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Little League CEO Considers Player Compensation, But Likely Not In The Near Future
Published August 25, 2014
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PAY IT FORWARD: In Miami, David Neal writes the LLWS and its organizers "make enough to provide a more direct reward to the young entertainers." Only in sports "do we maintain this concept that at a certain age, the athlete should perform for free while somebody else collects all the beaucoup bucks people pay to watch/show them." Neal: "How about $1,000 gift cards to Staples or Office Depot or Target for every player in the series?" Winning the tournament "should yield bigger gift cards or maybe special memorabilia -- how about each player receiving a glove and ball signed by a Major League Baseball All-Stars at his/her position?" (MIAMI HERALD, 8/25).
SIGN OF A CHANGING TIME? The Little League team from Chicago lost the championship game 8-4 to South Korea yesterday, but the presence of the all African-American team on such a stage caused ESPN's John Saunders to wonder whether "the game is changing" in regards to its current demographics. ESPN's Jemele Hill noted baseball has had a "very difficult time attracting young African-Americans to the sport," yet in one tournament, there was not only an "all-black team from Chicago from the inner-city," but also the presence of female P Mo'ne Davis. Hill: "From a demographic standpoint for baseball, this could not be a bigger win or success.” ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski said it was not a coincidence that MLB Commissioner-elect Rob Manfred "was there to throw out the first pitch during those World Series games," as he knows the league has to "figure out a way to speed up the games, to get young players involved (and) inner-city kids involved.” The Boston Globe’s Bob Ryan said, "We do need to reconnect that community with the game” (“The Sports Reporters,” ESPN, 8/24).