The only good thing I can say about an uncommonly shitty Friday is that missing Jim Rome’s radio show meant that in all likelihood, I didn’t hear a word about this until now. From the Associated Press :
Pittsburgh – A T-ball coach allegedly paid one of his players $25 to hurt an 8-year-old mentally disabled teammate so he wouldn’t have to put the boy in the game, police said Friday.
Mark R. Downs Jr., 27, of Dunbar, is accused of offering one of his players the money to hit the boy in the head with a baseball, police said. Witnesses told police Downs didn’t want the boy to play in the game because of his disability.
Police said the boy was hit in the head and in the groin with a baseball just before a game, and didn’t play, police said.
“The coach was very competitive,” state police Trooper Thomas B. Broadwater said. “He wanted to win.”
The alleged assault happened June 27 in North Union Township, about 40 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, authorities said.
The boy’s mother asked state police to investigate her son’s injuries because she suspected Downs wanted to keep the boy off the field, despite a league rule that required each player to participate in three innings a game, Broadwater said.
Once again, we see another example of Little Leaguers emulating their MLB heroes. Down’s actions probably strike most of you as cruel and unusual, but I don’t remember anyone complaining when Dallas Green paid Mets veterans to do the same thing to the young Jeromy Burnitz.