Recently in the Big Apple Softball League, http://esportsdesk.com/leagues/front_pageesd.cfm?clientID=1322&leagueID=2106 , a serious knee/leg injury occurred to Nick Ross manager/player of the Brother Jimmy's softball team. The injury occurred on May 2nd at second base while playing against Lucky's (formerly Contact). Lucky's tough competitor, excellent infielder, and scrappy lead off man Mike Trenk slid "aggressively" into second and unfortunately the injury transpired.
Injuries are part of the game. We all accept that risk the second we cross the lines. i am a big propeonent of sliding in hard, clean, and early into any base to avoid a tag or break up a play. it's part of the game. But we also must all adhere to good sportsmanship and overall respect for the game, players, and officials. You can't play alone.
Despite all his success on the field over the years Mike Trenk has rarely exhibited good sportsmanship and respect during a league games. I do not know him personally so it would be unfair for me to comment on his off the field character but here is what I see on the field:
(1) Argues every border line pitch during an at bat with an umpire
(2) Steps out on every pitch to disrupt a pitcher and argues during that time with umpire.
(3) Ducks under pitches during an at bat
(4) Nasty Attitude - yelling, screaming, bullying everyone- no one likes him and its a shame b/c he is a winning player
(5) Three years ago he also slid in late, high, and hard to Nick and knocked Nick out of commission for a while. I witnessed that 1st hand.
To be fair Mike did call Nick immediately after the incident to apologize and see how Nick was doing. In addition, Mike dishes it out and can take it as well, as I and other players, have slid very hard into second base just because he is there and Mike has never wined or complained.
Nick filed a formal grievance with the league stating that Mike exhibited poor sportsmanship and intentionally slid into second to injure him. The league to their credit asked questions and conducted an investigation of players and officials but had no physical proof to rule against Mike.
This is clearly the case of the the Letter of the Law versus the Spirit of the Law. Where there was no physical evidence (video tape, umpire testimony) of poor sportsmanship, but Mr. Trenk's reputation and repeated poor past behavior leads one to question his actions/intentions. The league had a tough call to make and made a fair and safe decision, but ultimately the wrong choice. Trenk should have been suspended for at least 2 weeks, maybe then we will realize that you can't play the game alone and would change his attitude.
(1) Upset at the league decision, Nick has decided to resign as a member of the league's committee effective June 1, 2010.
(2) This repeated poor behavior would not be tolerated in Inwood.