Thursday, September 01, 2011

Danny's Song

It was 10 years ago today that young (but not young enough) pitching phenom Danny Almonte was formally stripped of his Little League World Series successes. He was a 14-year-old from the Bronx tearing it up in the 12-and-under event, which wasn’t just breaking the rules, it was kind of pathetic.

The sporting media world swooned over his nearly perfect performance in the 2001 LLWS (perhaps in part because he was from New York City, heh heh), then took hyperbolic umbrage that they’d been duped.

Mark, however, remained indifferent.
(My favorite unsung comment from the hurricane weekend was his complete non sequitur, “I will be so fucking happy when the LLWS is over.”)

As a stupid aside: In the fall of 1987, my high school football team was walloped (on a weekly basis, but in particular) one Saturday by the Blue Ridge School, 45-14. Most guys on our team remember the game well, not because I scored a long touchdown (non-humble brag), but because a couple of years later it was made known that the RB who’d run for 5 scores and a million yards against us had been 21 at the time. Annoying. But much like the reaction with Almonte, we felt like the kid could be blamed a little, while the parents, coaches, or anyone who had known (or should have known) . . . well, they sucked.

As for Danny Almonte’s parents, who repeatedly swore on American television that their son was 12 . . . yep, they sucked, too.

Where is Danny Almonte now???
After the Almonte family’s very public embarrassment and banishment (even the league president was banned from the LLWS for life), Danny’s progression became painful evidence of how pointless the whole fraud was, other than to garner a little fleeting fame at great expense. He played some high school ball, but wasn’t drafted by MLB. He hit very well for a JuCo, but wasn’t drafted. He got married at 18 to a thirtysomething woman, and probably was taught a whole lot in the bedroom, but wasn’t drafted.

The latest word was that he took a job as an assistant coach at his former high school. He has given up the dream, at age 24, of every playing in the bigs. This isn’t even Eastbound and Down. This is the norm of highly talented baseball players in the Little League World Series; ask Cody Webster, who, by high school, was (ridiculously) being called “washed up.” As of a few years ago, I believe it was a total of 29 people that had played in the Little League World Series and gone on to play Major League Baseball. In 65 years. Hyperpushy parents, take note.

Fortunately, for Danny Almonte and family, it was only 10 days until something in the tri-state area happened to make their transgression seem a trifle. Unfortunately for most of the world, the halcyon days of ranting about Little League moms and dads were very quickly a thing of the distant past.

23 comments:

T.J. said...

Whoa. Nice filler.

rob said...

is tr going to see mcelroy tonight?

Dave said...

summer dave got caught up in many projects besides blogging: planting arbor vitae, building stonehenge, controlling water damage, creating pick-up soccer fun at the pool, solidifying the thursday night drinking crew, catching up on trueblood, re-watching the godfather movies, etc. but he promises a song soon and he also swears that "fall dave" is going to be really, really productive.

rob said...

will heather thomas be involved?

T.J. said...

Um...
http://bit.ly/pYNtEd

rob said...

tribe/uva game is on espn3.com on saturday. 6:00 kickoff. get some.

Jerry said...

It's nice to have Russell Wilson back.

Mark said...

My basketball game tonight ended with a minute left after I frustrated a 6'4" guy enough to motivate him to take a running start and hit me in the back/neck with a forearm while my back was turned. As you might guess, both benches cleared. Followed by a bunch of pushing, shoving and idle threats. One guy on the other team even dropped the old "I'll shoot you" on one of my teammates who happens to be 6'7", 290.

Mind you, the 6'4" guy who hit me was running his mouth all game. I merely gave him a taste of his own medicine with us up 12 in the final minute. Of course, now my neck is fucking sore.

rob said...

mark's using my old playbook

rob said...

tr broke mcelroy's thumb. fucker.

Jerry said...

Should've skipped the game and done the fantasy draft.

Our soccer game ended early last night after a guy on the other team cursed at the ref in Spanish and threw water in his direction. Not as cool.

Mark said...

I don't talk nearly as much shit in my old age as I once did but I'm still not above taunting a yappy douche as my team is rounding out a win. Did I mention he's out for the next game, which happens to be the first round of the playoffs? Yeah, that too.

Mark said...

As fun as a fantasy draft is, tonight was better. A win and a near donnybrook is a pretty solid Thursday night.

Jerry said...

Column idea: Is this the worst baseball season of all-time?

Dave said...

i love adult league sports.

rob said...

jerry, we'd happily publish a guest post from an esteemed contrarian blogger

Mark said...

Btw, Rob. Your "old playbook" isn't very old if I remember correctly. Like a month or two old, right?

rob said...

to hell with you kids and your 'memory'

Squeaky said...

I have the worst fantasy football team in history. Stafford and McNabb. Damn you auto picker.

zman said...

fyi:

http://tinyurl.com/bp2jn

Whitney said...

Is that a website that instructs you how to embed a link in a blog comment?

Jerry said...

I don't have enough baseball knowledge or credibility to write it. I'm just reading at the standings and they look horrible.

I'm just the crusty out of touch guy when it comes to baseball. "What the heck is Joey Votto? In my day we had guys like Fred McGriff. Now he was a ballplayer."

Little Joel said...

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