Bob Bertoni, the District Administrator for District 16/31 Little League in Pennsylvania has recommended that all 23 of his district presidents drop the name Astros from their team rosters this year.
I will admit that I find it a little disappointing that the commissioner of the District 16 Little League in Pennsylvania has come down harder on the Astros than Rob Manfred did, but it is what it is. Cheaters need to be held accountable, and it's the good people like Bob Bertoni that help me keep the faith in this country. Let's all hear what the real commissioner of baseball had to say in his ruling:
"I think about our Little League pledge; that's the first thing that comes to my mind. Part of the pledge is, 'I will play fair and strive to win,'" Bertoni added. "Our kids emulate and idolize major-league players. I don't think we as an organization should be idolizing teams that have decided not to play by the rules."
Thank you for your service, Commissioner Bertoni. Use the other 29 names and logos for your uniforms, but no one in District 16 OR District 31 will be the Astros this year. Some things are bigger than sports.
Hey, I have an idea. Since Rob Manfred currently has a 0.0% approval rating from the MLB players across the league, what do you say we have him step down and name Bob Bertoni as acting commissioner? I can guarantee you one thing: there will NOT be any tolerance for cheating the integrity of the game.
"We're going to educate our managers and coaches to say, 'Stealing signs, pounding on a trash can, that nonsense is not what you do when you play baseball or softball," he said. "Cheating should never come into play."
The future of baseball is in good hands as long as Bob is down there calling the shots. But as glad as I am that District 16 will continue to be a clean district, free of steroid use, betting on games, and stealing signs, part of me does wish that Little League Baseball was in complete anarchy this summer. I don't know who's going to put up the camera systems and decode the signs, but nothing would make me happier than hearing a 9-year-old wailing on a trash can from the fenced in dugout to let the batter know that the 12-6 curve is coming.
I'm calling my shot now. A kid in the Little League World Series is going to go viral for banging on a trash can in the dugout. And if someone wants to go mega viral, hit a walk-off homerun and imitate the Jose Altuve "don't rip my shirt off" move when you're rounding third base.