Baltimore Orioles: Always play to win

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Let me be up front; this has nothing to do with the Baltimore Orioles. However the topic of this article is one that’s relevant on Birds Watcher, and across sports. I was disgusted when I heard about this story, as it was told on ESPN. In short, a Little League Softball team from Washington State purposely threw a game against a team from North Carolina for the sole purpose of keeping a team from Iowa out the elimination rounds of Softball’s Little League World Series.

Courtesy of Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

I stand by what I said above; I was disgusted in hearing this, and make no mistake about the fact that it’s despicable. Let’s also be up front about the fact that this isn’t baseball; but the two sports of course are very closely related. That said, I would remind people that these are kids. Yes the stakes are high at that level, but we’re talking about school kids playing games. So is it really fair to be “throwing” games?

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  • No, it’s not. In fact it’s NEVER acceptable to throw games – EVER. It cheapens the entire field (in this case a tournament), and it’s disrespectful to the institution of the game itself. And if you read the article I linked above, I’m shocked that the Washington team wasn’t thrown out of the tournament. Had I been in charge, not only would that have taken place, but that coach would have been banned for life from the tournament. (That said, I recognize that it wasn’t the fault of the players so presumably that’s the reason behind not throwing them out of the tournament – instead they’ll have a one-game playoff.)

    In America we’re all about winning, as well we should be. Indirectly, this coach can argue that he was just trying to win in a roundabout manner. However winning truly is the only thing – so long as it’s done within the rules. This teaches a very bad lesson to people of all ages, but especially kids. Basically it says that it’s okay to circumvent the rules for whatever you deem to be a greater good. And what I would call self-glorification certainly isn’t serving any greater good. 

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    This is also related to what I was saying last week on twitter in that the Orioles shouldn’t try to lay down a bunt to break up Seattle’s no-hitter. Again, some would say that while it might violate an old unwritten code in old school baseball, it also shows that winning is the only thing. But it shouldn’t be the only thing when it comes to breaking rules – written rules, or otherwise. Throwing games goes against all that is good and decent in sports.

    Next: Baltimore Orioles: How poor can the AL East really be?

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