Bruce Bits

Published 5:39 am Monday, July 17, 2006

By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
The 2006 youth baseball all-star circuit is like everything else in life. You have to take the bad with the good, and I've seen plenty of both so far.
The good: 16 strikeouts by Brewton 11s pitcher Kevin Davis against East Brewton.
The bad: sessions starting at every time except the posted time during the Little League tournaments played at Andalusia. Most sessions started at least 5-10 minutes early. One session started 40 minutes later than advertised.
The good: two homeruns by East Brewton 11-12s' Gary McGraw hit in a 4-3 win over Brewton. McGraw was the only area youth player to homer twice in the same game during district competition.
The bad: starting play while the starting lineups are still being announced. That is just another example of how eager the officials were at Andalusia to play ball.
The good: Mother Nature had an unusually low one rainout during Little League and Babe Ruth district play. Even that game, the Brewton 14s' second contest against Monroeville, got started as scheduled. Play was suspended during the third inning. One of the most frustrating parts of the all-star circuit, especially if you're traveling, is to get to a location only to have a shower come up and cancel play.
The bad: Parents, players and coaches who think the only reason why their team lost is because of the umpiring.
The good: The district championship games for the Little League 11-12s and Babe Ruth 15s. Those were the only two district tournaments that went the distance and had a winner-take-all for the final game.
The bad: the schedule at the 15-year-olds tournament forced Brewton to play four games in just over 24 hours last weekend. The state tournament did not start until July 19. Why such a rush to finish?
The good: WEBJ's broadcasts that brought the games home to listeners if they were unable to attend the contests.
The bad: all six district tournaments local teams participated played were on the road. With gas approaching $3 a gallon, it can be an expensive period.
The good: only having to walk a few feet to watch the tournaments for Little League 9-10s and 11s.
The bad: parents who have to make a choice when they have multiple children involved in tournaments at different locations at the same time.
The good: the slush drinks Andalusia had at its refreshment stand. They made the hot evenings at the ballpark a little more enjoyable.
The bad: the botching of East Brewton Little League president/Brewton 15s assistant coach Joey Shell's name at two different locations.
Shell was introduced at Andalusia as Joey Snell. He was introduced at Monroeville as Shell Nall. The latter was probably the combination of Shell and Brewton 15s assistant coach Wayne Nall.
The good: No one was hurt when a foul ball shattered a light at the championship game of the 11-12s tournament. Most of the broken glass fell behind the bleachers.
The bad: games that seemingly take forever when pitchers can't throw strikes.