From the department of completely expected stories about amateur sports because nothing is sacred anymore comes allegations that Jackie Robinson West of Chicago, the first all-black team to win the US Championship and the team that knocked Taney out of the Little League World Series, cheated. From ESPN:
Little League Baseball is meeting to review facts surrounding the eligibility of the Chicago-based team that won the 2014 U.S. championship, amid allegations that the much-celebrated squad may have violated a rule prohibiting the use of players who live outside the geographic area that the team represents.
Stephen Keener, CEO of Little League Baseball, told ESPN that the findings of a recent review of the matter are complete and being evaluated. He declined to say whether Jackie Robinson West, the first all-African-American team to win the championship, could be stripped of its title, as one of its rivals has called for.
Well I’m shocked. But the Las Vegas program – which I’m pretty sure used 18 and 19 year olds with really good razors to field their team – isn’t. They’ve been fighting to have Chicago stripped of the title, and they’re not even a little bit subtle about it. From DNA Chicago:
“If they continue to say it’s been investigated and there’s nothing we can do, I disagree with that,” [the Las Vegas coach] said. “If all the information is factual about what has been said was going on … it comes down to fraud. We’re talking about multi-millions of dollars were invested into a program and the whole nation was deceived. They have to take a stand on this.”
“Lance Armstrong went down that road and became an example of what happens when you say one thing and it’s actually the other. The truth comes out,” Cave said. “We’re not just going to use 12 and 13-year-old kids as pawns to generate income on society. That’s just unacceptable.”
Of course, pissed off local coaches have accused Taney of doing basically the same thing (as Jackie Robinson West) by having a charter that allows them to pull kids from all over the city. So maybe everyone should just agree that the Little League World Series, along with the NCAA, the Olympics, and everything else that masquerades as amateur sports, are all corrupt on some level and to ignore these minor squabbles so at least the rest of us can believe in believin’ again.