I'm flitting back and forth to San Bernardino this week for the Little League West and Northwest Regional tournament. I saw these guys destroy the Oregon state champion 12-2 in four innings last night.
- Their fielding is top-notch--their second baseman had a bad night, so ignore that
- They have power to spare--three home runs, including two in back-to-back appearances by Danny Oh (insert your own joke here.)
- They're aggressive as hell running the bases--with a runner on second, the batter doubles to right-center. On the throw home the batter advances to third as soon as it leaves the right fielder's glove, and when the throw misses the catcher, he scores without hesitation.
- They're aggressive as hell towards opposing baserunners. If after a pitch, you jump off a base, the catcher or pitcher will run at you with his arm cocked to throw. You just don't see that. Lest that be an idle threat, they threw out a runner at third 2-1-5. The Oregon runner had taken a couple of steps off third base after the pitch, on the chance the catcher lost the ball or missed the pitcher returning it. When the catcher half-lobbed it back to the mound, that runner took his time returning to his base. He didn't expect the instant rifle-shot throw from the mound that picked him off. The next inning, another runner at first tried repeatedly to draw a throw. It looked like a lot of posturing and baiting, but the simple fact was the runner never took off far enough--the Washington players wouldn't throw until they were sure they had the out, but they never backed down on the threat.
I just hope they're all 12. 'Cause if they're not, if their parents bought some good forged birth certificates, after the Danny Almonte business last year, it's going to come out sooner or later and there will be hell to pay.