SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



It's called competition
By Dinah Pearson


July 18, 2006

I am always amazed when people believe everything they see written in a Sitnews' letter. I am also amazed when people mistake opting not to argue, with acknowledging error. Although, I have opinions about things recently posted about all-star baseball, I am smart enough to know that there is no convincing some people that their perception of reality is both skewed and paranoid. Be that as it may, and without lowering myself to dropping names all over Sitnews, I would like to respond to a couple of issues raised recently.

First and foremost, it has always been the technique of some parents to blame others for the tribulations that befall their children. My little boy didn't make all-stars so it must be the mean other children, the hateful coach, the malicious board members, the conniving district administrator, the spiteful official scorekeepe - anybody's fault but my kids. It is important to remember that when all-stars are drafted, issues other than talent are discussed. A very talented ballplayer would not be an asset to a team if his behavior is both uncontrollable, as well as cancerous to the rest of the team. There are numerous young men in the league that are talented and who manage to keep their conduct in line with what is expected of a traveling representative of Ketchikan.

All-Star selection is the culmination of a season long display of athletic aptitude, drive, desire, and sportsmanship. All-Stars are expected to encompass all these skills. No one is surprised that little Johnny who can't hit a ball off a tee, but is a nice boy with lots of team spirit, doesn't make all-stars. Why then do parents argue that a decent ballplayer with ongoing issues of behavior should make the team? It makes no sense. Furthermore, let me throw this out there, if an athlete has not made All-Stars for several years under several different coaches, several different sports on several different teams it MIGHT be time to start looking closer to home about what the problem may be.

Moving on.

While I care not to rehash Food-in-the-Dugout Gate with Mrs. Whitesides, I would like to at least comment on the fact that her representation of what transpired between herself and members of the board, myself included, is grossly inaccurate at best. However, that is a he-said, she-said, and would be unarguable to either side's satisfaction.

As far as the issue with coach selection for All-Stars, while I'm sure it's more comfortable to blame things like retribution, retaliation, and revenge it's more productive to deal with the facts, however distasteful they may be. Factually, the board selected a very dedicated, proficient, and knowledgeable All-Star manager that had just completed a season highlighting good sportsmanship, exhibitions of team work, fair play, integrity, love of the game, and appreciation for the competition of the sport. An argument that another coach didn't get picked because the board is mean well, it doesn't really stand up to the facts at hand.

Finally, the irony seems to be that the same situation that exists with children that blame others for not making the team exists with parents who need to place blame. It's not about being picked on. It's not about somebody not liking you. It's not about perceived political favors. It's not about everyone from Williamsport down to the concession stand being against you. Occasionally, you're just not the most qualified for the job. Period. There's nothing more to it. You can wrap it up and sugar coat it anyway you want to so your kid or your spouse can swallow it, but at the end of the day - you just weren't the most qualified. It's called competition.

Dinah Pearson
Ketchikan, AK - USA

About: "Resident of Ketchikan, mother of 5, fan of baseball, advocate of personal resposibility, and enthusiast of competition."



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