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Boy Should Shoulder His Share of the Blame

September 05, 2001

The sad story of Danny Almonte, the 14-year-old pitcher stripped of his "records" in the 12-and-under Little League, tells us that the boy is not to be blamed for the lying and cheating that set up his success ("14-Year-Old Little Leaguer Struck Out," Sept. 1). This is wrong. Don't forget, Danny is one year shy of the age at which Adrian Beltre was signed by the Dodgers. For the adults around Danny to say that he is "numb" and being shielded from the frenzy swirling around the disclosure of his true age is a tragedy. Sure, he is numb now, but soon he should begin to feel ashamed, very ashamed. He should not be shielded from the consequences of this very regrettable action. How can he expect to learn anything from this scandal if he does not feel the sting of humiliation? That is how humans learn not to repeat a mistake.

Danny should be held responsible. My own 14-year-old would be expected to know the difference between right and wrong, the difference between 12 and 14 and the difference between winning at all costs (later causing teammates to have to give up their cherished trophies) and true success in life.

Kathi Smith

\o7 Ojai

\f7 *

I find it hard to believe Danny does not know how old he is. This young man had to know what he was doing was wrong and that his teammates would suffer if his lie were found out. Just because the adults lied, Danny is not absolved from shouldering his fair share of the blame. He is not an innocent party but a guilty co-conspirator. C'mon, Danny, be a man and acknowledge your responsibility in this sordid affair.

Earl Reed

\o7 Twentynine Palms

\f7

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