What kind of a world is this in which Oliver Perez — no one’s idea of a particularly courageous baseball player — will have more of an opportunity to earn a roster spot than Orlando, FL teen Anthony Burruto, whose dismissal from the Dr. Phillips varsity squad is being blamed on coach Mike Bradley’s assumption opponents would be bunting on Burruto nearly every time they come to the plate. The Orlando Sentinel’s George Diaz defends the sophmore, asking, “how cheesy would it be for any team to try to take advantage of a kid battling out there like Anthony?” That depends, is Pete Rose ready to start coaching a high school team?
In cutting Anthony, Bradley whiffed on the big picture: Despite whatever limitations you want to place on him, Anthony is the consummate teammate. If somebody is slacking off, all Bradley needed to do was point at Anthony and say, “What’s your problem?”
“He was given the same opportunity as everyone else,” Dr. Phillips principal Gene Trochinski said Wednesday. “Unfortunately he wasn’t only one who did not make the team. There were 23 others who tried out and didn’t make it. … At this level you try to win ballgames.”
Anthony isn’t looking for any sympathetic do-overs. He doesn’t want to play for Bradley, who offered Anthony a position as a team manager keeping stats and such, which sounds one-step-up from a mascot.
3 thoughts on “High School Coach To Disabled Hurler : When Bunting 27 Times A Game Is In Vogue, You’ll Understand”
If you don’t think some coaches would bunt on this kid every time until they started bringing in the infield (at which point it would become a cat and mouse game of bunt and hit) then you haven’t played high school sports. Bummer for the kid, but life isn’t fair. Not much of a story here.
and in spite of the cutthroat environment of high school athletics, the one-handed Jim Abbott acquitted himself rather nicely. Had a more than a respectable run at higher levels of competition, too, which might not have happened had no one given him a chance.
The bunting argument presumes that laying down a decent bunt is not in fact, an art form or carefully honed skill, but rather, just as easy as ordering a pizza or posting a knee-jerk-for-the-sake-of-it comment to a sports blog. Given the number of major league hitters with zero-to-poor bunting acumen, there’s something rather lazy about predicting Burruto would be stymied by high school kids attempting the same.
The story also calls into question just what, exactly, is the mission of the Dr. Phillips athletic program? This isn’t a professional team, it’s not even a lower division NCAA outfit. Who the fuck is going to care in 20 years — heck 20 minutes — what their coach’s career won-loss record was? Burruto need not be a mascot — if he’s genuinely as talented as prior reports claim, there oughta be a roster spot on some high school team somewhere, hopefully with a coach/educator who’d recognize the unique opportunity presented.
1. Leadoff hitter comes up and bunts.
2. Second place hitter squares to bunt and promptly gets drilled in the ribs, or better yet 80+ mph about 3″ from his nose.
3. Problem solved. No mas bunting.
This would work even better if the coach was made to stand in against this kid.