Sunday, June 14, 2009

When Little League dads just can't let go

So you're a father whose son plays baseball. Naturally, you're proud of his accomplishments and you think he's a great player. So what do you do when your kid goes to college but has a disappointing stint there? Well, if you're the father of former University of Houston baseball player Jimmy Raviele, you write a 16,000-word manifesto trashing head coach Rayner Noble, buy a domain, put it up on the interwebs for the entire world to see and, in the process, make a complete fucking fool out of yourself.

From accounts of acquiantances who who follow UH baseball more closely than I do, Jimmy Raveile is a good kid. As a pitcher, however, he was, well, not that good. According to Jimmy's dad Vinnie, that's entirely the fault of Noble, who apparently did not like Jimmy, rarely played Jimmy, pulled Jimmy off the mound when Jimmy made the slightest mistake, and otherwise purposely set Jimmy up for failure. "Jimmy was doomed from day one!" Vinnie declares.

The massive missive details Jimmy's success in Little League and in high school - as if what a kid does in Little League or high school is somehow relevant or comparable to Division I college baseball - and then breaks down his time at the University of Houston, season-by-season, to explain just how good Jimmy could have been if Rayner Noble, damnit, had just given him a chance!

I'm not going to quote a lot of it, especially since I couldn't do all of the font size, style and color changes justice. But here are a few of my favorite sentences:
The pitchers that ended up doing better this past 2009 season were the ones that Noble pitched more.
Really? It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that Noble wanted his more-talented pitchers to throw more than his less-talented pitchers, could it?
Most (Little League) parents were not realistic and saw their child’s talent through rose colored glasses.
Oh, the irony.
My son is a much bigger man than I am, because he did not want me to write and post this letter.
So then why did you, Mr. Raviele? Is it because, in spite of the fact that his name appears in your epic rant over 500 times (somebody on another site actually counted), this really isn't so much about Jimmy as it is about you, and your expectations for your son? The simple fact is, Rayner Noble did not share your feelings about your son's talents, and now you harbor a grudge against him that you want to share with the entire world:
The reason I posted this on a web site is because anytime someone Google's [sic] the name "University of Houston Baseball" or "Rayner Noble" I want them and their parents to read this and decide for themselves if they REALLY want to come here with a coach like Noble!

The sad thing is, Jimmy's now a college graduate. He's old enough to think and speak for himself. This website is embarrassing, and it's completely unfair to him. It truly is little more than the angry rantings of an overbearing father who still regards his son as a 10-year-old Little Leaguer and who can't let go.

To make it clear, I'm not defending Rayner Noble. I've heard a lot of stories about his coaching style that don't reflect well on him, and in any case the fact that his program hasn't come close to the success it enjoyed in the early part of this decade is something that he must account for. But if Rayner's tenure as a head coach is to come to an end, it will be on the basis of his team's record, and not because some bitter parent decides to make an ass out of himself on the web.

Given the "" url, it's only a matter of time before the University of Houston's lawyers sue to get it taken down, so enjoy it while it lasts.

Always up to task, Fourth and Fifty and Scott and Holman share their thoughts. National sports website Deadspin picked up on it as well.

UPDATE: as expected, the diatribe has been taken down and replaced with this message:
- Vinny Raviele
If Vinnie's goal was to make himself look like an angry, classless buffoon, then I'd have to say mission accomplished indeed.

1 comment:

ATLaggie said...

Jimmy graduates in 5 years, he still has to face that campus, ashamed of his father's actions, for another year. Poor kid.