GLENN: One thing that we all have to promise ourselves is that we're going to now get involved and we're not going to take it anymore. We're not going to sit idly by and say, I'm not going to cause any trouble. We have to speak our mind. We have to stand up for what is right. We also have to change our own lives personally. We all have to say, I'm not going to tell on a lie to myself, to my family, to any business. I'm going to be honest in all of my business dealings. I'm going to pay my taxes fairly. I'm going to do I'm going to do all the things that will keep me on the right side of things, but then I am going to speak out and I'm not going to take it anymore. Pat's had this decision to make. He's just recently moved from Texas to the New York area where things are slightly different in the New York area than they are in Texas.
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GLENN: Especially when it comes to raising kids and standards of what you do. For instance, competition.
PAT: Yeah. I've got my kids in baseball and they've been in baseball for a really long time and I went to a Little League meeting. This was about I don't know a month and a half ago. It was before the season started. The season is going on now, but before the season started, they had a parents meeting. The kids weren't invited and we just got together in this high school auditorium and get the baseball season and lay it all out. And I couldn't wait because, you know, it's been a while since we've been able to play baseball, between the move and getting settled here and it's just been a hassle. So, I was really psyched about it and here's our first baseball meeting and then they laid out the season. Now, keep in mind my son who's 12 plays in the highest level of Little League. He's in the majors division.
GLENN: So, he's an elitist.
PAT: He's an elitist.
GLENN: He's had opportunity others haven't had.
GLENN: I understand that.
PAT: To some of the kids on the team, but that's kind of their mind set. When I got the call, I was a little I was a little perplexed pause they said, Now, your son wasn't here for tryouts. So, how would you describe his playing ability? And I told them and I said, Why? Isn't there a draft? Oh, no. There's no draft. We're just trying to make sure all the teams are as equal as possible. Okay. I just let that one slide.
Glenn: Uh huh. Well, you didn't know for sure.
PAT: I didn't know. I didn't know for sure. I just thought, well, they just want good competition. That's fine. So, I'm there in the auditorium. There's probably 150, 200 parents and he lays out the whole season and in the majors, in the highest division of Little League baseball, they're not going to keep track of standings for anybody's record during the course of the whole regular season. I think we play 16 games. They're not keeping track and they're going on and on and on. Nobody is saying anything. I'm looking around thinking, what?
GLENN: Am I alone? The answer is Yes.
PAT: So, then they finally get to the question and answer session and they any questions? I'm way up at the top and they call on me and I stand up and I said, Did I misunderstand? Are you saying there are no standings kept during the entire regular season in the majors division? Yes. Uh huh. Why? Like, well, I that's my question. Why?
PAT: Why wouldn't you keep track?
GLENN: What did she say?
PAT: Her actual answer to me, one of the other officials stood up and said, Well, we want to make sure that at the end of the season, all of our teams are basically 500. Wait a minute. So, wait a minute. Your goal for everybody during the course of the year, for my son included, at the end of the year is total mediocrity? You want them all to be 500 on the season? That's your goal? Well, no. We don't put it like that.
GLENN: I know you don't put it that way.
PAT: I'm sure you don't, but that's what our striving for, complete and utter mediocrity. Well, that's what the playoffs are for. Well, whose the regular season for? What are you doing all year, by teaching them that competition is not important, that they shouldn't be striving for excellence, that they're not supposed to get better?
GLENN: Did you say all of this?
PAT: I said up to the point of, yeah, what's the rest of the regular season for. And then I'm looking around for help and I'm thinking, Okay, somebody's going to join me. Not one parent stood up and supported me on that. Not one. They're all okay with it. They're all, like, yeah, this is what we do here. What's your problem? What? Are you from Texas? Well, yes. In Texas, where we have lesion that keep track of the scores and the standings during tee ball games! Tee gall, five year olds. I walked by a tee ball you know, they have a separate little field in Texas, in Houston, for tee ball fields and I walk by the I walk by that field and the scoreboard, 32 29. I mean, they just they keep score and they keep track. It's the only place in the world that I know of that keeps track of tee ball.
GLENN: Here's the thing. When my daughters were playing tee ball, I had this conversation: Why, why are we going to tee ball? And my wife said, Well, so the kids can go play baseball. Uh huh. I don't know much about sports, but this doesn't resemble baseball at all.
PAT: You're exactly right.
GLENN: And she said, what are you talking about?
PAT: It's worthless.
GLENN: And I said, the first time, the first time I went, everybody gets a home run. In the tee ball, the way it was structured, everyone gets to home.
PAT: Uh huh, yeah. If you get thrown out at first, which is rare, but if you do, you can still stay on base.
GLENN: Yeah. And I said
Pat: Oh, yeah. You didn't know that. Oh, yeah, if you get thrown out at first, they leave you there because they don't want to hurt your feelings.
GLENN: I said, this is the most ridiculous well, it's teaching them how to play. Kids don't need to be taught how to play! Do you want to do this? Let's go outside and play! This is structured nonsense.
STU: Yes, but if you don't have tee ball for really small kids, they'll never hit the ball and the game will last forever. It's, like, you don't put a kid on a fast motorcycle. You put them on training wheels for a little while.
GLENN: I have no problem with the tee ball. I get that.
PAT: But go by the rules of the game. That was always my thing.
GLENN: Yeah. Somebody puts it you're playing you're a five year old, but you're playing against other five year olds.
PAT: Yes, yes.
Glenn: So, everybody's skill sucks. You know? If I'm going up to even I could get a home run every time if my skill level oh, no. I can't use that. Okay. If you're going in to play against the five year olds, then we balance the game maybe.
GLENN: Because the five year olds are going to go, What are we doing?
GLENN: But there's no sense in any of this. I don't understand how we are we are teaching our children from the beginning that competition is bad.
PAT: Exactly right. And that's you know, it's somewhat understandable because you can make the case, well, they're five and you don't want to get them too excited about the competition right away, but these are 11 and 12 years old in the major division of the highest level of Little League and you're still giving them that nonsense?
GLENN: Hang on. I just want you to I just wanted you to know a couple of things. When I was at the first game of tee ball and I'm complaining that it was this is ridiculous, this is ridiculous, that's when a parent stood up and was, like, screaming at their five year old, hurry up. Don't drop the ball! And I heard this about three times and I finally looked at the guy and I said, Jack, the score's going to end tied. I don't know if you figured that one out yet. Relax. I mean, you know, there's something to be said for competition and then it's also there's a few of the parents that you're, like, relax.
Pat: Very true.
GLENN: And that's the balance. Everything is about balance. It really is. Are unions bad? No. Are companies bad? No. Are there bad unions? Yes. Bad companies? Yes. When do they usually go bad? When they've lost all balance, when they're just in it for themselves and that's it.
STU: But this is to typical about how we've decided as a society to handle these problems. Here is the central government, essentially, the league management, trying to legislate out bad parents. You can't do that by changing the score and removing that stuff. The people are still there.
GLENN: I know that you you need to start a you need to find some like minded parents.
PAT: I know. I know. I've been thinking about that.
GLENN: You need to write a letter in the editor in the paper and say, What's the deal? Don't use your real name. But what's the deal? Anybody want to contact me? This P. O. box. (Laughter.)