Sports Outside the Beltway

Arrest Warrant Out for Jeff Allison

The story just keeps getting worse for the Marlins prospect (if he is still considered that anymore)

Back in May 2003 Jackie MacMullan of the Boston Globe wrote an article about this top talent

“You look at him five years down the line, and you like his chances,” said the scout. “He throws hard, he has a decent curveball, and he’s got good baseball smarts. He looks like a kid you can teach.”

“He is,” said a second scout, “the best prospect from this area in 15 years.”

In the article Theo Epstein seemed to have some concern over talents like Allison

“The history of the draft demonstrates taking a righthanded pitcher out of high school in the first round is a risky venture,” said Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein. “It’s an extremely long road from high school to the minor leagues to the big leagues. There’s a lot of attrition, mostly because of injuries.

“It’s hard to keep pitchers healthy for a long period of time. These young guys have so many adjustments to make, from mechanics, to facing better hitters, to dealing with bigger crowds. Some make it, and some don’t. And, even those that do tend to make it with a team other than the one that drafted them.

And if you read the December 2004 Sports Illustrated Article you will know that Allison’s coach seemed to blinders on about the situation

“I know what they say about high school pitchers getting drafted, but I’ve been around 34 years, and this kid is the exception to the rule,” said Nizwantowski. “He has his wits about him. None of this stuff has gone to his head. He acts like any other kid we’ve got, but when he gets behind the stripes, you can’t believe how focused he is.”

This is a story that I have followed from the time Allison was in high school. While this is a very tragic story, based on what I read this was a kid who seemed to think he was invincible.

His chance and MLB stardom might have passed, but I hope it is not too late for him to turn his life around. I would think there are thousands of high school athletes who fail because of the pressures to succeed at the next level. If Allison can overcome his problems he might have the opportunity to teach young people (not just athletes) how to make the best of their opportunities. IMO that accomplishments would be more rewarding than anything he could have accomplished on the field.

Best of luck Jeff


Michigan School Cancels Football Season for Scoreless Team

A high school football team was so pitiful that its own coach called an end to the season to avoid further injury and embarrasment.

The Oscoda Area High School football team hasn’t won a game, or even scored a point, in four games this season. Because of that, the school district has decided to cancel the remaining games. Despite pleas from players and parents, the board recently upheld the school’s earlier decision to end the season, saying players risked injury in trying to take on much stronger opponents. “When you go to a game on Friday night and see a team physically dominated, those are the indisputable facts,” coach Kyle Tobin said.

“Seniors, I feel for you. There’s nothing I can say other than I’m sorry,” board member Neal Sweet said. “But you’re not quitters. You went out there and did your best.”

Tobin said the team was not physically competitive, had too few players and faced a tough schedule in the North East Michigan Conference, The Bay City Times reported.

Senior quarterback Mike Gondek pleaded with the school board to reconsider the school’s Sept. 19 decision to cancel the remaining games. “All I ever wanted to do was play football,” Gondek said. “My teammates never felt so unsafe that we didn’t want to be out there.”

Tobin, a first-year coach, defended his decision. “I have 28 years of coaching experience in high school and college, and I know the difference between a team playing bad and a team that’s unsafe,” he said.

If his players were so weak that they were getting injured, Tobin was right to cancel the season, although it brings into question exactly what they were doing during summer two-a-days.


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