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Calling All Baseball GM’s: Sign This Kid Up

Every mother and father wants their children to be the best. But can your child be too good?

Nicole Scott thinks that’s why her son — and eventually his entire youth baseball team — was thrown out of the Juvenile League of New Haven Wednesday.

Scott and the rest of the parents of the team members plan to picket at the team’s next scheduled game, Saturday at Criscuolo Park in New Haven.

“The game starts at 10 a.m. and we’re planning on getting there at 9 a.m.,” she said. “We’re making signs and letting everyone know about it.”

Nicole Scott is the mother of Jericho Scott, a 9-year-old pitcher for Will Power Fitness in the 8- to 10-year-old league. According to coaches and a band of parents who drove to the New Haven Register to file complaints, manager Will Vidro was told by league officials that Jericho would not be allowed to pitch in Wednesday night’s game “because he was too good.”

According to Vidro, the umpire at the field started the game and Will Power Fitness scored two runs in the top of the first inning. In the bottom of the first inning, Jericho headed to the mound to begin his warm-up pitches.

When he did, the opposing team packed up their equipment and began to leave the complex.

“The umpire gave them 5 minutes to get back on the field and when they didn’t, he called it a forfeit,” Vidro said.

But after that, Nicole Scott said that a league official informed the team that the entire Will Power Fitness team was immediately expelled from the league.

No league officials would comment on the issue, but, according to Maureen Embler, a recreation supervisor at the New Haven Department of Parks, Recreation & Trees, league officials met with lead Recreation Supervisor Larry Amendola to discuss the issue Thursday morning.

Embler said that league commissioner Reynaldo Reyes felt that Jericho throws the ball too hard and was a danger to the other kids in the league. She said that he has told them several times to have Jericho play in the outfield or another position so he could still play and the other children would be safe.

Vidro said that Jericho is very good and perhaps the best player in the league.

“But he’s no different than any other kid in the league,” Vidro said. “He throws hard, but other kids throw as hard as him and maybe even harder. It’s not like he’s hitting kids with pitches.”

Scott said the crux of the issue is that her son’s team had an 8-0 record, which was good for first place in the summer league. She also added that league officials were in charge of the team that was in second place and had won the league the previous three years, but no league official would confirm that.

“It’s only because we’re winning and my son is good,” she said.

Vidro said parents pay $50 for a child to play in the league and that no money was supposed to be refunded. Will Power Fitness had two games left to the regular season before the playoffs were to begin.

Said Embler:

“We’re willing to work as a mediator to the issue but we’re not in charge of the league. We just maintain the fields. This is a case of overexuberant parents and overworked but caring league officials who can’t agree on the issue.

“We hope they can sit down like grown-ups and work this out. This is a small league with only eight teams, but they’re working real hard to build it up and we hear that they plan to have tee-ball next year.”

Scott said that she feels eventually league officials may let the team back in, but she would not let her son back in the league.

“And the team is all with my son on this,” she said.

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