Wait until Bryce Harper hears about this …
A resounding 11-0 win by Hamilton West Side in the Ohio Little League championship over the weekend was overshadowed somewhat by the ejection of West Side player Jordan Jones.
What did the 12-year-old do? He flipped his bat after hitting a home run in the fourth inning.
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Rick Cassano of the Hamilton Journal-News and Cox Media Group Ohio talked to coaches from each side, and they perhaps predictably did not agree about the punishment.
“Did JJ make a mistake? He definitely overdid it,” West Side coach Tim Nichting said. “I’m not going to say he didn’t, but man, it’s hard. I’ve got pretty good control of my 12-year-old kids … sometimes emotion overtakes them. Everybody was feeding off JJ. That’s JJ’s job.”
Canfield coach Kevin Burdette countered that Little League is the time to establish what is appropriate and what is not.
“This is the age where you teach the kids so they become responsible adults,” Burdette said. “You can’t toss a bat that far. Anybody that watches baseball knows you can’t do that. The young man was taught a little bit of a lesson today, and I hope he learns from it because it was the right decision.”
For his part, Jones seemed surprised.
“I was like, ‘Dude, what the heck,’ ” Jones said. “I was just happy because everybody was talking like I was going to hit a bomb in the championship game, so to do that, that was nice. I was excited, and Canfield thought they were going to beat us two games in a row. That wasn’t happening … take their hearts out.”
Instead, the rules mean Jones is out for a game as West Side advances to the Great Lakes Regional in Indianapolis in two weeks.
In the meantime, we’ll be interested to see what fallout there might be in a time when Little League World Series exposure seems to continue to grow thanks to ESPN, as does the battle between new school and old school in baseball.
Harper has made news this year with his, “Make Baseball Fun Again,” campaign, one that might be a little tongue-in-cheek but has some merit regardless.
Among those on board are Reds star Joey Votto.
We’re pretty sure we know where Jose Batista stands, too.