The kids are all right

John Browne
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Mount Pearl minor baseball players prefer to play the game rather than watch pros on TV

Mount Pearl bantam baseball players chat about their favourite Major League teams prior to a game earlier this week at Smallwood field. The players are (left to right) Tom Penney, Matt Rose, Nick Rose and Brad Nicholson. Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Teleg

Apparently, kids today dont watch a whole lot of baseball on TV and, just because the Toronto Blue Jays are Canadas only Major League Baseball team, doesnt mean they have a lot of support, according to a small sample of minor league players in Mount Pearl.

The Telegram asked a handful of Mount Pearl bantam division baseball players prior to a game at Smallwood field earlier this week to name their favorite Major League Baseball teams .

There was no unanimity, and in most cases, the kids choice had nothing to do with any influence their parents might have on them.

Certainly the youngsters dont have the same attitude as their dads when it comes to MLBs bitter rivalries.

For example, Tom Penney, a Boston Red Sox fan, admits he doesnt really hate the New York Yankees. Hes still young, so give him time, but he seemed honestly surprised this reporter would use the word hate in relation to the two teams.

Penney, 14, a second baseman who wears a Red Sox hat, had been a Boston fan since he started playing baseball at eight. He said he doesnt like the Blue Jays and will remain a Sox supporter as he grows older.

Matt likes the Mets ... and a couple of others

Centre fielder Matt Rose became a New York Mets fan around the time pitcher Pedro Martinez joined the National League club from Boston a few years ago. He says the Blue Jays are OK and he added it would be tough to pick a favourite if the Mets and Blue Jays ever played each other in the World Series, but hed probably stick with the Mets. He also admits hes kind of so-and-so when it comes to supporting teams because he also likes Boston.

Left fielder Brad Shivs Nicholson,14, is a Yankees fan just like his father they spent a lot of time together watching the Bronx Bombers games on TV.

Nicholson, who wears a Philadelphia Eagles NFL hat, says he also likes the Blue Jays, but not as much as the Yankees, and hed pull for the Yankees if the teams met in the World Series.

Third baseman Nick Rose, who at 13, is the youngest of the sample group, wears a Blue Jays hat and thats where his loyalty lies.

Roses dad used to be a Montreal Expos fan and Nick also supported the Expos until they moved to Washington and became the Nationals. Hes not a Nationals fan because Its not the same. He likes the idea of supporting a Canadian team and will probably keep supporting the Blue Jays no matter how poorly they play.

Guarded response

When asked to name his favourite baseball team, one youngster at the Smallwood field answered Guards, so the local St. Johns club team has a least one fan and potential prospect four or five years from now.

Surprisingly, or perhaps not so, the kids interviewed do not watch a whole lot of Major League Baseball on TV. Some said they probably watch a game a week and others estimated they watch only about a dozen contests during regular season schedule.

Clearly, these youngsters would rather play the game.

Organizations: Toronto Blue Jays, Major League Baseball, New York Yankees New York Mets Smallwood Boston Red Sox Montreal Expos National League

Geographic location: Mount Pearl, Boston, Washington

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