-- Grantland Rice
"Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing."
With two outs in the bottom half of the final inning, the Yankees led the Red Sox by one run. A runner already on third, the best hitter for the Red Sox advanced to the plate. With a weak hitter on deck, the coaching staff for the Yankees opted to walk the slugger and take their chances with the weaker hitter. The strategy worked to perfection, with a strikeout ending the game and giving the Yankees the title.
Only this wasn't Joe Torre, Mariano Rivera and David Ortiz involved in some October drama at Fenway Park. These Yankees and Red Sox were teams in a youth league in Utah. And the hitter who found himself at the plate after the intentional walk was Romney Oaks, a 9-year-old boy who had to wear a helmet in the outfield to protect the shunt in his head he received when he was treated for a brain tumor.
So what's your take, SportsNation? The coach of the Yankees said his kids deserved a chance to see their hard work rewarded with a championship and he was just using baseball strategy. Others say it was symptomatic of a widespread win-at-all-costs attitude that has no place in youth sports.
What would have been the best way to treat Oaks like any other kid? When is it appropriate to play to win?