Friday, February 12, 2016

Run That By Me Again

You may remember that in 2014, the Little League Baseball team Jackie Robinson West, out of some pretty tough neighborhoods in Chicago, won the Little League World Series.

You may also remember that starting late in 2014 and going into 2015, allegations began to surface that JRW had used players who did not live in its designated areas and were thus ineligible. Eventually, Little League Baseball concluded that some of the JRW players should not have been on the team and stripped it of its title.

So now in 2016, we have the lawsuits. Specifically, we have a lawsuit from the parents of some of the JRW players against Little League Baseball, ESPN, ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith and the guy who works for suburban Little Leagues who is supposed to have blown the whistle on the matter. The suit alleges that these people knew about the residency questions but did nothing and continued to use the JRW team and its great story to enrich themselves. The plaintiffs, who include the JRW coach, are asking for monetary damages and reinstatement of the 2014 title.

What's interesting to me in scanning the lawsuit (it's available at the bottom of the story on the DNAInfo site) is that there's no flat-out denial of the allegations -- unless I missed it. Which means that the people suing are essentially saying, "Well, even if we cheated you already knew about it and didn't stop it, so give us back our trophy and pay us some money."

It's going to take more than instant replay to help me figure this one out.

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