Friday, August 28, 2009

Pitch counts at the Little League World Series

From Tuesday's editions of the Columbian (Vancouver, Washington).

The coach referred to is from the team representing Warner Robins, Georgia.

"In a LLWS game this year, a pitcher was intentionally walking a batter. With a 3-0 count, the batter took a swing and missed, making the count 3-1. The batter allegedly took his swing, even though the pitch clearly would have been ball four, because of Little League's rule regarding pitch counts. The pitcher would have to throw at least one more pitch during the at-bat, getting closer to the pitch count.

"Oh, those witty Little League coaches. So smart.

"Of course, there is a way to counter this move. Next time, have your pitcher bean the batter. One pitch, and one pitch only, and it's the same as an intentional walk, plus the batter might get hurt.

"Can we please, please, get TV, and most adults, away from youth sports? Yes, our youth need supervision and coaching, but any coach who would tell an athlete to take a swing in order to add to an opponent's pitch count needs a major overhaul of his priorities.

"And he does not need to be coaching anybody."

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