosphere.

When a parent or supporter yells an obscenity at the other team or coach, tell that person to stop and think about what bad example they are setting for the kids. Or if you get mad at a questionable umpiring decision, bite your tongue and just chill. It might be a bad call but you do not have to scream it for everyone else to hear.

And for those people who like to berate kids from the other teams or from your own team like it was the Red Sox at the Stadium, hold on a sec. That is not the place for you to air your views. If you want to express yourself, do it kindly at the stadiums.

The idea is for the kids to have fun and learn. When I played as a kid, I knew I wasn’t Howard Johnson when I played, but I did not appreciate the heckling I got for striking out from the stands. And I know other kids sure don’t like that sentiment. Tell the kids they tried hard, say they did a good job and cheer, cheer and cheer. That is what makes Little League fun for the kids and the parents. It sure makes my life easier if I don’t have to report on a bad incident that could have been prevented with rational thought and a sane resolution.

Don’t worry, be Happy

Yankee fans know that their team is just slumping and it is only April. For the Jerome from Manhattan’s of the world who call WFAN or the other sports stations with doom and gloom phone calls, most Yankee fans are patient and know that the team will turn it around. Now if this is still happening in June and especially before the Mets series, get ready for the return of Lord Steinbrenner to bash his squad publicly. That will not be good times.

The pitching is there for the Mets. Now if the hitting would come back from vacation in Florida, this squad can really get on a roll.

Tiger Woods is like an Academy Award winner and the other golfers act like extras in a movie.

The Devils look tired but I grudgingly admit the Isles can move far within the playoffs. That statement will bother me for a while. I need a Maalox.

Let’s Go Nets! A Real homer ain’t I.

I like the B.C.H.S. home field but they have an Astroturf surface. I don’t care if they call it synthetic turf or turf toe. In a perfect world, the grass would be there to show what true surface baseball should be played on.

Until next week, Peace.

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