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LETTER: Baseball players shut out of tournament

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This letter is in response to the article published in the Western Star, August 3rd, regarding the suspensions of four, 20-year-old junior baseball players.

The article entitled “Fouled Out” recounts only one side of the story.  The article portrays these players as poor sportsmen and leads the reader to believe that all these young men wanted to do was to go to the beer tent.  This, however, is the farthest from the truth.

The article does not speak to the real reason these four, 20 year olds walked off the field; something which none of them have ever done in their baseball careers.  The problem: they were frustrated with the unfair coaching that was taking place all weekend. 

Two of these coaches were midget division coaches. They had volunteered to coach the junior players for their provincial tournament – wonderful, right?

The issue arose when these coaches invited ALL of their midget players to join the team. They proceeded to play most of these younger division players while ignoring and leaving at least four of the 20 year old junior players, some of whom have represented Newfoundland and Labrador at national tournaments, on the bench with no play time in their own tournament. 

These young men became frustrated after a weekend of watching midget players, who were supposed to help fill out the roster, actually replace them.  This resulted in some of the junior players not receiving one inning of play in a provincial junior tournament. There was no discussion between these boys and the coaches about game play or even what positions they actually played.

To add to the frustration these junior boys have been playing against the other junior teams their whole lives, some are friends who have actually played together at National Tournaments.

Sometimes standing up for yourself and what you feel is unfair is not easy, or even done by the book.  These young men, each in their own way, did just that.  They have served or are serving their suspensions.

In my opinion the definition of poor sportsmanship lies with the coaches. 

I ask however where is the accountability, and more importantly, the remedy for this poor coaching. 

Interestingly, the only explanation that I have heard as to why these junior players were shut out of their own junior tournament has been the word “politics”.  This is totally absurd!  Why any member of the Corner Brook Baseball Association would voluntarily offer this as any kind of acceptable explanation is beyond me.

Lisa Kelly,

Corner Brook

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