Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mo'ne Davis and the hype

Anyone who has paid the slightest bit of attention to this year's Little League World Series tournament knows who Mo'ne Davis is. An adorable little 13-year old with waist length hair that plays for a team out of Philadelphia. The LLWS itself is played in South Williamsport, PA, only about a three hour drive from Phillie, so Davis has lots of fans.

And one more thing -- Mo'ne Davis just happens to be a girl. Hence the reason for all the hype. And it's everywhere. To her credit, Davis comes across as a modest barely-teenager that just enjoys playing baseball and wants to fit in with her teammates. But because Mo'ne wasn't blessed -- or cursed -- with a Y chromosome when she was conceived, Davis is now big news in the media. In other words, she's a girl playing a boys' sport, and seems to be doing very well. Being a star pitcher on a team that made it to the LLWS tournament is a notable accomplishment indeed.

But there comes a time for a dose of reality. Sure, Davis can throw 70 MPH fastballs, but so can every other pitcher in the tournament. Would she be big news if she was just another boy? Likely not. Let's not forget there are many that have long clamored for "equal rights" across the gender board. Whether that day has arrived is open to debate, but because Davis finds herself on the national TV stage, she has become a mini-icon. And good for her. But along that line of reasoning, why should it make a difference that Davis is a girl? Equal is supposed to be equal.

Of course, there are those that currently wonder -- could she be the "one" that finally makes it into the major leagues? Is she that good? And the answer is -- anything's possible, but gimme a break. The odds against any little leaguer making it to the major leagues are astronomical. The media can create their hero of the day and hype her all they want, but for every little leaguer that eventually signs a pro contract, there are thousands of others that will never make it that far. Davis is no different.

During last night's game against a Las Vegas team, Mo'ne struck out several opposing batters. But she also had a few rockets hit against her pitching. By the third inning, she had reached her "pitch count" and had to be pulled. Supposedly this was because her coach wanted to keep her available to pitch in the championship game on Saturday. Hey, the other good teams already know she's quite hittable. Mo'ne would wind up being the losing pitcher. So she went to first base, where she badly misplayed a routine ground ball. Later in the game, she would wind up in right field. Later yet, she would come up to bat only to be called out on strikes.
Her hitting stats? One for seven in the series, while the Vegas boys have been busy pounding out a collective team average of over .400.

No, none of the hype is Mo'ne's fault. That's on the media. She's just trying to do the best she can, and more power to her. But if equal is equal, then she never should have been thrust under such a spotlight in the first place. Let a little leaguer named Davis contribute, along with the rest of them. None of the boys that are walloping home runs are getting near the attention Davis is, just because she's a girl. And that's wrong. There will only be one champion come this weekend, be it an American or foreign team, and most of the other kids will likely never be heard of again.

So how about we stop with the hype because one of them just so happens to lack a Y chromosome, and just let them play?

Pretty sure Mo'ne Davis herself would want it that way........

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