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A glimpse of history ... had Youth League officials called the shots


Bravo to the parents of the leaders of the Youth Baseball League of New Haven, Conn. By banning 9-year-old Jericho Scott from pitching because his wicked 40-mph fastball strikes out too many batters, they've taught their children a valuable lesson: When the going gets tough, quit. When you face a seemingly unbeatable obstacle, walk away.

These lily-livered types have been around since the first Neanderthal decided the deer he hunted ran too fast and waited back at the cave for his buddies to bring back the kill. Fortunately, league officials weren't around to counsel some of the world's important figures.

Herb Brooks: These kids have practiced hard, and I know they can beat that Soviet team.

League official: Herby, those guys are pros. You've got a bunch of college kids. There's nothing wrong with the bronze medal. Shoot, in our league, everybody gets a trophy whether they actually accomplish anything or not.

Brooks: But don't you understand that a win would galvanize the country? This could be a turning point in the Cold War.

League official: Herb, you've got to consider the self-esteem of these kids. What will happen if they lose? They might cry. It's not worth the risk.

Winston Churchill: The German planes are bombing us again tonight, but the British people will weather the storm. We will never surrender to a tyrant like Adolf Hitler.

League official: Winnie, have you seen the Luftwaffe? They're the best air force in the world, and once they get done, Germany's going to send ground troops.

Churchill: The British people will understand that they're sacrificing for a greater good.

League official: Trust me, you're better off just surrendering like France. We advised them, too.

John Adams: We can no longer tolerate this taxation without representation. We must break away from England and form our own sovereign nation.

League official: Johnny, are you nuts? King George is the most powerful man in the world. Do you really think a bunch of farmers with muskets can beat the British army? It'll be a slaughter. No way. We should just sit back and do whatever King George asks.

Queen Elizabeth I: While this Spanish Armada is quite impressive, we still must fight.

League official: Liz, they have 22 warships and 108 merchant vessels they converted to blast your Navy to Davy Jones Locker. Just take your ships and go home.

Elizabeth: I firmly believe God is on our side.

League official: God schmod. What do you think He's going to do? Send a series of storms to disrupt the invasion? I'm telling you, it's easier to quit. Besides, you'll like paella.

King Leonidas: If we do not stand our ground here, the Persian army will overrun our beloved Sparta.

League official: Leo, I don't know why you bothered doing all those ab crunches. You've got 300 Spartans here. The Persians have thousands of soldiers.

Leonidas: But we are Spartans!

League official: Leo, being a slave to King Xerxes won't be so bad. At least you won't have to face the embarrassment of getting beat in front of all these people.

David: I know I might not have much of a chance, but maybe, just maybe, I can take that Philistine.

League official: Davey, who are you kidding? You're puny, and Goliath is four cubits and a span! You don't stand a chance. Why don't you just take your sling back there and we'll see if we can get Goliath banned from the battle?

David: But if I win, I might become king, and maybe someone will someday chisel a statue of me out of marble.

League official: That's cute, Davey. Now go sit down while we try to figure out a good excuse for why Goliath shouldn't be allowed to fight.