Today the Chicago Tribune
reported comments made by former Cubs manager Dusty Baker. When asked about reports that Sammy was juicing Dusty made a very human response, he pondered what he would tell his ten year-old son.
Anybody that visited this site in 2004 would tell you that I am not a fan of Dusty’s but I have to give the guy credit for crystallizing the problem here. What *do* you tell your son when so many of the better players of the modern area were found to be cheaters? I know what I would tell my son, I’d tell him that good sportsmanship is more important. 99.9% of the kids that play Little League, Babe Ruth or American Legion ball are not going on to Major League careers – these endeavors should teach young players a sense of values when it comes to sports (Joe should consider one day becoming a Little League coach for this reason.) If you do it right then maybe the youngster can take it with him into future life in other endeavors.
A young player should instinctively know that a win isn’t a win unless it’s fair and square. Accolades are not deserved if one has to cheat to get them. He or she should know that cheating not only dishonors one’s self, it also embarrasses every one on the team and the sport. I sometimes think that kids aren’t taught properly when it comes to sports – the coach is too focused on winning and insufficiently tasked on ideals such as building character, self-esteem, team spirit and good sportsmanship.
Is it any wonder that we see the kinds of stuff we are seeing now?