I loved Yvonne Abraham’s column about her 6-year-old “munchkin’s” first foray into Little League baseball (“Why stick to the rules?”). But I think her rant against the culture of Major League Baseball has it backward.
She refers to rule breakers like New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda, and those who at least tacitly support them, such as A.J. Pierzynski, as practitioners of “shabby situational ethics.” She wonders how exposure to such hypocrisy will affect a child whose parents wish to teach “black-and-white values in a world that is way too gray.”
I agree with Abraham that there’s a whole lot of learning to be had on a ballfield. Perhaps her son will determine that the players are not shabby at all, but have been engaged in a mild form of civil disobedience. Perhaps in a few years, when the child begins to study history, this mild exposure will enable him to better comprehend how and why his country was founded upon rebellion against intolerable rules.
What better place to learn that life isn’t always black and white than a green, peaceful Little League field in New England? On a picture-perfect April day that will end too soon, it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out, and yes, rules are made to be broken.