FanDuel - WFBC

July 21, 2011

Pouting Kid Scores Free Baseball: A kid furiously pouted after losing a foul ball to an adult at the San Francisco Giants game Tuesday night, delighting TV announcers Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper. The decision to give the kid a free baseball has become a hot-button issue. "Did he deserve to get a handout from the Giants after his spoiled-brat reaction?" asks the San Francisco Chronicle, drawing more than 360 comments.

posted by rcade to baseball at 09:21 AM - 36 comments

She caught the ball and gave it to her boyfriend. I love kids, but sorry on this one it's as bad as a whiny kid at the checkout counter crying to Mom, "I want some candy!" over and over until Mom gives up and buys it to quiet the kid.

posted by jjzucal at 10:27 AM on July 21

There's no crying in baseball, but they never said anything about pouting.

posted by graymatters at 10:42 AM on July 21

Does that mean that this kid gets to kick Al Davis in the nuts?

posted by beaverboard at 10:47 AM on July 21

It makes it a better story that the Giants gave the kid the ball after all the attention they were giving him. I think a boy who looks about six years old failing to handle disappointment well is hardly an indication of him being a spoiled brat. It's a process, and he is learning, and his parents will teach him. I wasn't particularly impressed with how the adults who got the ball handled it either.

As far as all the comments go, sometimes people are really harsh any time they see a kid who doesn't behave just they way he/she ought to. That's just a part of growing up.

posted by bperk at 11:47 AM on July 21

What I like is that the kid next to him (described in the story as his brother, but it doesn't really look like that; looks like the guy on the left is the second kid's father) got a baseball also because of the way the pouty kid was acting. Reward for proximity.

posted by graymatters at 12:21 PM on July 21

I think the kid deserves a baseball for perfecting the merciless death glare.

posted by rcade at 12:46 PM on July 21

Didn't Roger McDowell already teach us all that Baseball isn't for children?

posted by Ufez Jones at 01:12 PM on July 21

I wasn't particularly impressed with how the adults who got the ball handled it either.

Why? It wasn't like they knew that the kid was gonna get all pouty and rubbed it in his pouty little face, he didn't even attempt to reach for the ball to begin with.

Damn kid was being childish anyways ...er, nevermind!

Seriously though, I wouldn't have given the kid a baseball just because he was upset. Kids need to learn at an early age that they don't always get what they want especially if they get all mad about it and he was a classic example of that. The dad should've said thanks but no thanks.

posted by BornIcon at 02:00 PM on July 21

Kids need to learn at an early age that they don't always get what they want especially if they get all mad about it and he was a classic example of that. The dad should've said thanks but no thanks.

Kids do learn at an early age that they don't get everything they want. I'm quite sure this kid has a bed time, limits on junk food, required bathing, and limits on television. Making reality even more harsh by denying the kid a ball that was offered is just mean. I thought the dad handled it fine. Presumably, he will discuss it with his kid later, and remind him how he should have handled it. The dad didn't need to escalate the situation on principle.

posted by bperk at 02:29 PM on July 21

he didn't even attempt to reach for the ball to begin with.

Exactly. Why was he even pouting?

posted by Bernreuther at 03:17 PM on July 21

Kids do learn at an early age that they don't get everything they want.

Not this kid, he pouted until he got a ball.

Making reality even more harsh by denying the kid a ball that was offered is just mean.

Mean? It's called reality and reality isn't always rainbows and butterflies. But hey, it's a kid so let's let this one slide.

Also, how do you figure that it's 'denying the kid a ball' when he didn't even going after the foul ball to begin with?

posted by BornIcon at 03:47 PM on July 21

Also, how do you figure that it's 'denying the kid a ball' when he didn't even going after the foul ball to begin with?

You said the dad should have said no when the team offered him the ball. That is denying him the ball, and doing it for no other reason than wanting to teach the kid a lesson more harshly. I just think it is unnecessary and an overreaction to the situation.

The kid pouting in this situation does not mean he gets everything he wants. Kids are works in progress. Sometimes they deal well with disappointment; sometimes they don't. You can't judge his whole character based on this one incident.

posted by bperk at 04:02 PM on July 21

You can't judge his whole character based on this one incident.

I'm not, I'm only stating my opinion about this one incident.

If little Jimmy went after the ball instead of sitting there expecting the ball to come to him, I would sort of agree to let the kid have a ball. I just don't think that any kid should be given something they don't deserve simply because they're having a temper tantrum.

Then again, I forget that we're now in a age where every kid gets a trophy at the end of a sports season because hey, we're all winners.

posted by BornIcon at 04:08 PM on July 21

I just don't think that any kid should be given something they don't deserve simply because they're having a temper tantrum.

I agree. As a parent, I wouldn't do it. However, if someone else gave the kid something, you are actually doing more than just not giving them something. Whether that is a wise course of action depends on the kid and the situation. In this case, depriving the kid of the rare opportunity to get the ball from the team is just too harsh for my parenting style.

Then again, I forget that we're now in a age where every kid gets a trophy at the end of a sports season because hey, we're all winners.

I don't know why people make such a big deal about this. Do people really believe that team sports should give trophies to the best kids on the teams? You spend the whole season teaching kids in team sports that individual accomplishments don't matter, then you reward only the best individual accomplishments? What's the point of sabotaging your lessons on team sports and winning by having a trophy ceremony that rewards just the opposite of what you were trying to teach the kids. Should the Olympics stop awarding loser medals like the silver and bronze?

posted by bperk at 04:26 PM on July 21

Does that mean that this kid gets to kick Al Davis in the nuts?

posted by beaverboard at 10:47 AM on July 21

All upset over the Raiders and the kid is wearing a Bears t-shirt! LOL Go figure.

bperk I am going to have to go with BornIcon on this. You don't think he hasn't filed his actions away for further reference? Reward him once for behavior like this and he will do it again. We are talking re-enforcement here. Next time it will be worse behavior to get something he wants.

Yes, the better players on kids sports teams should get recognized. It should make the kids who didn't get a trophy want to try harder next year. Where is the motivation to be "the best that you can be" when you get a reward for sitting on the bench? You know, the whole "Rocky" thing. It didn't matter that he lost, he knew he gave it his all and he went the distance.

Part of the team thing is learning to be a gracious loser too. There are always going to be winners and somebody has to lose. There are always going to be people better than you (not you personally) and people not as good as you.

The Olympics are different. They don't give medals to every person who participated in a particular event.

Some kids are well adjusted, some aren't. It seems the numbers of "aren't" are increasing. I see it everyday.

posted by steelergirl at 04:45 PM on July 21

Should the Olympics stop awarding loser medals like the silver and bronze?

I'm guessing that maybe you don't have kids. In many youth leagues, EVERY kid, on EVERY team, gets a trophy at the end of the season. Kid that barely shows up for games, let alone practice, is a poor sport, and his team loses every game, still gets the trophy. Some coaches add to this by giving out game balls to the outstanding player of the game, but then cheapening it by ensuring that every kid gets a game ball during the season. "today's game ball goes to Kyle for showing great intensity while striking out 4 times, and for quickly chasing down the 10 ground balls that went between his legs out in right field" (ok, the coach probably said "for showing a lot of intensity and for not giving up on any play")

But back to this story. 1) The kid didn't even make a decent attempt to catch the ball, so why is he upset? The ball never made it to his row, so enough with him, it's not like some guy pushed him out of the way in order to get the ball. 2) I think his Dad handled it fine. You can see him telling the boy something to the effect of "no, you didn't catch the ball, you don't get one". I don't think it's fair to expect the Dad to tell the Giants no thanks to their offer of a free ball, that makes Dad a meanie...he can reinforce the lesson on the way home.

The two boys are definitely not brothers.

posted by dviking at 04:59 PM on July 21

The day Ivan Rodriguez tossed me a baseball felt like the best day of my life. It is still one of my favorite pro baseball memories even though I couldn't tell you who the Tigers were playing that day. My brother was distraught when I got the baseball, and why not? What kid doesn't dream of catching a baseball when going to a baseball game?

This kid is obviously very young, but still evidently has the same dream. Does anyone think he could have caught the ball if it had come right to him? More likely it would have broken his nose. The fact that he was so close to a caught baseball is obviously upsetting.

I think it was nice of the Giants to offer the baseball after the attention they gave him on the broadcast, and I think it was right of the dad to accept it. Remember, this is one incident. I highly doubt it has all of a sudden taught the kid that he can get anything he wants if he pouts long enough. If one incident has that power then his perceptions will quickly change the next time his dad doesn't buy him a candy bar at the grocery store.

Also, the other kid sitting there scored big time.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:30 PM on July 21

I'm guessing that maybe you don't have kids. In many youth leagues, EVERY kid, on EVERY team, gets a trophy at the end of the season

Well, you'd be wrong. Everyone on my child's U7 soccer team got a trophy last year. When a kid (sometimes my kid) didn't show up for practice, it was because of the parents not the kid. I still don't see why anyone cares that kids get trophies for playing. Some kids have been playing soccer for years and play all the time with their older siblings. They are better than the kids who are new to soccer and don't have older siblings or parents playing with them. What would be the point in separating the kids that are good at soccer from the kids that are bad at soccer at such a young age? The kids who are "bad" won't necessarily stay bad, unless they decide not to play anymore. The kids who are "good" won't necessarily stay good. The coaches are reinforcing that team sports are supposed to be fun, that the kids are a team for good and bad at this age. They don't even have winners and losers yet, and I think that is just fine. Sports can be about having fun and about getting exercise. Winning and losing or seeing who is best are not the only reasons people play sports. Why do over-competitive parents want to ruin sports for kids at younger and younger ages?

I've yet to see any kid decide not to play because they'd get a trophy anyway. It's a made-up, over-concerned adult myth. Oh, the next generation is ruined because coaches and parents care about their self-esteem blah blah blah.

posted by bperk at 05:58 PM on July 21

And even worse, now the kid is famous besides.

Wait till he pulls that pose on a date someday after he finds out that buying a large pizza and a pitcher of beer aren't enough to guarantee him VIP access to the land of magic.

Moral of the story: you don't want any of your family members appearing on screen during a game under any circumstances. If you must attend a MLB game, put 'em all in burqas. Even the boys.

posted by beaverboard at 05:58 PM on July 21

I don't know why people make such a big deal about this.

People love to parent other people's children from afar.

I wouldn't deny my kid a baseball offered to him out of the blue because the TV cameras happened to see him. It's a one-in-a-million circumstance.

posted by rcade at 07:15 PM on July 21

More child baseball drama.

posted by rcade at 08:31 PM on July 21

well, bperk, then your Olympic medal comparison seems even more misguided, but, whatever.

I'm good with giving every kid recognition plaques for participation, trophies just seem over the top, as does the game ball recognition for every kid. If the "every kid gets a trophy" was just for the 6 year olds, maybe I'd be okay with it, however, it extends far too long, at least where I live.

As to practice, I know on the teams I coached it wasn't always the parent's fault a kid didn't show. At the time we lived in a town where the kids could bike to the ball fields, and I'd see Kyle (yes, his real name) playing at the neighborhood park as I drove home. I always coached my teams with the philosophy that every kid that put in the effort got to play, and that learning solid fundamentals meant way more than winning. Took heat from parents for taking the obviously more skilled kids out in the third inning of a close games, so I get your points, just think there's a time for kids to learn that baseball, like life, isn't always fair.

posted by dviking at 09:16 PM on July 21

I don't see why kids should age out of participation trophies. What's the worry? It's just recognizing their efforts as a team. The coach says something nice about each kid. They have a little team celebration, and it's over. Everyone goes home happy thinking that sports are fun.

As to practice, it is the parent's responsibility to make sure their children are where they ought to be until they are old enough to handle that responsibility for themselves. So, if you let the average kid go to the playground after school, the chances that he is going to watch the clock and make it to practice aren't very good. And, if you gave him that responsibility and he missed practice, then he wouldn't have that responsibility anymore. I still hold the parents responsible.

Generally, I don't worry about kids learning that life/baseball/sports isn't fair or that life is harsh or any of that. They learn it young and often, and they are going to learn these lessons whether you hand out trophies or game balls like candy. Parents and coaches should teach them to cope with that difficulty instead of creating it for them.

posted by bperk at 12:12 PM on July 22

Some coaches add to this by giving out game balls to the outstanding player of the game, but then cheapening it by ensuring that every kid gets a game ball during the season.

my kid is in a very competitive 7U baseball league and even we get game balls and each player on the team gets one by the end of the year. And yes, by the end of the season the coach has to "stretch" to come up with a good reason why little Joey got the game ball when he went 0-4, but he's due. I'm with bperk..what is the issue with that? Just because we, as kids, didn't all get trophy's in this manner doesn't mean it's some emotionally destroying activity and going to ruin these kids futures because of it.

Let the kids be kids. Believe me, my group of boys are learning competitiveness (uber competitive actually), hard work, sportsmanship, and teamsmanship and the fact that little Joey got a ball when he didn't fully deserve one isn't exactly derailing any of that...it just puts a smile on little Joey's face and gives him a few hours of pride.

posted by bdaddy at 12:19 PM on July 22

Even more child baseball drama.

posted by NoMich at 01:39 PM on July 22

Even more child baseball drama.

That's crazy. Then, her friends are going to high-five her after she stole the ball out of the kid's hands.

posted by bperk at 02:33 PM on July 22

I'm quite sure this kid has a bed time, limits on junk food, required bathing, and limits on television.

Even in my limited dealings with kids I know this isn't always true.

Then again, I forget that we're now in a age where every kid gets a trophy at the end of a sports season because hey, we're all winners.

I had no idea this was true. Way back in 1976 I received the most valuable player award for my tea ball team, bicentennial stars and stripes on the base and everything. Still the crowning achievement of my sporting career, I'm very grateful it wasn't cheapened by giving those others munchkins credit they didn't deserve.

Let the kids be kids. Believe me, my group of boys are learning competitiveness (uber competitive actually), hard work, sportsmanship, and teamsmanship and the fact that little Joey got a ball when he didn't fully deserve one isn't exactly derailing any of that...it just puts a smile on little Joey's face and gives him a few hours of pride.

I would counter that giving trophies out to every kid to protect their self esteem is in fact the exact opposite of letting 'kids be kids'.

posted by justgary at 04:57 PM on July 22

Still the crowning achievement of my sporting career, I'm very grateful it wasn't cheapened by giving those others munchkins credit they didn't deserve.

It was T ball. The goal of early sports is to make kids want to keep playing them. Even the ones who aren't very good yet.

I just watched my nephew play T ball. Numerous adults stood in the field of play helping their kids figure out what to do. The only hope of getting an out was if the pitcher got the ball and a runner was coming in from third who could be forced out at home.

I don't know if every one of the munchkins got a trophy, but I hope they did.

posted by rcade at 05:57 PM on July 22

It was T ball.

Sometimes the moment chooses you. I can not help the fact that I peaked early.

Numerous adults stood in the field of play helping their kids figure out what to do. The only hope of getting an out was if the pitcher got the ball and a runner was coming in from third who could be forced out at home.

This doesn't jive with my memories. Of course, I may be biased. But there were definitely no adults standing in the field.

I don't know if every one of the munchkins got a trophy, but I hope they did.

No, they didn't. I played baseball (starting with t-ball) from age 5 to 20 and I've never been a part of a league that handed out trophies in that manner. I have no problem with the fact that it appears in 2011 every child gets a trophy. However, it seems it's much more adult driven than anything else.

The kids don't need trophies to have a great time, and they're smart enough to know that if every kid gets a trophy there's not much of a point. A kid can learn that teamwork is important, that playing to the best of your ability is all you can ask, that there's more than winning and losing, and still deal with trophies going to the winner.

Maybe I'm giving kids too much credit, but I doubt it.

posted by justgary at 07:55 PM on July 22

Sometimes the moment chooses you. I can not help the fact that I peaked early.

I would Favorite that comment if it was possible.

The kids don't need trophies to have a great time, and they're smart enough to know that if every kid gets a trophy there's not much of a point.

That didn't seem to be my experience watching the munchkins, who were around four. A handful of players knew enough to be competitive. A few others could go through the motions. The rest were daydreaming and you hoped they wouldn't be clobbered by a ball.

But as a fellow small child playing baseball in the '70s, I know our level of play was a lot higher.

posted by rcade at 08:01 PM on July 22

bperk and bdaddy, I have no problem with 7 year old's getting a participation plaque (not a trophy) but it doesn't stop there. This goes on for many years past that age, at least to 11, which is the last year my son played rec baseball.

As to no harm in giving every kid a game ball, at age 6 or 7 fine, beyond that all the kids figure out the hypocrisy and I would bet that some of the undeserving kids don't even want the damn ball.

No adults except the maybe 18 year old coach in the field when I played T-ball. Not a big fan of the helicopter parent or the "daddy ball" coaches.

posted by dviking at 11:24 PM on July 22

As to no harm in giving every kid a game ball, at age 6 or 7 fine...

Former MLB player Mike Lowell seems to have the right idea about youth and rewards (from a Boston Globe article by Nicole Auerbach):

"The T-ball 6-and-under Texas Rangers went undefeated," Lowell said. "I was the assistant coach. ... We don't keep score, so I tell the kids they win every game, which is perfect. I think they were worried about, 'Where's the pizza and juice?' more than who's up at bat."

posted by Howard_T at 02:35 PM on July 23

my tea ball team

Clearly this is a Southern Thang.

posted by yerfatma at 06:13 PM on July 23

That would be a sweet tea ball team then.

posted by NoMich at 06:17 PM on July 23

That didn't seem to be my experience watching the munchkins, who were around four. A handful of players knew enough to be competitive. A few others could go through the motions. The rest were daydreaming and you hoped they wouldn't be clobbered by a ball.

That sounds about right to me. Four might be pushing it, but by ages five and definitely six it's apparent, just as it is at any level, who the better players are.

From reading this thread, times have definitely changed. We also received a star on our sleeves for every good play we made (similar to what college football players have on their helmets). So some players had a sleeve of stars, and some had one or two. Looking back, that was probably a little rough.

But as a fellow small child playing baseball in the '70s, I know our level of play was a lot higher.

Couldn't it have been though? If more kids today are pushed towards football, basketball, and soccer... if baseball has lost popularity, then I can certainly see the level of play being higher than it is today. Not because we were better athletes, but because of less players.

"The T-ball 6-and-under Texas Rangers went undefeated," Lowell said. "I was the assistant coach. ... We don't keep score, so I tell the kids they win every game, which is perfect. I think they were worried about, 'Where's the pizza and juice?' more than who's up at bat."

Yeah, that sounds dandy. And I have little doubt most 6 year old kids are more interested in pizza than sports. But telling kids they win every game? Sorry, they're not buying it. Sounds great though.

That would be a sweet tea ball team then.

Sidenote: can't get sweet tea in new orleans. Strange, but not surprising.

posted by justgary at 12:57 AM on July 24

can't get sweet tea in new orleans

Popeyes has it now, oddly the jug has in big red letters "Cane" sweet tea. Odd to me because Cane's is one of their biggest competitors, and Cane's uses big red letters in their sign. There the week of Bastille Day, hot, but fun.

The kids are only more interested in the pizza and juice if the coaches/parents make that a bigger part of the day than the game. The guys I coached with worked hard to not have that happen. No food/drinks (other than water or sports drinks) in the dugout, and healthy snacks after games. I know, pretty hard core a-holes. We did catch it from several parents when we refused to let them give little Jimmy an ice cream cone right after a game, and a few that we scolded for trying to sneak Jimmy candy during a game. We had a few pizza parties, but those were scheduled after practices, not games. Rewarded those that made it to practice. Some moms took their kids to other teams, most dads were okay with us.

posted by dviking at 02:33 PM on July 24

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