You can take our Wiffle Ball, but you can’t take our Freedom

With apologies to Defiantly Dutch, who would assuredly disagree (thanks for the plug, Double D), what the hell is wrong with Connecticut these days? Earlier this summer you had some overly aggressive moneyed homeowners in Greenwich trying to shut down Wiffle ball-playing teens and kick them back into the Great Indoors where they apparently belong.

Now we’ve got a youth baseball league in New Haven booting a 9-year-old pitcher and probably his entire team because he’s too good a hurler.

After reading about these back-to-back fiascoes, I have to ask, why doesn’t Massachusetts annex the Northwest Corner and add it to the Berkshires and let tiny Rhode Island have everything else from this crazy state? (In a battle of disgraced politicians, I’ll take Providence’s Buddy Cianci over former Connecticut Gov. Rowland.)

Let’s see, here are some things that Connecticut cursed us with: the Hartford Whalers, Joe Lieberman, Carl Pavano, Benedict Arnold, and the movie Mystic Pizza.

Good things to come out of the Nutmeg State? (nicknamed after something you put in your apple cider, I might add.) You have Katharine Hepburn, no arguing that. I’m OK with Meg Ryan, too. Wiffle Ball itself was alleged to have been invented in Fairfield. And then, … um, the Danbury Mall was pretty cool for a week in, like, 1987 (this once was the site of an even cooler fairgrounds). That’s about it.

And, no, I didn’t forget the worst offender in Connecticut’s lineage — no, not the various other corrupt elected officials from the self-named Constitution State. It’s that all-consuming monolithic sports Galactus in Bristol.

I love this quote from the AP story on the 9-year-old pitcher:

League officials say they first told Vidro that the boy could not pitch after a game on Aug. 13. Jericho played second base the next game on Aug. 16. But when he took the mound Wednesday, the other team walked off and a forfeit was called.

League officials say Jericho’s mother became irate, threatening them and vowing to get the league shut down.

“I have never seen behavior of a parent like the behavior Jericho’s mother exhibited Wednesday night,” Noble said.

Um, you think she was irate? Hey, I can’t stand most kid-sports parents — even if they’re not the infamous hockey dad, I think most parents should be banned from watching their kids play as soon as they start doing more than cheer their daughters and sons and begin commenting, criticizing and, hell, even speaking anything other than “Yay.” But if I was this mom and they kicked my kid out because he threw too fast, yeah, I’d go apeshit too. Not hitting-people-apeshit — you can’t condone that. But there would be some raised voices, yes.

More coverage.


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