My son had a pretty good JV baseball season as a freshman. Stats from my husband: 532 batting average, 80% on base, 18 rbis, only 6 strikeouts all season. It was obvious he was one of three top bats on the team and we thought likely the top bat to be honest. However, when spring awards rolled around, my son not only didn’t get recognized – the standard certificate they handed out had his brother’s name on it, a brother who is a track athlete and has never played baseball. The defensive MVP award went to the catcher who was out at least 1/3 of the season’s games due to a concussion he got while catching. The offensive MVP went to the other of the three “hitters” on the team. So we thought we were wrong, our son did not have the top bat. We said nothing, just like we said nothing the year before when our son got cut as an eighth grader (while six eighth graders from the local travel team made it). Older boys approached my older son and told them that our son clearly should have been on the team from what they saw at the tryout. So our son joined the travel team that Spring and becomes one of the top bats playing along side half the JV team he got cut from. We said nothing.
Back to this year: School starts back up this fall and the varsity head coach’s wife approaches my brother’s girlfriend (they both work at the same elementary school) and says to her “Let’s get this out of the way right now, >>>>> did not make the team as an eighth grader because he wasn’t good enough and he doesn’t have near the batting stats he thought he had on JV this past spring.” Mouth is hanging open when my brother tells me this. Why does she know his stats and especially how did she know what we thought they were in the Spring? I called her up and told her that I realized her and my brother’s girlfriend did not get along, but to please leave my son and his baseball out of it. We were cordial — I could tell I caught her off guard and there was some serious back pedaling going on. I still said nothing to anyone else.
Then Fall Ball starts, the varsity coach puts my son on the “B” team with one other sophomore that didn’t even play during JV and he puts the rest of the sophomores on the “A” team. Kids he clearly outhit in the Spring. Also, my son hears that the defensive MVP and offensive MVP have their baseball stats directly in email from the JV head coach. So, my son asks me to email the coach for his. I do and two weeks go by — no answer. So, I tell my son to ask the coach from his own email address. He does and the coach replies to him, but says there are other unfilled requests ahead of him and the first weeks of school are really busy and he will get them to his stats when he has free time. Okay — we know the stats are done because the assistant JV baseball coach is also the B team fall ball coach and he told my son and I that his stats were right up there for offensive MVP and that the player that got the award was just a little more consistent(?). Three more weeks go by and still no stats. My son is hurt that his friends/teammates have their stats and he can’t seem to get his official version from the coach. What should I do? If I go the principal with this outrageous story it will probably only come back to hurt my son. The JV coach was really fair to him during the JV spring coach. He sat out the first three games of the season, but once the coach got a glimpse of how he could hit my son never sat the bench again. The assistant JV coach has also been really fair to him on the Fall Ball team. I think the unfair treatment is coming from varsity and I feel like I have cause to go to the principle, but I don’t want to make trouble for JV even though I think the head is also doing wrong. Please keep in mind, my son is awesome in the field as well, not just a hitter. The fall ball coach even pitched him the other day and he did well. Any suggestions? This situation is really bothering my son and I.
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Comments for Is my son being treated unfairly? Is the coach being unethical?
Oct 12, 2013
Yes, he is being treated unfairly
Thanks for the responses everyone. I still haven’t done anything about this yet for fear of making matters worse. I thought I would give the JV head more time to send the stats that were already done (according to the assistant JV), but it has now been 6 weeks since my son asked him. It could simply be that he feels like it would make him look bad releasing such good stats on a kid that was cut as an eighth grader, I really don’t know. It just doesnt seem right that the others have their official stats and my son doesn’t. I feel like my son is getting kicked around by his high school baseball program, but I don’t want folks to think I am bent out of shape over an award. Awards were given out in the spring – kind of old news now. I realize different coaches can have differing opinions on the skills of their players, but in this case, the jv assistant is new to the county and is looking at players through objective eyes that have not yet been politically influenced. I believe that is why my son has caught his attention. If I talk to anyone, I think it might be him. And yes, this is a “sickening” situation to be in. My son knows he is going to have to fight twice as hard as other players given the situation and especially the comments of the varsity head’s wife. He is a fighter and loves baseball. I will keep you posted on how it all plays out.
Oct 12, 2013
We unfortunately have had a similar situation, to the point that my son has decided to not play for his school team due to the varsity coach’s actions. We have had the sit-down meeting, but please, please make sure that there is someone else from the school there with you. We requested that the meeting be with the coach and the AD so there would not be any misinterpretation of what the meeting’s topics and discussions were. While the AD was sympathetic to a point, this particular coach was one he recruited and hired away from another school so you knew where his loyalties were. Our meeting left my son feeling unresolved and ready to quit and we have had many discussions with him about the fact that a coach should never be the reason you quit a team. My son plays on a travel team as well so he continues to play ball, it just looks like he will not be playing for his school squad because of the actions of the coach.
Oct 07, 2013
Be careful while loading up…
by: Coach Henze
I agree with everything Larry is saying… The only term I would be careful with is “loaded.” I would not advise you to go in to this meeting with you son’s coach “loaded” with a bunch of information. I would go in and ask the coach questions… Things like… Why this? How did you come up with your awards? Why did you feel my son should be on this team?
If you come in as a “loaded” parent and barrage the coach with what will come across as anger, you will not win any arguments.
If you ask the questions like I posed and he answers with something that doesn’t make sense, then bring out your statistics. “Well, coach… You say my son didn’t do so well compared to so and so, but how did he hit .525 this season?”
Basically, if you come with the relaxed parent that is trying to understand and continue to come back with facts to back your story up when his doesn’t make sense, then you are making progress…
If the coach ever starts getting frustrated, rude and short with you, then end the conversation abruptly, leave and schedule a meeting with his supervisors.
Basically, don’t be that “mad” and “delusional” parent that thinks his/her kid is awesome. Be kind and factual.
Hope this makes sense.
Oct 05, 2013
This sounds like a tough situation that really needs to be addressed. I would document everything, including hitting stats, unreturned emails, etc, etc! I would request meetings and I would be loaded to the max and very well prepared.
1) Have a sit down with the Coach and give him a chance to make this situation right.
2) If #1 doesn’t work, I’d request a meeting with the AD.
3) If #1 and #2 don’t work (and they might not) I’d then request a meeting with the principal.
4) Meet with the Superintendent of schools.
I managed my son for many years. When he just starting to pitch, I had to hurt his feelings and I did not pitch him in our 4 straight playoff wins including the championship game. It was VERY difficult for me to do this but I had to do what was fair. MANY coaches would not do that. I’m nothing special but I do know that I must treat players and baseball parents fairly. I really wish you all the best and look forward to hearing that your situation has improved. I know first hand how sickening a situation like this can be. All the best to you guys.
Oct 04, 2013
Lots of issues here…
by: Coach Henze
Thanks for the question/s… I hesitate to be too specific here as I am really not sure what is going on. I am sure you feel the same way.
I am not sure if your son is getting treated unfairly. Awards are nice, but I always encourage my players to not worry about them because they are chosen by someone else and out of his control.
To be honest, the only recommendation I have for you is to invite the coach for a sit down, face to face meeting. This meeting would be for you to simply and respectfully put your son’s feelings on the table knowing you might not hear what you want to hear. If the coach agrees to this meeting, great. If he doesn’t agree, then you have something to talk to his athletic director (go their first) or principal about.
Maybe there is some miscommunication going on?? Maybe there isn’t?? You will never know unless you sit down and ask.
Be respectful, appropriate and honest.
Does anyone else have a comment on this situation. Please submit your comment also!
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