Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy reacted to a Little League game between Texas East-Pearland and Oklahoma-Tulsa where a batter went out to the pitching mound to console the pitcher after the pitcher had struck him in the head.
Oklahoma-Tulsa’s Isaiah Jarvis was struck in the head by Pearland’s pitcher Kaiden Shelton. Upon making it first base, Jarvis noticed Shelton was visibly shaken and went out to the pitcher’s mound to console him.
Jarvis can be heard saying, “Hey, you’re doing just great. Let’s go!”
Portnoy reacted to the show of sportsmanship writing on Twitter, “This isn’t good sportsman ship. It’s dumb.”
“You got this kid on the ropes and he’s rattled. Trip to Williamsport on the line. You can play pattycakes after,” he added. “As far as the pitcher goes that’s your plate.”
After receiving criticism for his reaction, Portnoy doubled down.
He wrote, “Wait I’m trending for my LL take? Sorry I want to go to Williamsport. Sorry for wanting to win.” He also shared an edited version of the clip with him as Jarvis. However, instead of consoling Shelton, Portnoy repeatedly gives him the “Suck It” sign.
As Paul notes an example is not hard to find. During the 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, Stsiapan Papou defeated Amil Gasimov to become the champion.
However, during his match, he injured Gasimov, who was unable to leave the arena on his own power. Papou put him up on his shoulder and carried him back to the locker room.
Papou explained his decision to assist Gasimov saying, “That’s what often happens in sambo: athletes don’t want to give up, they try to stand the pain until the referee stops the bout. So my opponent didn’t want to tap despite all pain and he got injured. I think that the thing I did is a sign of respect. I used to be in that kind of situation, so I didn’t have any doubts whether to help him or not. If sambo athletes want to compete in the Olympics, they need to be an example of respectful attitude.”
Regardless of whether there are examples like Papou showing sportsmanship, it’s not surprising to see Portnoy’s reaction given he clearly values winning over anything else.
There are many more important things other than winning a Little League baseball game and getting a trip to Williamsport. One of those is developing good or strong character. A trip to Williamsport is a drop in the bucket in the ocean of your life. Strong character will always be with you.
Author and educator James B. Stenson explains, “‘One witty philosopher summed it up in another way: ‘Character is what you have left over if you go broke.’ It is the person himself minus his money and material possessions.”
And if one does not learn the strengths of good character, Stenson explains, “[People] retain the weakness of childhood; they remain self-centered, immature, irresponsible, self-indulgent, and without faith or confidence (in God or themselves).”
Isaiah Jarvis showed his character by comforting his opponent. Let’s hope he continues to strengthen his character and does not follow the advice and model of Dave Portnoy.