Sports Revelation

The connection between Little League coaches cheating and a 19 year-old multimillionaire

Recently I read an article about the Boston Red Sox signing the next great Cuban baseball player, Yoan Moncada. Moncada, who is just 19, is a highly rated prospect and the scouts agree is he a 5-tool player.  He has yet to be on the field for a single pitch in America but the Red Sox seem to think he is worth $30 million dollars. My initial reaction was, “Good for this young man,” but something deep in recesses of my brain was nagging me.

Redsox logo

With the help of the goodness from a few bold, hoppy, IPA’s, I realized what was nagging me. I realized that this story is just another example of how society is acceptable with sports teams winning at all costs. In this example, the cost is $30 million guaranteed to a relative unproven player. Sport fans, baseball analysts, and the talking heads of sports channels all are in agreement this was a great deal for the Red Sox. We are talking about giving $30 million dollars to a 19 year old?! It’s funny, and sad, that we have gotten used to this type of mega-million dollar deals in sports.

As fans, we have become obsessed with winning. This obsession can be seen in stories about fans and their behavior towards our favorite professional and college sports teams. Now the obsession is overflowing into our children’s sports. We have allowed the “winning is everything” mentality to infect the organizations set up to teach our children good sportsmanship, hard work, integrity, etc. Sports can give our kids such fundamentals as confidence, friendship, and discipline. However, when the adult leadership waivers and solely focuses on winning we get stories like that of the 2014 Jackie Robinson West Little League team.

Why would these coaches have cheated? The grown adults in charge of this team of 11-12 year olds made the decision because the benefits outweighed the risk. Winning and success in sports leads to fame, notoriety, and money. And the risk of getting caught was only losing everything positive these young boys had worked so hard to accomplish. In the end, the coaches took the risk and cheated, focusing on winning instead of the very fundamentals the Little League strives to teach.

America loves winners. As sports fans we go along with outlandish contracts with starry eyes filled with visions of championships. But here’s another truth, owners want to make money. The owners understand the desire in which the fans want their teams to win, and the owners exploit us for this reason. Owners count on fans overlooking players’ monster contracts and off the field incidents to focus on wins. However, owners can only offer large contracts if they, the owners, are making money. And we, the fans, have a say in this matter.

As fans, when we continue to purchase merchandise and buy tickets, we pump cash back into the owners’ pockets. In return, the owners have the ability to invest outrageous money on contracts for individual players. In the end, the world continues to spin. We have an authorized team-logo’d hat, and the team owner is offering a 19 year old a $30 million contract while still turning a profit. I think both these stories, a $30 million contract to a 19 year old and Little League coaches cheating, attest to how far individuals will go to succeed and win in sports. I think both are irresponsible and I hope I am not the only one.

Long live sport and integrity. Enjoy sport responsibly!






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