Morganza Flooding Update and a Baseball Quandary

Morganza Spillway Flooding

While the residents of the Atchafalaya Basin and Morganza Floodway breathe a collective sigh of relief, I do so with them.  The Army Corps of Engineers had previously put out maps for the worst case scenarios, and now it appears that the flooding will not be as bad nor as widespread as first anticipated.

While it was costly, time consuming, and probably very hectic for basin residents to pack up and evacuate, I’m sure they are happy to be returning to their “dry” homes soon enough.

Baseball:  The Game of Life

Meanwhile,  down this bayou and more trivial than flooded homes, I have baseball on the brain.  Termite will be starting his season next week.  However, he and I witnessed something in a game one night week that was a little disturbing.  I’m wrestling with how to handle it.

Since a minor is involved, rather than share all the details with you, I will just copy and paste the letter to the editor I am working on.  I am very interested to read your reactions based on the information in the letter.

Dear Editor:

To me, baseball is a training ground for life.  Coaches are like future bosses.  Team mates are like future co-workers.  Game strategy requires higher-level thinking skills.  Knowing where the play is requires focus and concentration.  Accepting the ruling of the umpires teaches respect for authority.  And lastly, always following the rules is a good rule of thumb for life.

At a time when the values of our youth are challenged daily by all forms of media, I am gravely disappointed to see those same values being challenged on the local baseball fields.  Earlier this week, I watched a 15-year-old boy play baseball on a 13-14 year-old team.

After the game, when asked how he was able to play on the team, he replied that a player had been injured a while back and that another player had asked him to join the team.

When I challenged him about the fact that he was too old for the league, he told me the local director said it was okay.  Evidently it must have been approved because there is a sign-up process and payment is required.  He further stated that the head of recreation had even approved the roster before the game—not something I verified.

Each time I challenged him that what he had done was “wrong”, “illegal”, or “breaking the rules”, he defended his position that those who run the program said it was okay.  What lesson did the athlete learn when he was allowed to play a league below his age and abilities?

In my opinion, the integrity of the local sports program has been compromised.  If the local department of recreation chooses to operate in the gray in a day when our youth need to know there are absolutely black and white choices in life, maybe it’s time to throw in the towel completely.

Hopefully, though, this letter will bring about an admission of error, a valid explanation, and an apology to the players and parents who thought their children were learning valuable lessons while playing the American game of life—baseball.


Now, I have not sent the letter yet because I have a couple more questions to ask that might straighten this whole mess out.  I have decided that I will give the director the benefit of the doubt and give her a call later and the chance to redeem herself before I send this to the newspaper. There must be a better explanation.

In the meantime, please do not inundate me with comments that it is the parents’ responsibility to teach kids right from wrong.  I know that.  I do that.  It is the judgment of those in charge that is in question here, and the poor example they set in allowing this exception to the rules.

PLAY BALL!   Bring on your humble opinions!


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  1. BW I’m in your corner on this one. It’s wrong for those in charge to disregard their own rules and regulations at the expense of vulnerable youth. You go girl!

  2. Can he hit a high inside fastball?

    I somehow hate cheaters and guess you just have to play the game.

    I would certainly make him the object of my affection.
    The little sweetheart.

    Congrats on the water so far. I read on the Du it creeps up on you though.

    Bad left knee is grumpy. Ibuproferin in volume I guess.

  3. I think parents should have their own league, in all sports, in all age groups.

    If sports is about fun it doesn’t matter, if sports is about learning the rules and experiencing life lessons, then the parents should allow the kids to learn.

    Let him decide what to do, let him decide how much it matters to him, then he can make the choices and learn from his decisions

    I agree its cheating, is it worth making a grand stand over? How far is he willing to stand up for his convictions?. It should be his decision,

    Maybe next year look in to American Legion Ball?

    1. Foamheart, I find some of your statements confusing. Maybe I should have explained the background more? This is the summer baseball program of the Terrebonne Parish Recreational Department. And believe you me, there are definitely league rules and regulations that are, for the most part, followed.

      How far is who willing to stand up for his convictions? The 15 year old who was allowed to play “down” one age group? He made his decision and so did his parents when they took him to sign up and pay the money for him to knowingly play in the wrong age group. I’m not sure he has learned anything from his decision except that it is acceptable to break the rules and cheat. And next week, he will be playing in his own age group now that the 13-14 season is over, and he will be playing with Termite. How in the world can I impress upon this kid
      the error of his ways when the authorities allowed it? I just can’t get through to him.

      We don’t have American Legion down here. All we have is parish baseball up until the age of 16. After that, they might be able to go find an American Legion team in Houma, maybe.


        1. Funny you should ask, I scared myself Wednesday when I looked outside. I have never seen a tug that close before. I am guessing he was at least 30 or 35 yards outside the normal river boundaries. He was 25 or 30 yards insides the tree line.

          I am guessing 10 maybe 15 feet from the top of the levee!

          I think they could have left those Morganza gates open maybe a day or two longer…….

          1. Hm. Maybe so. News said last night flooding at Butte Larose finally happened but I still can’t get a good grasp of how much water? Also, the other river expected to crest at Morgan City Monday at 11 feet. They are holding their breath, too.

      1. A wise man once told me the reason there is always a fence around a sports field, it is not to keep the coach and players on the field.

  4. Personally, I wouldn’t say anything else to anyone other that the Parish Recreation Director or Termite’s coach. If the coaches get involved, MAYBE something will be done. It’s obvious the parents aren’t going to make their son play in his age bracket, so you’re beating a dead horse there.
    In our parish when a parent registers his/her child in any team sport, a birth certificate is required.

    1. Right, I have no intention of speaking to his parent; however, I did have a nice talk with him this afternoon here at my house. I just told him that I was very disappointed in his choice, and that he has to take responsibility for breaking the rules (no matter what the director and coach allowed) and that I will be deciding whether or not he might not be the kind of kid I want Termite hanging with. Since he loves coming to our house and sleeping over, I have an opportunity to influence him for good, but I won’t let him influence Termite for bad.

  5. Looks to me like you have done what needs to be. Complaining to the league officials could have a negative impact on Termite and won’t change anything. Unfortunately, people cheat and take short cuts all the time, leaving us with little choice but to accept the situation or go elsewhere. That’s not an easy choice, but a necessary one. Your son knows the difference between right and wrong because you taught him. The 15 year old, his parents and league officials know his presence is breaking rules and that he is getting preferential treatment. They don’t care. I often tell my kids that life isn’t fair, get used to it. Take some comfort from knowing you might have made a positive impact on the 15 year old and let them play ball.

      1. I miss you and the du! I’m facing crunch time right now, my gallery reception is scheduled for Aug. 15, I’ll be sending you an invite by snail mail.

  6. I agree with Patti,you’ve done your part by confronting him about the negative role he is playing.Now he will have to deal with his peers who will point out the error of his ways.I don’t believe I would curtail his relationship with Termite,your son could be the role model this misguided boy needs.BW,if he sets and listens to you,then you just may be filling a void in his life that he needs but doesn’t know how to ask for.The officials or his parents did not do him any favors by letting him play with a younger age group.Shame on them for trying to stunt his mental growth.

    1. Thanks, C.E. I never sent the letter to the editor. Have not talked to the director, either. However, I will see her this week when practice and games start for Termite. I just might approach her gently with a non-confrontational question. Maybe she didn’t check his DOB and maybe it was a mistake. Regardless, the teen knew he was the wrong age, and that is more my concern than adults who should know better at this point. There is still time to shape him—them? Not so sure.

  7. BW, the fence is for Little League Moms. Which are not like soccer moms and carry bats.

    Sacaulait and speckled trout tonight. Sorry for the late invite and I know traffic on 55 will be awful with the water.

  8. What happens to the 15-year-old caught in the middle of this? I wouldn’t want him to be harmed by your pushing against him. He is only doing what adults have allowed him to do, and there may be more to it than you know that would make the situation seem more plausible.

    1. Hi Brenda and welcome to the bayou! Nothing will happen to the 15 year old! And I am hoping there is more to it than I know that would make this simply an oversight or error. Thanks for the comment.

  9. Baseball the American game of life. Glad you talked to the 15 yr old. Bottom line, league leaders should not have let him sign up in lower league. Our Gboy playing again this summer. Some situations are changed to help a team “win” and they have forgotten the rules and honest play!.
    Do have to be careful, maybe email director and ask why a 15 year old.
    Go Termite!

  10. On the leagues around here if you are say 14 when the signups are held and turn 15 at any point in the season you are allowed to play in 14 and under. Maybe that’s the case here? I would venture to say it’s not but I thought I’d throw that out there. My daughter is 11, she turned 11 in March before softball season would have started, however, she was 10 on January 1st so she could technically play in 10 and under leagues. If he did not play would the entire team have to forfeit a whole season? That happened to my daughters team this year, they were 1 player shy to play so the whole team had to sit out. Maybe it was an exception so 9 other kids didn’t have to suffer. I would ask the director before just assuming something bad was going on. Unfortunately in this day in age of win at all costs its so hard to not just assume they were stacking a team. I’m sure all of us looking in don’t know the reputation of that teams coach or the league as you do being involved with the people every year.

    1. One of the first things I asked him was when he turned 15—back in February! He only played the end of the season after their catcher got injured. I’m thinking (and still haven’t asked) that the director just wasn’t paying attention and the coach just didn’t really care. Now the boy is playing with Termite in the 15-16 year old league which is just getting started. I’ve cooled off about it now but still don’t approve. Thanks for your input!