Just when I think I’ve seen it all in youth sports, I witness something new that boggles my mind. Earlier this summer in a Minor League baseball game, three eight and nine-year-olds all ended up on third base with one out. Technically, had there been no outs, it would have been an unassisted triple play.
As it was, two outs were called and the inning (and rally) ended. The good news is that coaches, parents and the umpire handled it with grace and mercy towards the three first and second year players. It became a teaching moment. But it was something in playing and watching baseball for almost 60 years, I had never seen before.
Roll ahead to last Saturday and a U8 baseball tournament in Grimes where my grandson was doing weekend duty. In the first inning his pitcher started the game with two strikeouts, throwing maybe eight pitches. “Wow!” I thought. “Baseball is breaking out.”
Then he walked a kid on four pitches, walked another kid on four pitches and hit the next kid to load the bases. His accuracy didn’t improve and he proceeded to hit four more batters straight. He hit them in the back, on the ankle, in the arm and two in the head. As a former pitcher, my heart was breaking for the kid.
Then the parents got involved. The mother of the pitcher was yelling at the umpire because the opposing players she thought were crowding the plate. In fact, in this rare instance, they could have been standing in their own dugouts and been hit with a pitch. Parents on the other side were complaining the pitcher was intentionally hitting batters.
Really? An eight-year-old intentionally beaning opposing players? To what end? A grandmother on our side shouted, “I’ll beat you’re a—!” to an opposing parent. On the fifth kid hit a dad on the opposing side yelled, “Throw him out!”
At that point I wanted to join the crazed grandmother and take on the idiot dad who reasoned an eight-year-old needed to be ejected from a game because he couldn’t throw strikes. If that were the measure of allowing 8U pitchers to remain on the mound, we might as well have a machine doing the pitching.
The good news was that coaches on the field, along with a very young umpire remained calm, the struggling pitcher switched positions and the game went on without further incident, although three or four more kids on each side were clunked by pitches.
I’ve never seen five kids in a row get hit by a pitch. Sadly, I’ve seen a lot of clueless parents act like fools in little kid sporting events.
Switching to the world of politics and the insanity that is Joe Biden, if you recall our bumbling leader signed as his first act upon taking office, the cancellation of the Dakota Pipeline that would transport affordable natural gas from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. He did it because he wants to end the nation’s dependency on fossil fuels, instead hoping to forever mar the nation’s landscape with windmills and solar panels made in China.
Remember how Democrats and the national media pounded Donald Trump for his alleged “Russian collusion” for four years, ultimately impeaching him on zero evidence? Well, Russian hackers disrupted the Colonial pipeline forcing the payment of $4.4 million in ransom. Prices of natural gas on the east coast skyrocketed.
A couple of weeks later, President Joe (Joey to his dad as he is fond of repeating) Biden waived sanctions imposed by President Trump on Nordsteam 2, a Russian pipeline that gives Germany a sweet deal to buy cheap gas, undercuts American companies hoping to sell to Germany and essentially ruins the Ukraine’s natural gas industry supplying western Europe.
So the Dakota Pipeline is Satan in terms of global warming, but Nordstream 2 is not and high paying American union jobs can be destroyed, but Russian workers can continue to prosper building their pipeline. And Biden can turn a blind eye to Russians hacking into the Colonial Pipeline (I’m wondering how that pipeline can still exist under the Biden administration) and give Angela Merkel and Putin what they want to control the flow of natural gas in Europe.
You can’t make this stuff up.
Now comes former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack in his second go-around as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture in a Des Moines Register op-ed defending the billions of dollars set aside in this completely insane $2 trillion infrastructure bill that provides about $200 billion in actual infrastructure, going to minority farmers to pay off their land debts.
If it passes Congress, it will be the first in the line of reparations to black people, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans. Simple as that.
Vilsack writes that only one percent of the 2020 COVID-19 relief for farmers went to black farmers. Let’s see, blacks make up slightly over one percent of American farms. Hispanic farmers make up 3.3 percent of American farms and Native Americans have about .7 percent.
He calls that percentage a reflection of institutional racism. I call it pretty much doling out federal dollars on a fair basis based on percentage of those in farming. Vilsack says the money in the new packed reserved for black, Hispanic, Asian and Native Americans is to address the generation wrongs. It is, in fact, true that blacks controlled almost a million acres of farmland a half century ago and now control under 50,000 acres. That is tragic. But those black farmers went through the same ag disaster of the 1980s that white farmers went through and I will guarantee you that the percentage of white farmers owning land a half century ago and not owning it today is about the same as blacks and Hispanic. Ag prices, drought, floods and bank interest rates are color blind.
Vilsack uses terminology like “socially disadvantaged” and “historically marginalized.” Hey, I grew up on an Iowa farm in the 1950s and 1960s and I can tell you compared to people in urban areas, we were almost all socially disadvantaged. And I can sure as heck tell you dozens of my farmer friends wandering through the ag depression of the 1980s were socially and financially disadvantaged.
Vilsack can splatter as much lipstick on a pig as he wants, but what the Biden administration is doing is paying reparations and practicing its own brand of racism.
That’s all I’ve got. Remember, be kind to little kid ball players.