happened. Your job is to decide whether it should have.
In a nine- and
10-year-old PONY league championship game in Bountiful, Utah, the Yankees lead
the Red Sox by one run. The Sox are up in the bottom of the last inning, two
outs, a runner on third. At the plate is the Sox' best hitter, a kid named
Jordan. On deck is the Sox' worst hitter, a kid named Romney. He's a scrawny
cancer survivor who has to take human growth hormone and has a shunt in his
So, you're the
coach: Do you intentionally walk the star hitter so you can face the kid who
can barely swing?
Wait! Before you
answer.... This is a league where everybody gets to bat, there's a
four-runs-per-inning max, and no stealing until the ball crosses the plate. On
the other hand, the stands are packed and it is the title game.
So ... do you
pitch to the star or do you lay it all on the kid who's been through hell
Yanks coach Bob
Farley decided to walk the star.
The umpire, Mike Wright, thought to himself, Low-ball move. In the stands,
Romney's eight-year-old sister cried. "They're picking on Romney!" she
said. Romney struck out. The Yanks celebrated. The Sox moaned. The two coaching
staffs nearly brawled.
And Romney? He
sobbed himself to sleep that night.
"It made me
sick," says Romney's dad, Marlo Oaks. "It's going after the weakest
chick in the flock."
Farley and his
assistant coach, Shaun Farr, who recommended the walk, say they didn't know
Romney was a cancer survivor. "And even if I had," insists Farr,
"I'd have done the same thing. It's just good baseball strategy."