So it turns out that Mitch Williams is a horrible human being after all, if one is to believe the report out today on Deadspin.
The former closer and current MLB Network analyst reportedly spent some of his time at a baseball tournament in Aberdeen, Md., last weekend trying to get his kids to act like big leaguers … in all the worst ways.
After calling the opposing pitcher a pussy, according to witnesses, he instructed a 10-year-old on his team to drill the opposing pitcher.
There are discussions to be had about why actions like this may or may not be acceptable at the major league level, but there’s near unanimity of opinion on how baseball’s unwritten rules translate to youth and amateur leagues: they don’t. At least as far as things like retaliation and beanballs are concerned.
From The Baseball Codes:
A case in point can be taken from the angry response Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow received from a number of Bay Area parents after praising pitcher Tyler Walker on the air for launching a retaliatory strike against Mark Mulder after the A’s ace hit two Giants, including Barry Bonds. “They’re pissed off that they have Little Leaguers and I’m teaching them the wrong baseball,” Krukow said. “But I’m not teaching Little League baseball. Their fathers teach them Little League baseball. I’m explaining what goes on here at the major-league level.”
Mitch Williams has no such filter, apparently. He’s doing as much harm to the Code as those who decry its very existence. When one swings so a blunt mallet—pro or con, makes no difference—nuance is lost. And the sport’s unwritten rules are all about nuance.
If this is an example of the guy’s understanding of baseball, not only do I not want him within 500 yards of my kids’ ballfield, I’m not so sure I want him explaining it to me on TV, either.