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Can Western Region do it again?

Once again, a Western Region team has a shot at winning the Little League World Series. Last year, Waipio, Hawaii won the championship. Now, Park View Little League of Chula Vista, California can bring it home.

I’ve been very impressed with Park View. They had a thrilling come-from-behind victory over favored Warner Robbins in the semis. In the United States championship, they topped a strong McAllister Park American team. 

Now they face Kuei-Shan in the finals. I’m a bit nervous about us facing a Taiwanese team in the championship. I still have memories of when Northwood Little League of Irvine, California (from our local district) lost to Taiwan in 1987.

Regardless of the outcome tomorrow, the fact that Park View made it this far is a tremendous accomplishment. I hope these kids can take at least a few moments before tomorrow’s game to savor their achievement, trade some pins, and have fun.

Good luck, Park View! All of us in Western Region will be rooting for you. 

(And if you live in Park View’s league boundaries, sign up for Winterball. How many kids can say that they play along side the United States Little League Champions!)

Things you don’t know about the Little League World Series

Little League World Series has begun in Williamsport, PA

Today, the Little League World Series began in South Williamsport (no, not Williamsport), Pennsylvania. Over the next few weeks, you’ll get to know all about Little League baseball. For example, you’ll learn that 12-year-old pitchers are limited to 85 pitches per game, runners can’t leave their base until a pitch crosses home plate, and every player must have one at bat and play three consecutive outs. There are some things you don’t know about Little League and that you might not hear about on ESPN. Read more »

A “code” of respect?

White Sox’ manager Ozzie Guillen recently threatened to retaliate against teams whose pitchers hit their batters. This seems like a brutal case of bad sportsmanship unless you read The Code: Baseball’s Unwritten Rules and Its Ignore-at-Your-Own-Risk Code of Conduct by Ross Bernstein. Then, baseball’s traditional “eye for an eye” method of policing proper conduct makes sense – but it’s not a world that youth baseball players should enter. Read more »

Town Hall Disruptions — Just Stop!

One of the things that makes democracy possible is the free and respectful exchange of ideas. This is why I’m appalled by disruptions of town hall meetings.

My disgust has nothing to do with my opinion about health care reform, although I don’t see why having a public option for health insurance is “tyranny.” Tyranny is one group of people try to impose their views on others through force and intimidation. I also don’t see why President Obama is a “fascist” for proposing changes in health care. Fascists in 1930s Germany stormed opposition party meetings and shouted down political opponents. They usually followed this with physical violence. Fortunately, these town hall disruptions haven’t denegrated to this level, but we’re getting dangerously close to that.

And don’t blow off my concerns by calling me a “liberal”. Liberal and conservative have nothing to do with this. What’s at stake is our Constitutional rights of freedom of speech and assembly.  Read more »

I don’t believe in them either

I’ve been reading I Don’t Believe in Atheists by Chris Hedges. I wanted to find out if his premise, the current generation of atheists like Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens is no better than the most extreme religious fundamentalists, is correct. So, I listened to They played a show that gushed praise on Thomas Jefferson for his rational thinking and Enlightenment values. This was followed by an interview with a leader of the “National Socialist Workers’ Party of America” on how he wants to “defend our proud Aryan race.” You win, Chris.

Read more »