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Bickley and Marotta

Updated Aug 13, 2013 - 5:09 pm

Bickley Blast: The Little League World Series is exploitation at its finest

For the past two weeks, we've talked about the exploitation of college athletes, and how the NCAA is crumbling under the weight of hypocrisy.

Now it's time to exploit our children.

The annual Little League World Series begins on Thursday, a sporting event that never fails to make me cringe.

It's not just the unsavory stuff that always accompanies Little League baseball: the forged birth certificates, the overzealous coaches and the glory-seeking parents.

It's the preying on innocent emotions of 11- and 12-year old boys.

It's a product that's become so pervasive that you can see regional tournament finals, as well as up to 32 games from Williamsport.

It's the fact that you can actually bet on these games: That's right. You can bet on these games. And my advice? Take Chinese Taipei.

Today, the Little League World Series championship is big enough to draw nearly four million viewers. It's big enough to bump soccer matches between U.S. and Mexico. It's become part of sporting landscape.

It's beyond ridiculous. Because the Little League World Series not only exploits kids, it fills them with a sense of entitlement. It makes them feel more important than they actually are. Who knows? One day, these Little Leaguers might even demand a cut of the action, pay for play, just like college players.

And we wonder how some of our best young athletes turn into self-obsessed, narrow-minded jerks.

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