Idiot Adults Playing Kids Games

The other day I came across an online piece and naturally, the embedded clip of a fight that broke out at a baseball game in the Alaska Baseball League.

Alaska LeagueI had never heard of the league, but now I know the league for a pretty good right cross thrown by one coach into the face of the other coach. Next year, if I want my MMA fix, maybe I’ll watch baseball from Alaska. Unlike MMA combatants, these two clowns would have run out of steam after a few minutes. Nevertheless, they did enough damage to the league and its reputation with their idiotic fistfight to last the next 12 months.

The argument started because the two coaches were arguing balls and strikes in the extra innings of a game no one will otherwise remember. They showed their young players how to talk baseball, all right. They showed them how men, who should be role models, behave when they disagree. They had the opportunity to make jackasses out of themselves, and they didn’t disappoint. They had no sense of ethics to the kids or parents, and so they took the opportunity to make the national news on their own.

Then last evening I read about a former treasurer of a New Jersey youth sports league who is heading to jail after being caught embezzling more than $100,000. The 43-year-old was awarded with a 60-day county jail term and five years of probation. He has already paid back $20,000 to the Flemington-Raritan Baseball League. He also owes a big chunk of change to an insurance company he apparently deceived as a result of the theft.

He took the money over a period of several years. No one knows why he took the money. He had the opportunity to steal and he didn’t disappoint. He had no sense of ethics to the kids or their parents. Now he has 60 days to think about his antics and a felony on his record. If he had a job, he will probably lose it. If he has a family or friends, he will probably lose them too. Worse, every adult and most probably, their kids know what he did as well.

Ethics and sports

I have two good friends who moved from Michigan to Nevada with their families; Gerry and Gordon. Between the two they have about 60 years’ worth of officiating at the high school and collegiate levels. Gerry’s specialty is baseball and women’s softball; Gordon does football and baseball. They are not youngsters by any stretch but I have no doubt they could officiate far into their 70s or early 80s. Gerry, especially, hits the gym every day.

This year both of them walked away from officiating. They had had it with helicopter parents, hot-headed coaches and low-level administrators who refuse to behave ethically and responsibly. Interestingly, they have the least problem with the athletes.

The question that arises is where in this chain of command are people who teach the teachers, coaches and administrators about making good choices on and off the field? How do we penalize parents who assault officials? How do we regulate the behavior of coaches who try to live out their MLB fantasies on the teenagers they coach?

What did the kids being instructed by the wannabe MLB coaches learn when those idiots were throwing punches? What did everyone learn when the league treasurer was siphoning off funds into his pocket?

Hopefully, they learned what I know for fact: when a lack of proper ethics training is in place, the outcome is unethical behavior. Guaranteed.


Chuck Gallagher

(828) 244-1400


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