More Shocking Relevations in Little League Cheating Case
It appears perhaps the entire District, and ones around it, are corrupt. Or, is this just an example of what happens all over the country?
SB Nation writer Marc Normandin has written an excellent article detailing WHO was the driving force behind Jackie Robinson West's being found guilty of using players from outside their district and ultimately having their U.S. Little League World Series title stripped. The Chicago team had to forfeit all games using the illegal players who were recruited to form a superteam.
Normandin reports that a neighboring league, Evergreen Park, who is also a Chicago-based Little League District, gathered the details about JRW using players recruited from outside their legal district.
But as Normandin also noted, Evergreen Park themselves were caught in 2011 recruiting players. Cannon Young said her son Jacoby was recruited by the "whistleblowers" (Evergreen Park) to play on their team even though he lives on the South Side of Chicago - well outside Evergeen Park's boundaries. Young said she thought nothing of it, she was told just to use a different address they supplied her and it would be ok.
Normandin also points out that revenge may have been on Evergreen Park's mind in tattling on JRW. It seems last year, in the sectional playoffs prior to regionals, Evergreen Park sustained a 43-2 beating at the hands of the eventual U.S. champions - yup, Jackie Robinson West.
Normandin says while some thought Evergreen Park was just trying to protect the integrity of the game by snitching on JRW, he thinks the Park coaches had that defeat on their mind when they supplied the first pieces of evidence to national Little League officials.
Major League pitcher Mark Mulder, who hailed from a nearby community, was quoted as saying JRW has been pulling recruiting stunts like this ever since he was in Little League - which is quite a few years ago.
While this sounds like a sordid soap opera, there's a deeper message here.
Normandin's point here is that when it comes to regional and national tournaments, possible TV time, on ESPN or elsewhere, and exposure to potential college or even professional scouts, the stakes go up. Youth and teen baseball often stops being about sunshine and fun and the adults make it a deadly, cutthroat, serious competition.
He says not every team across America cheats, but enough of them do, because sometimes in order to "make sure" you have the best chance to win, cheating is what is done in sports.
To read this entire excellent article, click here.