Baseball Magazine

How Can You Get Mad at Young Players?

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard

How can you get mad at young players?

"Don't worry about it kid.  Your major
league idol hasn't hit the cut-off man
all season and I'm pretty sure he
makes more money than you do."

My wife and I recently went to a Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park.  If any of you are not from the Philadelphia area, I highly suggest you take a trip.  "The Bank" is worth it!  And don't worry, the hype about how bad Philly fans are is greatly exaggerated.  You and your family will have a great time.  On the other hand, if you wear a Yankee jersey to the game, your safety is not guaranteed.
Whenever I watch a major league game, especially in person, I am reminded that yelling at young kids for their mistakes during a game is completely pointless.  Below are three plays that I witnessed from major leaguers during the game:
  1. A Phillies outfielder with a runner on second base assumed that the runner was not going to tag up and go to third base on a routine fly ball.  The runner left the bag and stopped and when the Phillie outfielder lobbed the ball back to the infield the runner took off and made it easily to third base.  A loud BOOO! followed.  The outfielder said (when interviewed) that he did not have a good grip of the ball which is why he didn't throw it hard immediately.  There is not one cell in my body that believes that.  He assumed.
  2. Down a run in the middle innings, another Phillie (a rookie I might add) led off with a hard ground ball to the second baseman.  The hitter, being angry about his poor luck, casually jogged out of the box and down the line only to find that the second baseman bobbled the ball.  He tried to then turn on the speed but it was too late.  He was out instead of easily being safe if he had hustled.  More BOOO's!
  3. With a fast runner at second base (who already had one stolen base attempt earlier in the game), the pitcher forgot about him and didn't mix his looks to second base.  The runner timed him and easily stole third base.  The pitcher was down by a run at the time.

Let me first say that I'm not one of those "haters" who just complains about how bad major leaguers of today are compared to the players of yesteryear.  There are so many times I shake my head in awe and say to myself that "99% of the fans in this stadium have no idea how good/hard that play was."
My point about the plays listed above is to say that even the best players in the world make some very bad mistakes.  This fact should be very instructive to coaches especially those that deal with young players. The game is very hard to play.  If major leaguers make dumb mistakes, how can you possibly get mad when little kids make those same mistakes?

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