Archive for April, 2008

MySpace is the anti-christ?

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008
Jessica Lewis

High school is brutal. No where does that seem more true at the moment, then in Lakeland, Florida, a town that has become a media hot spot recently due to the brutal attack of a high school girl by six cheerleaders. Why has this story gained such a huge array of media attention? It’s not because of the incident itself, although it was vicious, cruel and pre-meditated. It’s not because the victim was an honor student and her abusers were blonde haired, blue eyed cheerleaders. The reason this story is worse than the countless others that are reported every day is because the attackers primary motivation for video taping the incident was so they could upload the video to MySpace and YouTube.

In the days since this heinous story came to light, a lot of media shows have been concentrating primarily on that fact. I even heard MySpace referred to as the “anti-christ of this generation.” Call me crazy, but if six teenage girls and two teenage boys (they were standing guard outside to make sure no one caught on to what was going on inside) have no qualms about tricking a fellow teenager into coming over to their house, ganging up on her and beating her until she’s unconscious, waiting until she comes to and then beating her some more, leaving her with a concussion, partial loss of hearing in one ear and partial loss of sight in one eye, I think there are some people a little closer to home that need to be taking the blame.

Not only did these teens commit these horrible acts, they also showed no remorse and no concept of how severe their actions were. One girl was quoted as asking police officers if they would be out of lock-up in time to go to cheer leading practice. Obviously the parents of these kids need to step up to the plate and take on a little responsibility. I’m pretty sure it must take years of parental inaction for children to reach this level of selfishness and cruelty. Let’s put the blame where it is deserved, on these children, who have no respect for human decency and on the parents and families who created them.

Early-season scheduling unrealistic

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008
Patrick Newell

Wednesday, April 2, I ran into Unadilla Valley head varsity baseball coach Matt Osborne around 6 p.m., who, like me, was eating dinner with his family at the Pizza Hut in Norwich. That statement alone should tell you something.
Osborne, again like me, was enjoying a relaxing evening with his family. Normally, I would be moving dinner along quickly with the purpose of reaching The Evening Sun office to take incoming calls from coaches. Or, I would be returning from an out-of-town game. Osborne, as well, would typically be finishing up a baseball game or finishing up an after-school practice. Why were the two of us so blithely going about our business? Cancellations and more cancellations.
Osborne had games on Monday (at Harpursville), and Tuesday (at Bainbridge-Guilford) slated, and both were postponed. Regardless if either or both games were played on UV’s home diamond, postponement was inevitable. On this April 2nd day, a day available to make up the postponements, field conditions remained across the majority of the area, unplayable.
Not having an exact count handy, I will conservatively estimate the area-wide baseball and softball cancellations due to poor weather at around a dozen and a half. These are all games that will eventually need to be played, and according to empirical evidence and my 13-year track record covering sports, the games left outstanding on each respective team’s docket will appear on open dates in the schedule. As cancellations pile up – and they will most assuredly accrue voluminously – the open dates become fewer and fewer, and legitimate practice sessions will linger as a long-ago memory from the early weeks of March.
My point here: Scheduling baseball and softball games in Central New York this time of year is wishful thinking at best, and unrealistic. I have pushed the idea yearly to move the start of the season back 10 days to two weeks. Cancellations are still inevitable due the fickle nature of spring weather, but the imminent postponements due to cold weather and horrid field conditions may be avoided.
I also like the idea of playing twinbills on Saturday, or at the least playing the make-up contests on the first day of the weekend. Why not? Be it a home game, a road game or a rescheduled game, regular Saturday contests will cover around one-third the entire schedule. Of course, Saturday is not exempt from rain-outs as well.
The end result of the current state of local scheduling is a stack of bunched games over a two- or three-week period. I have written up half a team’s schedule over a seven-week season in 10 days – nine games in 10 days!
Remember, we are not talking about Major League pitching staffs that carry 10 or 11 world-class arms. In most cases, these local clubs have one or maybe two quality arms, and perhaps a couple other guys that can give a couple quality innings. It is watered-down baseball where scores in the double digits become commonplace.
I’m all for offense, but Abner Doubleday did not intend baseball games to end in 22-19 counts with double-digit base on balls and double-digit errors.
To paraphrase a Ben Franklin quote: “Insanity is repeating the same behavior and expecting a different result.” It is time the brain trusts of high school sports look at the inequities in the scheduling and find a better way.