— SportsCast (@SportsCast_THN) August 22, 2016
Hey, the Little League World Series is happening right now! Sure, it’s a form of baseball much lower in objective quality than the one on every night (in case you haven’t been paying attention, the Cubs and Indians are really good and the Royals might finally have fallen back to earth), but the youth of the participants once again provides a glimpse into a more innocent time of our lives, when baseball really was about the love of the game.
Of course, when adults get involved, that’s when the cynicism and bad behavior of sports tends to come back in force. That’s why it was so great to see Joel Jensen, manager of the Oregon team, give the sweetest mound visit to his son and pitcher Isaiah — a potent reminder of the power of sports to bring together parents and their children.
I just came out here to say I love you, as a dad and a player. You’re doing awesome out here. One more hitter and I’m going to [Jude?] This is your last hitter. ‘Kay? Understand? Come right after him. Hey, cheer up, have some fun, come right after him.
Isaiah had indeed been doing awesome out there, pitching four shutout innings before walking the first batter of the fifth, when that mound visit happened. No pitcher wants to come out of the game, and that emotion would only be amplified at his tender age, but the elder Jensen knocked the pep talk out of the — uh, he did a very good job.