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All Star Baseball in Pleasanton is a joke

Original post made by Dan on Jun 27, 2010

Has anyone else experience the "Has Been Dad" factor when it comes to All Stars in this town? The Board picks the All Star coach before the All Stars are even selected. The Has Been Dad All Star Coach then selects his son (who is terrible), his "has been buddies" to help coach with their sons (who are terrible) and the result is a "Has Been Dad" bonding with their "will never be sons" over baseball. The "Has been Dad Coaches" then get to brag about their kids and wear their All Star shirts around town. It happens every year but is getting worse. I watched the 12 year old "All Stars" yesterday and they were anything but All Stars. When are these Dads going to back down and truly honor the kids that deserve to wear the All Star uniform? Suggestion: All Stars are selected based on ability and then a coach named to coach them. Is that too easy?

Comments (79)

Posted by Tina, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2010 at 11:52 am

Most people volunteer to coach because they will have their child on their team. Take away that opportunity, and who's going to volunteer to coach?
There are mothers who volunteer to do the photos for their child's school yearbook, and (coincidentally) their kids' photos are plastered on every page.

Posted by Ghetto Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2010 at 1:03 pm

It's like this in every sport, not just baseball. Unfortunately the ones that suffer are those that have ability and talent that should be recognized.

Posted by Runs Rampant in this town, a resident of Canyon Oaks
on Jun 27, 2010 at 1:22 pm

It's all over this town people. Pleasanton is just a mediocre town filled with mediocre people trying to leverage as much power as they can. It's amazing!

Posted by can't believe, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2010 at 2:45 pm

To be honest, I am not familiar with the ALL STARS, but if what you say is true I think its just another example of what has been happening in our society now for ~ 20yrs. Its a symptom within our society where individual achievement is not valued thus not rewarded. In fact to reward that may make others FEEL badly. As a society we have nurtured this "everyone is equal" mentality thus everyone should get to wear "the shirt" whether you earned it or not. So if we don't reward achievement, how then do we pick the ALL STAR team? Its no wonder then that a crazy system is set up (if true) where some get to handpick the kids who will be awarded this honor vs basing it on individual achievement. That mentality is destroying the very fabric county was built. The adults do not do their kids any favors. Instead they create more people in this society who think individual hard work and results don't really matter.

Posted by Chip, a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Jun 27, 2010 at 3:57 pm

I don't know what league you're talking about but that is NOT the way PNLL chooses All Stars....

Just to clarify.

Posted by Another Baseball Fan, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 27, 2010 at 5:42 pm

How does PNLL select their all star team Chip?

I also believe that the team should be picked first...then if one of the kids has a dad/mom who was a manager/coach during the season, they should be invited to coach the team. BUT since the LL rules state the Manager must have coached or managed in the regular season you narrow your pool down a bit. What if there isn't a dad/mom who was a coach during the regular season that can coach an allstar team (or wants to). You can bet that no dad/mom is going to volunteer their time unless their kid is on the team. Therefore a lot of time, the coach is picked first.

I know that this doesn't just happen in baseball...I have seen it in soccer, basketball and football. It's sad, but it is part of human nature.

I also know that some parents of kids who didn't make a team think their own child is much better...that is also human many of us parents are going to say our kid isn't a good ball player...student...and doesn't deserve a spot.

It is a true life lesson for the kids...our kids don't seem to get a lot of disappoint these days as like an earlier person said...we have the "we are all winners" mentality. Most of the kids don't know how to lose.

Posted by trophy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Everybody gets a trophy ... everybody gets pizza ... it's fun ... not sports ... it's teaching your kids to be safe not sorry ... it's how you get into college and .... wait ... doesn't the coach of the World Cup Soccer team have a kid on it that plays first string ... so it doesn't stop.

Posted by Dan, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 27, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Chip, I'm interested in the process. From what I can tell, they select the Manager for All Stars who always has his kid selected regardless of ability. The American League 12 year olds have four managers, each with a son on the team who is not as deserving as others I have seen play during the season. Don't get me wrong, these are good guys and good managers, my point, however, is that there are other kids more deserving. With that said, I'm sure you could find someone to coach, even if their child is not on the team. How do these guys feel about taking a spot away for a more deserving kid?

Posted by Chip, a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Jun 27, 2010 at 8:14 pm

The kids are selected first in PNLL. Then the coaches. Hope this helps.

Posted by Observer, a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 27, 2010 at 10:24 pm

If you ask a 'board member' about the selection process, they will give you a nicely worded answer, complete with a detailed procedure about the All Star selection. It all seems so transparent. NOT! In reality, it is 'daddy ball'. One All Star team is a travel ball team that plays year round. If you are not on that team, tough luck. If you don't pall around with the self-appointed baseball kings of P-town, too bad. It's all so sad, and who are they kidding? Just make sure your child is a well-rounded athlete who has more to their life than just one sport!

Posted by Dan, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 27, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Thanks for the clarification, Chip. I guess the American League has a different set of rules. I admire the ethics of PNLL.

Posted by it's not about the kids anymore, a resident of Oak Hill
on Jun 27, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Ugly politics are alive and well throughout PFLL (Pleasanton Foothill Little League). Sounds like PALL and PFLL are birds of a feather.

Posted by Julie, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jun 27, 2010 at 11:16 pm

I've definitely experienced preferential treatment given to children of coaches, and not only in rec leagues. Sometimes it's not just their own kid, but a friend's kid. That said, my child has been an "All Star" in both rec soccer and rec softball without me or my spouse coaching and without being a friend of the coach. They did base it on skill. In softball they used stats, e.g. batting average. If it's really that bad in baseball they should revamp the system. It's tough (and IMHO inappropriate) for kids to have to deal with nepotism at such a young age.

Posted by Dan, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 27, 2010 at 11:31 pm

Observer, great point. I checked the American League All Star roster and eight out of the 12 American League All Stars are a member of the Mudhens travel team coached by none other than...the American League 12 year old All Star Manager and his buddies. I guess it's subjective whether they deserve it or not, but come on fair to the kids. In the long run, you're only hurting your kids and I think most people expect more from you.

Posted by kerry, a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 28, 2010 at 8:12 am

For the record, only 7 All Stars are on the Mudhens travel team. Other players may been guest players at one time, but are not currently on that team. Be fair to the boys and accurately report the facts!

Posted by Tom, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 28, 2010 at 8:16 am

Using stats would be a great idea. I wonder why baseball doesn't use that method. Yes, there is always room for error, but it would be much more transparent, and the kids would have a goal to work toward during the regular season.
One more thing; if you miss any of the 10 year old PALL All Stars during the post-season, you can see all of them in action during the year playing as the Pleasanton Pythons. Isn't that great!

Posted by Dan, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 28, 2010 at 8:27 am

Kerry, Thanks for pointing out that it's only 7 Mudhens who were selected to the 12 year old American All Stars. Does it make a difference? 8/12 or 7/12? Observer hit the nail on the head. If you don't pal around with all the "cool guys" your kid is not going to be recognized in the post season. Pretty sad American League Board and coaches. There are kids sitting out of the postseason while your boys are strutting around town bragging about their empty accomplishments. I'm sure their Mommys and Daddys are proud.

Posted by Littleleaguefan, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 28, 2010 at 8:34 am

Chip you are not accurate with the all star process for PNLL. The managers are picked first then the team is picked. Make no mistake about it ugly politics are alive and kicking in PNLL. How about 3 kids picked for all stars not playing because they know the coach wont play them. Good for the kids. They dont want to wear an all star shirt and ride the pine. What fun is that?

Posted by TJ, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 28, 2010 at 8:53 am

Thank you for making having this dialogue. It is long overdue. My boys have aged past LL but this problem has gone on for years. All Stars has little meaning when it is not talent based but instead daddy driven.

Posted by Parent of Two, a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 28, 2010 at 9:14 am

Parent of Two is a registered user.

Don't kid yourselves. This isn't a problem just for Pleasanton. The best you can do (if you think your kid is deserving, but didn't make it) is to make this a life lesson for him.

Life. Isn't. Fair.

Sometimes, it's not what you know or what you do... it's WHO you know.

Check our politics once in a while. Or your office at work. The sooner kids learn this, the better they'll be able to adjust when they run into it in their adult life. (And wait until those kids that have been shepherded through all-stars get to be adults, and become the non-cool kids).

Posted by Parent of Two, a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 28, 2010 at 9:16 am

Parent of Two is a registered user.

Oh, and my son went through PALL years ago. Don't necessarily blame the coaches because the KIDS do the voting (or at least they used to). And they're just as susceptible to voting for the "cool" kids.

Posted by Jon, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 28, 2010 at 9:42 am

This is the reason I never coached my kids teams. The problem is that you all want to complain about it but none of you want to volunteer to coach a team. Maybe you all should get out there and show them how it is done. However, that may require you getting off the couch.

While I will agree that some parents are out there trying to relive their youth through the kids we also have some really outstanding coaches. My son was a really good ball player and quit the sport after having one of those (reliving my youth) coaches. DAN I do not think that you should be calling the kids "never will be's" though. Are you some big baseball scout? Did you play majors, college, or even high school? Stop calling kids names and get out there and coach. Since you know how it should be done.

Posted by PNLL Parent, a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 28, 2010 at 9:48 am

There is a reason why the Pleasanton teams never advance that far in competitive play. No surprise there.

Posted by Sue, a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2010 at 10:02 am

I TOTALLY agree with Jon, he hit the nail on the head! Parent of Two did as well.

It's a cold cruel world and the sooner that is learned, the better off people will be.

Choosing an AST should be done totally by talent, not because the child is related to the coach, or someone's friend. If you didn't make the team, keep practicing and try out next year. That is what builds better character AND a better athlete.

Posted by Chip, a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Jun 28, 2010 at 10:17 am


You are wrong. My information is accurate. Maybe years ago PNLL drafted managers first but not anymore. All statements to the contrary vis a vis PNLL are factually untrue.

Posted by sports mom, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 28, 2010 at 10:50 am

I think most importantly what you people have all forgotten is this is RECREATION league play. This is supposed to be FUN and basic skill training for many of the children and not a place where you are supposed to collect ribbons and pins for being the best. As in any environment, there are a few people who are in it for the wrong reasons, but many people take time off work and away from their families because they love the game and love helping kids be successful in the regular season. Hundreds of hours are spent by coaches not just coaching on the field, but practicing 2x a week, massaging the egos of parents who have little perspective of their children's ability (whether it is good or bad), and constanting dealing with the politics of board members, parents and the community as a whole.

Are there 2 or 3 slots on an All-star team set aside for people's children who keep the leagues running for everyone who benefits from the hours they spend? Yes. Is that wrong considering that this is a RECREATION league and everyone who plays does so by paying only enough to pay for field maintenance to the City and umpiring? No. Are these kids always the best players capable of winning the Little League World Series in Cooperstown, play high school ball in this town, go on to play college ball, get drafted by a major league team, and then actually play major league baseball? No. Are they sometimes the kids and families who have more heart and desire than some of the better players, practice harder than anyone on the team, and help keep a team bonded because of who they are? Sometimes.

For me, the bottom line is this is RECREATION baseball and if you are feeling your child is better than another, for whatever reason, perhaps you should try to suppliment their baseball experience by joining a travel team. There are TONS of teams available if a talented child comes their way and if you have difficulty paying for the experience many offer scholarships. There are also some that only ask you to pay for tournament fees and purchase your uniform.

As with everything in life, positive attitudes, hard work and dedication always win out against worrying about things that should have or could have been.

Personally, I thank all the dedicated coaches, mothers, fathers, siblings who give their time, money and sweat equity to keep this town the sports mecca it is for every level of ability in every sport. We are very lucky to live in a place where so much is available to our kids, hopefully keeping them happy and healthy and away from the troubles of other communities.

Posted by so much drama here, a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2010 at 11:13 am

Thank you, Sports Mom for the perfect words. I would like to think that would put the lid on this drama but something tells me it won't.

I would only add a few words to Dan: in the future, if you have a beef with the adults, be one yourself and take it up with them. No need to insult the kids who play their hearts out and have a true love of the game. Your sour grapes shouldn't be directed at them.

And one more note, Dan: you appear to like doing research on the teams ... so check the scores, too. The All Stars you claimed to watch are now 3-0 in the district tournament. I'd say talented kids were chosen.

Posted by pitch2me, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 28, 2010 at 11:14 am

I have seen this happen all the time. Just keep practicing the fundamentals of Baseball with your child who did not make it on to the All Star teams because they will be the ones who will go on to be the true All Stars. You hear it all the time from Players on the A's and Giants thanking their Dads and family for truly supporting them in there love of baseball. Be a good example to your child and support them in everything they do. Because sometimes society does not set good examples for childern in a sport atmosphere.

Posted by Board Member, a resident of West of Foothill
on Jun 28, 2010 at 11:32 am

So Dan - Since you started this & seem to have all the answers - rather than sitting on the sideline and complaining about how bad things are - jump in and fix it. Become a coach - become a board member and make a difference. It is way to easy to sit on the sideline and CLAIM to know how it all works and CLAIM to have all the answers. Jump in and fix the problem rather than complaining about it ! And if you don't have the time - stop the senseless, non-factual, inflammatory blogging and you will free up enough time to do something useful.

I jumped in several years ago and believe I have made a difference. Its not perfect but your facts are absolutely inaccurate in how All Stars work.

"Parent of Two" has the facts correctly stated. Ten of the twelve positions on the All Star team are VOTED in by the kids of that age group. The other two positions are picked by the manager. I know this process was followed at PALL. Maintaining the integrity of this process is pivotal.

We all want what is best for the kids. Some of us are willing to work for it and others just want to complain. Which are you ?

Posted by Claire, a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2010 at 11:37 am

I am not sure why anyone thinks this is any different than its always been. Its the same EVERYWHERE. There is always the top 8-9 kids selected based on talent. Then there are the remaining spots that probably could be filled by a number of players. Maybe its the talent, or the attitude or the hustle/work ethic or the leadership skills or a combination of all of it. Baseball is a very subjective sport and some may not even see or understand the nuances of the game. And remember, the coaches do want to win and do their best to put the best team on the field.

Posted by Funny, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 28, 2010 at 11:51 am

As an observer - I think that the 12 yr old all star team is the only all star team that fairly represents PALL. Dan you live in birdland a PNLL district, why should you care. PALL beat PNLL 14-3 yesterday. Hmmm .. maybe you are delussional about your kids ability?

Posted by Be positive, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 28, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Thank you sports mom for reminding those reading these posts that these are kids we are talking about, kids who really love the game. They are dedicating a lot of time and energy to represent Pleasanton. After seeing all three 12 year old teams play (PNLL, PALL, Foothill) they are truly talented kids who have produced multiple home runs per game, close scores, and excellent sportsmanship. You may not understand or like the policies, but to discredit the entire team and program is a shame.
All Star baseball is a positive way for many kids to be spending their summer. I greatly appreciate the coaches who spend numerous volunteer hours working with the kids. These programs would not be around for any Pleasanton players if they did not step up to the plate.

Posted by Cheer Them On, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 28, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Go cheer the players on!!! I am sure they are all very proud to be playing in the All Stars and would appreciate support vs. jealous speculation.

If you are unhappy with the processes that you think the Little Leagues are implementing then join your local LL Board and make a difference.

Posted by Amen!, a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Jun 28, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Amen "Be Positive" - You said it perfectly!

Posted by ptown baseball, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 28, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Chip is correct for PNLL.

Players vote for their own age group, coaches vote, and that combination builds the All Star team in PNLL. Any manager or coach could interview, but once the results of the player vote and coaches vote came in, coaches were narrowed down. This year in PNLL, we wanted to have the dad/manager follow the son/player to All Stars. Not the son follow his Dad on the team. We felt that the player getting the votes from his peers and the other coaches (by the way, you couldn't vote for your own teammates, and coaches couldn't vote for their own players)helps with the "buy in" from the kids, afterall, they voted for them. The Manager then could pick the last few kids based on the needs of the team (for instance, extra pitchers, catchers).

I hope this clarifys the process for PNLL.

It's any given day in baseball folks - yes, PNLL lost yesterday, but won the day before in a nail bitting 11-10 win at the bottom of the 6th.

Posted by Parent of Two, a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 28, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Parent of Two is a registered user.

Just a side note for the Pleasanton LL coordinators: At some point, you might want to take the votes away from the kids. They're probably even worse than the adults at just picking the same guys year after year. I coached for years in PALL, and could probably name the all-star team before the year even started, just because the kids would always elect the same guys (and it was always the pitchers and the shortstops). Pity the poor kid that has his best year playing second base or left field.

Posted by mom2boys, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 28, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Seriously folks. Do you think any of your boys care about any of this as much as you do? Answer. No. At the end of the day, they just want to have fun. And isn't that the way it should be? I know this because my son has been a "Pleasanton All Star" for the last two years. Sure, he may dream of playing in the big leagues one day and that's fine for now, but we are realistic people who know his chances are slim to none. So for now we let him dream but ask him to focus on being a team player, respecting his coaches, teammates, competitors and umpires and doing his personal best and yes, he will learn some tough lessons along the way. Because the reality is, this is all about life lessons and like many of you have stated, life is far short of fair. Not everyone wins, not everyone gets a trophy. Just like in the real world. Not everyone gets the well-deserved promotion. Not everyone will have the hottest car or the biggest house. It's life and in case you haven't noticed, it goes by real fast. Before you know it, you son will move on to his Fall sport and this All Star season will be just a distant memory to him, if he remembers it at all. Most likely what he will remember is the fun he had at the team party not how many "at bats" he had or if he made the All Star team. And before your seasons with your son run out and he moves on and out of your home, you may want to start treasuring the way his boyish face looks when he puts on his uniform, All Star or not, and thank God that he is healthy enough just to PLAY the game.

Posted by Kevin Goodman, a resident of Parkside
on Jun 28, 2010 at 1:09 pm

I am one of the PALL "Buddies" coaches and I have a son on the PALL 12 year old All Star team. I have an older son that earned his way onto his high school team. My older son was not chosen for the 10, 11 or 12 year old team. I thought he should have. But I didn't post anonymous comments or complain about the coaches or complain to the PALL board of directors. I told my son to work harder and make them sorry they didn't pick him. That is exactly what he did, he worked harder and developed his skills. Although I doubt any of the coaches were sorry they didn't pick him. Those skills and work ethic were noticed by his high school coaches and he earned a spot.

My younger son earned his spot onto the 12 year old All Star team, by hard work, skill and performance. If anyone can prove he didn't please let me know because I can prove he did.

The Manager of the 12 year old team is a friend of mine and is a honorable, caring, decent man. I know a lot of men who are not. I have had the fortunate opportunity to coach with him for the past 3 years. I know he coaches and and makes decisions based on what's best for the kids and then the team. I have had plenty of contact with coaches who are more concerned with the winning season.

I am not a coach that is re-living my youth sports achievements or lack of through my boys. I am however living what I didn't have as a fatherless boy and young man. I am there every step of the way so my sons grow up to be honorable, caring, decent men. I have been living a dream for the past 15 years because I have been fortunate enough to be involved, even when that meant I had to sacrifice. I got involved.

We "Buddies" are always at the sports park with our sons and the sons of other parents that want to hit, throw or catch a baseball. So if any parent wants see what kind of person I am you know where to find me.

Kevin Goodman

Posted by PALL parent, a resident of Mohr Park
on Jun 28, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Parent of two, I completely agree with taking the kid vote away. It is a popularity contest, and doesn't always reflect true talent. Most likely, they will vote for their buddies on their travel team, and have the All Star team.
Again, base it on regular league statistics, leave a few spots open for coach picks, and you should get a pretty accurate reflection of this year's All Stars.
Also, let's not forget that an All Star when they are 9 doesn't necessarily make an All Star when they are 12. If you look at past All Star teams, most rosters stay the same over the years. Perhaps that is why some parents feel frustrated that their child might have been overlooked.
Board members, take this blog as food for thought, and not necessarily an attack on the work you do. People are using this forum as a way to express their feelings. Perhaps they don't feel like they are being heard via the traditional communication channels.

Posted by We remember winners, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 28, 2010 at 1:25 pm

A couple things "so much drama" the team in question is 2-0 in Districts not 3-0 and play again on Wednesday against LALL who won 23-0 on Sunday. "PNLL Parent Del Prado" just 3 years ago (2008 seasaon) the PALL All-Stars made it to the West Regionals in San Bernadino only to lose to Hawaii who went on to win the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA, to get that far there were over 400 Little League Teams eliminated. I think we have really good teams in Pleasanton, just a couple weeks ago Amador and Foothill High School Baseball teams played for the NCS title with Amador coming out on top and finishing ranked #13 in the country on Maxpreps Prep Sports. Most of these kids were Little League All-Stars in Pleasanton. "Daddy Ball" will only get you so far in this town..then your on your own.

Posted by Kat, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 28, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Amen to that Keving Goodman! Goody is one of the best players I have seen at 12 years old. How many homeruns did he hit this year? There will always be haters! I have yet to see any All Star manger deny a good player! Unfortunately there aren't enough spaces on the roster for everyone. From your PNLL Buddy!

Posted by KC, a resident of Country Fair
on Jun 28, 2010 at 1:49 pm

I dont even have to read everyone's comments to know what is going to be said about coaches and their sons/daughters and having them be the STAR on the team! I've raised 3 kids through Pleasanton sports and through high school sports. It's all the same, and i'ts the same everywhere else, not just Pleasanton. Beleive me, I've asked! This is a fact: if you want your kid to get enough playing time and get good, you better be willing to volunteer to coach! All coaches are in it for the same thing, THEIR OWN KID! Now, by all means, let us give credit to the great coaches that are dads that are giving up their time to work with all these kids. There are plenty of great dads out there that are coaches. Have had a few of them. My husband has also coached and done a great job. And guess what? My sons were stars on those teams, HA! We have been on numerous, soccer, football, basketball, lacrosse ~ we've done it all! We have also been on teams with GREAT families and had a ball with the parents and their kids.
But lets face it, there ARE those out there that are only in it for their kids, up into high school as well, and their kids are NOT ATHLETES. The parents are just hoping and DIEING for them to be stars and it will never happen. These are the parents that ruin it for everyone because of their constant complaining and jealousy over other kids that are better athletes than theirs. It will always happen. It is always political. AND that is the way sports run in this town and everywhere else in the world. You just have to get over it and be happy with the kid you have~ its reality!

Posted by Biffy, a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jun 28, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Nice post by Kevin Goodman and many agree that the Manager of the 12 year old team is a decent guy. I think the beef is whether or not his son and some others on the team are actual "All Stars". It's a subjective process and I agree, the tie goes to the coaches kid. But was it a tie? Something to think about...

Posted by Mike, a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 28, 2010 at 2:14 pm

To the Del Prado PNLL mom: the only reason any team doesn't go far in District All stars depends on the talent in that age group, not the politics. Show me any coach on All Stars that isn't going to pick up a top notch player. You obviously don't know baseball. I have coached my son in years past and he now plays college ball. I can tell you the only way a team can go far in these games is to have dedicated players. Pleasanton is full of kids that go from one sport to the next to the next. These kids have no chance to excel in one sport. No quality time, just mediocre at everything they do. But these parents are the same ones that blame everyone else for their kids success. You nay sayers should all be ashamed of yourselves and raise your kids right! Work harder to earn the spot next time not blame everything on politics. My son was denied for many things, but thats where he got his drive.

Posted by James, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 28, 2010 at 2:16 pm

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Posted by Dan, a resident of Carlton Oaks
on Jun 28, 2010 at 2:28 pm

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Posted by Sally, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 28, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Let's leave boys' names out of this blog. Never a good idea to mention people by name, especially minors.

Posted by Cheer Them On, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 28, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Well said Kevin! Thank you to you and Don for being their for your boys and the others as well.

Posted by lisa, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 28, 2010 at 2:57 pm

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Posted by Tim, a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Jun 28, 2010 at 3:00 pm

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Posted by tim, a resident of Castlewood Heights
on Jun 28, 2010 at 3:51 pm

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Posted by Amy, a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 28, 2010 at 4:52 pm

First off, do you know how hard it is to get coaches? These parents give their time to help ( yes, including their own ) kids. It is not easy! Think between practice's and game's it can be several hours a week. Not to mention the cost, I know game balls, water, snack and any other little items are not provided by PNLL. My husband coaches not because he is a "has been" but because he enjoyes it. Dan why don't you get off the computer and get involved! Than you will know how PNLL is really ran. I can't believe all the unhappy people, it is really hard to read your snotty comments, if you are this unhappy why don't you get involved and coach!

Posted by Heather, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 28, 2010 at 5:04 pm

I think all of those out there unhappy or feeling like their kids got shorted something by not making a team needs a good hard long look in the mirror! This is not the end of the world, and maybe instead of complaining DO something. Yes, I mean Volunteer! Or do you not have the time for your kids and just like complaing about thoses who do! My kids have had GREAT coaches threw the years and I am thankfull. Be glad other's care and take the time!!!

Posted by BB Gamer, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 29, 2010 at 7:37 am

Jon.. doesn't mean that if you volunteer to coach your kid automatically gets a pass..shouldn't you volunteer to help...I have volunteered to coach multiple sports and not only my own sons and daughters teams but other teams older or younger than my kids.. because I love too do it, not to allow my children to get one up on those who deserve to play in the allstars or whatever. Just because a parent doesnt coach doesnt mean that should be a reason for their child not to be rewarded for their talent.. I have definitely seen this happen across all sports and it really is sad.

At the end of the day peoples whose kids get on theses teams due to being friends of the coaches kids etc.. they are being laughed at because everyone knows they did not get their on their own you parents who think that they are doing their kid a favor.. think about it dont live through your kids.. teach your kids to work hard and attain what they deserve.

Posted by Mollly, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 29, 2010 at 9:04 am

BB Gamer-
It is sad that you have to attack the kids. I think you should STOP coaching! We don't need any more crazy parents "helping" our kids!

Posted by sam, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jun 29, 2010 at 9:15 am

every parent wants best for there young athlete and to be awarded the all star team. lets face it it there are many parents that look threw rose colored glasses. Being a manager or a coach in truly a job that has its rewards but it out weighed by parents not kids but the parents that want more for there child. Do you think there has ever been a child that was not picked that in everyones eyes deserves it or is that bubble kid that you hope will make it this year. you can sit here and call out a manager and coaches and hide behind a fake name and spend your time on this blog instead of doing what all of the great men that have taken the time from there jobs and family and play with your kid. teach him or her something stop lying to them. if they are not good teach them that in life you work for what you get and there will always be someone out there better then you and wants your position. its life deal with it

Posted by BB Gamer, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 29, 2010 at 11:45 am

Molly... I am not attacing the kids I am just stating the obvious....what I am trying to get across is that some parents think that allowing this to happen to their kids makes them more acceptable, more popular so on .. but in reality sometimes it back as parents we should be in it for out childrens sake not our own...I will not stop coaching because I love doing so and I have been asked several times to do so.. so until people stop asking I will keep volunteering if I can...

And Molly I believe you must be one of those Crazy parents as post what you did.

Posted by Parent of Two, a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 29, 2010 at 11:53 am

Parent of Two is a registered user.

BB, I don't think the kids are "laughed at", but I agree that the kids know what is going on, at least when they're 12 and older. IMO, it puts additional pressure on the coaches' kids to perform, like they have to validate their inclusion. As you mentioned, that can backfire, but I don't think it will cause any lasting psychological damage. IT'S ALL A LIFE LESSON.

My son was always one of the borderline players, probably in the top 15-20 in his age group, but never cracking the top 5-10 in the league. There were some years that I probably could have politicked him into the all-stars, but he likely would have sat for most of the games, and really, what's the fun of that?

Talk to your kids about the all-stars. You'll find they know the score, and they know who deserved it and who got in for other reasons. And as long as they know the WHY, they're ok with it.

Posted by BB Gamer, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 29, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Parents of Two::: very well put...

Posted by baseballwidow, a resident of Mission Park
on Jun 29, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Thanks Sam. My husband is one of those "great men". He spends countless hours during the season preparing for practices and games and has spent hundreds of hours over the past 7 years coaching many, many boys in this town. He cares as much about others boys as he does about our own boys. In fact, our sons sometimes "get the short end of the stick" because he is overly cautious about what parents think of him. If you've had a boy on one of his teams, you will know that everyone plays equally and if they work hard, he will give them a chance at whatever position they want to play. Also, most of the coaches we know dip into their own personal funds to buy tons of extra balls and other equipment that will benefit the team, but is not covered by the league. He has purchased and given away many items to boys whose families cannot afford to do so. And, let it be known, my husband is not unique. There are many, many awesome coaches out there who do exactly the same thing. Year after year. Finally, let's remember, these men are all volunteers. Their only compensation is watching boys, and not just their own, who they have coached since T-Ball go on to become fine young baseball players and outstanding young men.

Posted by Molly, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 29, 2010 at 5:05 pm

BB Gamer
So many of these kids don't play to be "popular" they play to play. These coaches aren't coaching to be "popular" or to relive their own youth, they do it because they want to! You are NOT stating the obvious. You said, "At the end of the day peoples whose kids get on theses teams due to being friends of the coaches kids etc.. they are being laughed at because everyone knows they did not get their on their own you parents who think that they are doing their kid a favor.. think about it dont live through your kids" so does this than apply to YOU since you coach? You can't group the coaches and players, it's not fair. We have GREAT players and kids in PNLL! This is not a post from a crazy person, but from a mom who doesn't want to see these kids or coaches hurt by rude comments like your!

Posted by BB Lover, a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 29, 2010 at 5:25 pm

The best part of any Little League game really is the snack bar! I enjoy the hot dogs and sodas! The tri-tip sandwiches at Granada are awesome!

Posted by Digoy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 29, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Some of this will change when the kids go to high school. If you notice, the kids that make the elite teams, A teams or all stars because of politics don't make the high school teams and if they do they don't play. Tell the kids to practice harder and continue playing, in the end it will all work out.

Posted by DAVE, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 29, 2010 at 9:54 pm

You are very wrong, check your facts! In the last few years players who played in the all stars Do make and play in both of the high school teams! My kids are friend with the teams and you and all the other people are really upsetting them by all this. Your making it seem as if the all star players have no talent,let's not forget these are just kids!

Posted by BB Gamer, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 30, 2010 at 8:31 am

Miss Molly:

This statement would refer to me as well but unfortunately my kids never were chosen to be on any top level teams even though when they got into HS they excelled and were all on varsity level teams by their sophomore years.. which was funny because a lot of kids their ages who were on those top level teams didn't make the varsity teams their sophomore years and most all decided not to play those sports their Jr and Senior years...

But at the end of the day no one is ever going to be happy with what they get or think they should get...

Posted by A Coach, a resident of Downtown
on Jul 1, 2010 at 10:00 am

.... "and the kids playing travel ball just end up picking their travel ball team-mates for All-Stars"

That quote makes sense considering year 'round travel kids dropping down a level to play LL enjoy a decided advantage.

While Jimmy is off doing his jui-jitsu class and rec swimming, Tommy is honing his skills and apptitude (you name the sport) at various sportparks through-out the State during the off-season!!!

Having coached many teams in town, I truely believe most parents understand where their child's status and pecking order, and for the most part accept it, or use a snub (as somebody pointed out) to work harder and leave no doubt the next time decision dasy rolls around.

The biggest problem w/ All-Stars that I've noticed is that you have cluster groups of ability ... 2 or 3 kids head and shoulders above the rest, then the next cluster group of 4 or 5 very fine & capable players (definately All-star worthy), and then the 'fog' cluster group of 6 or 7 players that do not distinguish themselves greatly from within the group. (Lots of similar skills and stats), so usually the father that 'gives back to the league' through volunterism (coaching) gets rewarded by winning the benefit of doubt carrot.

This problem has been around since the beginning of time, certainly not a conspiracy unique to our parents or community.


as the saying goes, coaches perogative

but we're now talking about 15-20 kids and the teams only carry 12-13. In short, players 7,8,9 aren't a whole lot better than the 11,12,13,14 player and that's where-in alot of grief lies, that coaches kid might be a 14, but it's such a cloudy mess, in the end it doesn't really make that big of a difference. this goes for every sport except perhaps swimming & track, as they have stopwatches.

Posted by PFLL President, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 1, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Selection of Tournament Teams:
"Little League would gain immeasurable in esteem of the public if all tournament teams were selected by the players themselves. Players relish the challenge of competition, but their anxiety to excel is in balance with an intuitive respect and admiration for teammate and opponent alike who demonstrate superior ability and skill. The following plan was presented to the International Congress, Washington D.C., 1965, as a guideline, taken from the experience of the International Advisory Council. The principle is to have all components of a league determine and participate in fair and democratic selection of the tournament team. This would eliminate many of the complaints, abuses, pressures, and charges of favoritism which are directed towards the league President. The following groups should select its tournament team:
Group 1- Players (recommended by peer voting for 10 players). Note: Manager/Coach selected child must be voted in by peers.
Group 2- League Officers
Group 3- Team Managers
Group 4- Team Coach's
Group 5- Volunteer Umpires

Every player on the eligible team is entitled to vote. each group submits its list of players at a meeting of the Board of Directors of the league. The names are to be read and counted from each of the groups, and the players in the order of total votes received will become eligible for the tournament team. Where more than one player has an equal number of votes to qualify for the last position or positions, final selection should be made by a majority vote of the BOD at the time of the meeting.

This is the official recommended selection process taken from the White Book of LLI, which superceeds all local rules. PFLL has adopted this recommendation.

It is true, as with all sports affiliations, that politics can exist, in minority. The prognosis is great, as with a benign cancer, can easily be removed by those honest and good that are in it for the betterment of all of our children exclusively. In my experience, if you start with that mindset, you can never go wrong.

PFLL is a great league, lead by amazing members, who work diligently to ensure that integrity is on the forefront of every decision. Participation is alway welcomed with open arms and encouraged.

PFLL President
Lisa Skerl

Posted by It's not just you...., a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 1, 2010 at 9:36 pm


It certainly appears the debate within the District is alive and well. For you folks in Pleasanton..don't feel bad. Every League I've ever talked with over several years has the same issues...including mine. Little League by its nature contradicts itself and sends out mixed messages.

During the regular season, it's all about equality, continuous batting orders, minimum play time (at least 2 innings) and rotation of players in positions. It happens every season from Tball to Juniors. Little league promotes, encourages and even mandates this philosophy through 100+ page rule book and league Operating Manual.

The program is designed to accomodate leagues across the country and even the world and is set to the lowest common playing denominator. A good example is the change a few years ago about 12 year olds being required to play majors regardless of experience or ability. Another would be the inclusion of 4 year olds being allowed to play this year.

AND THEN...........ALL-STARS and all bets are off!!!!

Every Team is vying for a spot in Williamsport and Little League completely changes its rules. It's all about the "W". And yes..leagues from around the world strategize every way possible to "stack" teams. It's interesting that although All-Star teams are allowed to have rosters as large as 15, no one does (check the rule book).

Take a look at the World Series on ESPN in August. You'll see the same players on the same teams year over year with few exceptions. I remeber last year watching an interview with one team who indicated they'd being playing on the same team together for years. I wonder...if the draft works the way it's supposed did that happne?!

So why is it this way?....Funding! Little League receives a HUGE amount of money for the televised games. It is what the organization lives for. In recent years, they have realized that they were starting to lose players and viewers to other programs and events. So, they allowed a pilot program within a few districts (including ours)to have "majors gold" teams play on 70' diamonds during the regular season. Didn't hear about it? Your President did and should have presented it to your BOD for vote. With the program competing with USSA Baseball and their growing popularity including a televised World Series, this is the future of LLB.

Bottom Line, most leagues struggle to define themselves and what they want to be competitive, rec. or somewhere in between. Add to this, the ultra-competitve nature of our communities, the me me me factor, combined with the economy and it's always going to be a struggle.

I recently read an article that indicated that the LLB World Series may not be of value. Below is an excerpt from that article.

"On the issue of the Little League World Series we have seen that the junior World Series tournament can seriously disrupt local play and that, of all forms of Little League play, it is most likely to lead to excesses of competitive intensity. The World Series would seem, on balance, to be of doubtful value."

The kicker is this was part of the conclusions of a nation wide survey conducted in 1957. It seems they may be on to something.

So what are we as a parents to do. If you have passion for the sport...pass it on...get involved as much as you can at all levels, manage, coach, board etc. Remember that LLB is an all volunteer organization and will not always atract the best and brightest in leadership positions. They are however involved.

It's the achilles heel of Little League and sports in this area in general. Just when you think everything is runing well, the Board, Manger or ?? moves on to someting else.

Be good to your yourselves, your kids and yes the community that surrounds you. After all, you did choose to live play and grow here.

Posted by Get your facts Right !, a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Jul 2, 2010 at 8:52 am

Seems like a lot of people don't know their facts. Little League has rules on who is eligible to Coach and they need to be followed. It can't just be any parent. Also as far as I can tell based on what I have read and have participated in, all the Leagues in Pleasant let the players select the majority of the Allstar team.

Seems like what we have here is the same old gripe "why didn't my kid make the Allstar team", the short and simple answer is "perhaps the other kids didn't vote for him, perhaps he is not as good of a player as you think. I know nobody wants to hear that, buts that's the simple truth. From my experience, those that complain the most, tend to be the ones who also contribute the least in terms of volunteering on the field or the Board, and to answer your next question, out of two sons going though LL from T-Ball to Juniors, we have been on the Allstar team only twice.

Posted by M., a resident of Downtown
on Jul 4, 2010 at 1:18 am

M. is a registered user.

Congratulations parents of Pleasanton on yet again missing entirely the point. For once we had a productive discussion on our forums where we were sharing ideas and information. I guess nothing lasts forever, but this is just too far. What on earth would possess someone to post the name and addresses of people on the internet? Do you people even have any idea how much harm you could have done?
The entire point, which clearly you missed, was not to start a long list of adult/kids who violate drug laws but to have a discussion on the topic, learn new ways to help find a meaningful solution to the issue.
No, that wasn't good enough was it? It had to turn in to an excuse to cross the line and start putting the names and addresses of kids out there. There is a reason people do not divulge the names or personal information of minors, you should keep that in mind.
Once again Pleasanton's culture of intolerance and over reaction rears its ugly head. 3 made an excellent point, and stated it perfectly "I can't believe how self-centered and disrespectful parents of Pleasanton are." Because apparently making mistakes means one should be removed from polite society even as a child, I'm glad you were such a perfect child growing up, but not everyone was or is for that matter. Not all parents are perfect, hence the point again of this thread. It was all about discussing the issues in a productive way in order to find some common ground, offer advice etc... Not out people by placing their personal information of the god damned internet for all to see.
I however am not so nice. Get you head out of your @&& and stop running roughshod over other people's privacy and ability to function as a child or adult in this god forsaken world. Once, again thank you so much for fully destroying this productive thread, and proving once again how intolerant and punitively obsessed Pleasanton can be.


Posted by M., a resident of Downtown
on Jul 4, 2010 at 1:21 am

M. is a registered user.

er.. yeah wrong topic... disregard. Or run with it whichever is more entertaining I guess...

Posted by And your surprised, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jul 4, 2010 at 10:47 pm

If you review the main sports of Pleasanton and how the All Stars are picked you will find a broken process in each of them. Baseball is kid picked for the most part, football is kid picked, etc. You can do the ballets in the beginning of the year or the end, but in most cases the team will be the same. As you go from LL to Babe Ruth you will find more of the same. There is the in crowd with a guaranteed spot before the season begins on the All Star team and always the the 1 spot that is up for grabs. Yes the process is broken and does need to be addressed.

Posted by Coach, a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jul 6, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Your son was not picked, so now you have sour grapes. Pleasanton plays some great baseball. Look at the history, over the last 5 years at all levels.

Now how much time do you voluntary? I always find it funny at all levels the person with the biggest mouth is the one who gives the least of there time. Moreover, they use the same old story work, well the last time I checked the rest of the coaches worked, ran business and had families.

So when you get your a** on the field you can complain. Alternatively, just do not have your kid play. It's only his loss at the end of the day.

Posted by In case you missed it, a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Jul 6, 2010 at 10:41 pm

In case you missed it the PALL 12 year old team lost in the D57 tournament. Looking at the score San Ramon must have some really good coaches sons.

Posted by a guy looking at the big picture, a resident of Castlewood Heights
on Jul 9, 2010 at 2:22 am

Just enjoy the time with your kids will be over before you know it. Then when they are over your house for Thanksgiving dinner with your grandkids the only thing they will remember is if that had fun and if you cheered them on. Telling them you love them.....allstar or not.... doesn't hurt either

Posted by a joke, a resident of another community
on Feb 6, 2012 at 8:02 am

I can tell you its beenyy thi waymynow for over 15 YEARS. Its political bs. I watched as my son after playing soccer for 9 years and at accofodio (sp) level was not picked up. Are you nodding me! Why because one of the coaches son was jealous n threatened by my son as they played the same position. This asst coach had his head so far up the other coaches butt, you didn't know where one started n the other ended! Its was disgusting n spool hurtful n damaging for my son!

Posted by former baseball mom, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 6, 2012 at 8:29 am

We don't have experience with All Stars, but even on Little League teams we've encountered biases. So many times the only boys who get to pitch or catch are the ones with dad's as coaches or helpers. Yes, sometimes they are the best players. But, how are other players supposed to get better if they never get a chance to play something other than right field? I wanted my son to have a good time playing on a team, as well as advancing his baseball skills. The latter could never happen, so we ended up continuing with other sports and leaving baseball. The sad thing is, my son enjoyed playing baseball and it's a shame he isn't going to have more chances to do that.

Posted by Chris, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 7, 2012 at 10:20 am

Thank you to all the great coaches in this town who volunteer their time! You do a wonderful job and my children have been very lucky to learn new skills and have fun on your teams over the years.

My kids aren't the best athletes, but despite that, you have given then equal time and encouragement on a recreational level. They have learned and grown so much with your support and freely given time. Thank you.

Posted by Russ, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Dec 11, 2012 at 11:27 am

It is like this in most leagues across the country and there is no simple fix or answer. Some leagues let the kids pick the team and then it is a popularity contest and deserving kids are left out, managers vote and there is biased for the kids they like and deserving kids are left out, a committee picks after tryouts and then they are biased and base on one day's performance and desering kids are left out.

Regardless of how done, desrving kids will be left out. With that said, there is typically a top 4-7 kids that are easy to place on the team and then the next 5-8 spots are filled from a pool of 20 kids or more than someone could make a case for each. As a result, the system is set up so that there will alwys be inequities as only 12-13 kids are picked and a lot of judgment goes into how you rank, and no two rankings are the same since the factors to judge upon are all over the place. If it was easy, then the major league draft each year would be a formality, but the truth is that on any given day, number 20 on the list can be just as good as number 8. If you can come up with a system to address this problem, you can probably retire to the beach somewhere.

The fact is that coaching is a huge volunteer committment and the biggest negative is the parents who all think their kid is the best and fail to see the truth. This is equally true of coaches as they like the parents remember only the plays their kid makes and not the plays they don't.

The only solution is to make the most of it, teach your son or daughter that life is not always fair, they need to work hard at everything they do and to always do their best.

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