Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Jericho Scott: Greatness is too good (AP)

Fairness. A comfortable and friendly concept that evokes images of equality, peace and communal happiness. If only we would accept and embrace "fairness" the world would be a better place.

Of course the concept, in terms of human nature, is absolute nonsense. There is nothing fair about the human experience, from the micro-societies of elementary school playgrounds to the macroscopic network of the planet's many nations. And yet there are some that cling to the concept and insist on deluding our youth with such false, Utopian ideals. Shameless husks who, in thoughtless fashion, believe their own painfully immature ideology can circumvent reality and somehow yank nature into a behavior more in line with their own fantasy.

One side effect of this near mental illness is to ostracize excellence, the pinnacle of accomplishment and enforce mediocrity as an more acceptable pursuit. Consider the case of nine year old Jericho Scott:

Nine-year-old Jericho Scott is a good baseball player -- too good, it turns out.

The right-hander has a fastball that tops out at about 40 mph. He throws so hard that the Youth Baseball League of New Haven told his coach that the boy could not pitch any more. When Jericho took the mound anyway last week, the opposing team forfeited the game, packed its gear and left, his coach said.

Officials for the three-year-old league, which has eight teams and about 100 players, said they will disband Jericho's team, redistributing its players among other squads, and offered to refund $50 sign-up fees to anyone who asks for it. They say Jericho's coach, Wilfred Vidro, has resigned.

But Vidro says he didn't quit and the team refuses to disband. Players and parents held a protest at the league's field on Saturday urging the league to let Jericho pitch.

"He's never hurt any one," Vidro said. "He's on target all the time. How can you punish a kid for being too good?"

The two major messages this patently ridiculous response on behalf of the New Haven Youth Baseball commission sends to all the players on all the other teams:

1) Excellence=Bad. If you're too good at something you'll not, contrary to every fiber of the past American experience, be rewarded but penalized and cast out.

2) That the lowest rung of accomplishment is not only acceptable but preferable to climbing a top the ladder. The attainment of "best" is not a goal to fervently pursue but a bane to avoid.

The message this sends to Jericho Scott is:

You were the best and so we treated you the worst, punishing you for your abilities. How dare you be great and make all your peers seem so little. You'd have been better served being a piss poor pitcher. At least then you'd still be able to play baseball.



SnoopyTheGoon said...

There is a rarely mentioned today story by William Tenn (1951):

Predicts our future quite brilliantly. In some Northern Europe countries the tendency to punish excellence starts in kindergartens, UK displays it quote strongly.

You just wait...

James said...

Actually, that is beyond pathetic. It is Marxist.

Although spelled differently, the message of the following quote is clear,

"Fare is what you pay on the bus. Everything else is real life".

Ain't that the truth.

Jeff Wills said...

We're talking New Haven, Conn. A therapeutic cultural center of progressivism. So...what did you expect? Pathetic.

Ottavio (Otto) Marasco said...

All comments valid, and for poor Jericho to be introduced to such pathetic reasoning so early …

This post reminded me of something, what the poor lad experienced happens in the workplace a lot, to be put down because one is simply too good, different so to speak, thus punished for their abilities. I know someone who has experienced this, I know him intimately; reality sometimes hurts. I have tried to deal with it through writing; it helped somewhat though not completely. I gave myself a name: David Larkin smiled …

[ … ]

Like a movie reel, his fervent mind rerun diplomatic but heated exchanges that took place at school campus against a popular and deep-rooted view that advocated the virtues of consensus majoritarian mechanisms. His contrasting notions conveyed somewhat indirectly yet naturally and without apology, expressed that it is individualism and independence of thought that produced the best outcome, not that this was explicitly stated. It soon became apparent to all that this one, this Larkin, was a different apple, of a different order, misguided thought most, but brilliant nevertheless. The individual, his self-reliance, her liberty, his independence, her autonomy of thought and imagination ultimately built great business establishments. Delicately, but doggedly, he would make a case that large concerns, including most companies and enterprises, societies, institutions, the state - and some of the “mind numb second handers” that worked within them - more often that not, stifled the free flowing spirit of individual creativity. Larkin’s conviction, wholly embraced every contrasting stance to collectivism, communalism, holism and communitarianism. Thus, soon he was perceived as not merely unco-operative, but one who rejected all processes based on participatory inclusiveness and order within decision-making processes. This alone diverged greatly from quite nearly all management and leadership teachings of the day. After his final assignment, the highly esteemed Joseph Bradley of the Lettin Business School wrote of Larkin - amongst other things - ‘he seems to reject any views other than his own, etymologically speaking…to think and feel with the group…to reach consensus in any form of decision making…appears as if strangely alien to him’…

Why are you here? Because I wanted something, why else does anyone do anything, in my case I sought knowledge, greater understanding of the mechanics, the control points if you will, of those unseen forces that bind a status quo”.

“A status quo at the organizational and individual level that, for the most part, includes an unacceptable degree of mediocrity, is that right?”
“Thank you Mr Bradley, you are getting to know me”.
“Sounding a tad philosophical there David, can I assume your also referring to Management theory, I’ve read your work.”
“Management, Leadership issues, Teaching methodologies, character traits”… Bradley cuts in,
“So let me see now, are you citing the individual human psyche, the human condition if you like?”

Larkin replies, “There is no flaw; we’re all perfectly capable of being different. It is behavioral, having more to do with external”, he paused, “stimuli, for use of a better term.”

Joseph adjusted himself in his seat once again and refocused on David as if re-evaluating a stratagem, sizing up an adversary.

“What words would you use to describe these mediocre types to which you often refer?”

David was beginning to enter a realm that he was secure with, in his own element.

“There like pretenders, baseless types, somewhat unethical, dishonest to those they serve and to themselves. At the least, they are grossly hypocritical and in just about all cases, second handers. You know what is worse, there propensity to act as speed hump for those that do wish to excel”.

David’s fluency of speech, his demeanor, suggested that he had thought about what he was saying many times. From his point of view there was no disputing his remarks, he spoke as if stating universal truths of the physical world.

He continued, “How often have we heard it, about being part of a brain based economy where the best assets are your people, but how many leaders appreciate what this means? In the interests of doing something, anything, they create diversions, give the impression that they’re actually doing something, they fool around with the latest management fad, they re-structure, engage in deal making more oft than not, to consolidate there own arrangement.”

“But sometimes David, Joseph adds slowly with great composure, “one needs to do what one needs to do, to achieve a predetermined outcome, managing expectations is an interpersonal science unto itself.”

“Everything you have just said is true, but in addition and without selfishness of a regular nature, they should be creating environments where the brightest and best are sought, retained and unleashed, and, I might add the brightest need not automatically imply the most educated.”

You were the best and so we treated you the worst, punishing you for your abilities. How dare you be great and make all your peers seem so little, yes, pathetic and Marxist all right… Great post!

Jay@Soob said...

Snoop, phew! Yeah, not good.

Historian, indeed a fitting quote. I'd say American doesn't need a "Randian" society but it could stand to read and "get" a healthy dose of Randian wisdom.

jeff, yep hardly a surprise. but worrying none the less.

Jay@Soob said...

Otto, this is a personal experience?

Dick Stanley said...

It would help, I think, if you had a kid of your own in Little League. Then you might understand that LL is for fun, development of skills and promotion of baseball. It ain't for terrorizing the other team, being king of the mound, and developing Nolan Ryans. That comes later in Pony League and high school. If Jericho's mother had paid attention to the LL handouts, or just had any sense of community, she would know all this and have talked her son into not throwing so hard. Apparently, she'd rather start a fight. This is where it got him. What do you want to bet that if he was white, this story never would have seen the light of day?