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When calling in scores, try reporting the truth

April 17, 2011
  • Bob Parasiliti
Bob Parasiliti

Spring is the scariest time of the year.

It’s the time when temperatures rise. Grass busts through the ground. Flowers explode into color. And another winter is put to death.

No, there is nothing wrong with that. Those things excite the morbid side of me.

There is the one thing, though, that makes my stomach gurgle and my brow sweat. It’s a ringing phone.

I know, you are thinking I watched one Alfred Hitchcock movie too many. You know the scene, the one where everyone is standing there in dead silence before everyone jumps because the phone rings. You just hear that gasp.

It doesn’t happen every time a phone rings … just enough to keep me antsy.

It’s nothing a therapist can cure. I just have to be man enough to gut it out.

One time the phone rings and it’s a caller talking to me while another person stands in the background to tell the caller what to say.

I guess they think they are calling a talent agency trying to book a ventriloquist act.

The next time, it’s someone cooking the books, making up names and facts.

It’s a good thing I don’t work for the IRS.

We’ll get an occasional point shaver, who changes actual results with a vigorous swipe of an eraser for the good of all mankind.

Where was this caller was when I was trying to buy a house?

Don’t worry. Hagerstown isn’t being overrun by gypsies, tramps and thieves. It’s nothing that sinister.

They are all people calling in Little League scores.

It’s all for the kids.

All these callers have the most noble of intentions. They want to get the names of their players in print. In most cases, it’s nothing any more innocent than that.

After all, it’s for the kids.

I know young players feel like major leaguers because they see their name in print. It’s probably worth a quarter or two from grandparents as a reward.

I just wonder how long the novelty of fame lasts. Kids have too many more important things on their mind, like spending those quarters on candy.

If this is all “for the kids,” sometimes I think it falls under the parental teaching category of “Do as I say, not as I do.” Lies are unacceptable in life and in newspapers.

So, why make up stats just to get a player’s name in print? Each player usually knows when he or she had two hits in a game.

And why is there a need to reduce the scores in lopsided games? Was anyone worried about the other team’s feelings when your guys whizzed by at warp speed in posting a 27-0 victory? No one stopped the kids from scoring all those runs.

Heck, the team that got shut out doesn’t have to claim anything. If you scored zero, you usually aren’t mentioned in the write-up. Deny it all.

But, we do it for the kids.

I was a stepdad for a very short time. My stepdaughter never had her name in print for anything athletic.

Yet, when I do see her, she often reminds me about how much fun she had just spending time playing catch with me in our backyard.

She will remember that a lot longer than any news clipping.

Teaching truthfulness seems to be a better course of action.

After all, it is for the kids.

Bob Parasiliti is a Herald-Mail sports writer. He can be contacted at 301-791-7358 or by email at bobp@herald-mail.com.

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