The Public School Athletic League announced Wednesday that two baseball coaches, Nick Carbone of George Washington and Adam Droz of Lehman, have been suspended two games to start the 2012 regular season. Neither coach thought the suspension was overly unfair since both coaches were suspended, but both were surprised by it.
The incident that led to the two suspensions occurred June 3 at MCU Park in Brooklyn. After game one of the PSAL Class “A” semifinals, a 5-4 George Washington win, some of the George Washington players refused to shake hands with their Lehman opponents. Droz took exception to this and let the league’s commissioner, Bob Pertsas, hear it on the field.
“I regret how I handled it,” Droz said. “I should have brought him to the dugout and discussed it, but I was angry. I don't regret talking to him about it though. I demand respect and that's the utmost disrespectful thing to do on the baseball field.”
Carbone said that he was unsure that the teams were even supposed to shake hands after the game as his experience from college baseball taught him that teams normally reserve that until the end of a series. Since this was after the first game in a three game series he told some of his players that they weren’t even going to do the handshake line.
He said that once his kids went out on to the field it wasn’t every kid that refused to shake hands, or even most kids, and the entire incident was overblown.
“The problem was there was a newspaper report that said that our guys walked down the line with their ‘hands pinned to their sides,’ and that didn't happen,” Carbone explained. “If there were guys in the front of the line that didn't shake hands, that was addressed. Sportsmanship is high on my list.”
Carbone thought the incident was behind both teams.
“It's kind of confusing, there was an incident in the hand shaking line and it was addressed that night by myself, commissioner, and Coach Droz,” Carbone said. “The following day we had another meeting to address it further. On Saturday, both teams were well behaved and there was zero incident. I thought it was handled.”
Carbone also took exception to the fact that the same day they sent him a letter to attend a disciplinary meeting was the same day that he was asked to coach the Mayor’s Cup, an all-star game between the catholic league and public league.
“They said the suspension was due to 'unprofessional behavior' on Friday,” Carbone said. “If I’m so unprofessional than why am I good enough to coach the all-star game? I don't understand that.”
Droz said that he does not plan to appeal the suspension. Carbone, who will return to Washington as an assistant coach after serving as interim head coach this season, has already reached out to his union rep to discuss an appeal.
“I'm just a volunteer assistant. I'm doing this for the kids, so yeah I want to be out there as much as possible,” Carbone said. “I contacted the union rep, at this point I don't know what my rights are as to weather I can fight it. I have contacted them so I’ll see what they say.”