What better way to waste time on a Friday than rank all the LLWS teams on a completely meaningless scale and pick a winner. So, here goes:
First the criteria that matter for LLWS Baseball:
Weather: playing baseball 360 days a year>playing baseball 180 days a year(or 25 if you live in the Northeast).
Asshole Parents: People always make the case that the LLWS is a “pure American” event. If by “pure American” they mean its more about cheating and cracking the whip on 12-year-old kids then, yes, it is pretty American. It’s almost like buying a pair of Nike shoes.
Willingness to cheat: Nothing ensures little league success like a 15-year-old who can throw 85. Forge a birth certificate, move a kid from one district over, whatever, to get to Williamsport rules must be broken, unless you play in the West region.
“2 beard rule:” Hate to sound all Bill Simmons here, but Little League Baseball is about having two kids that have already gone through puberty. One can pitch, the other plays shortstop, they switch positions and combine for three home runs a game. All you need to win.
For the sake of evaluating teams, I’m only using the first three criteria above because googling pictures of 12-year-old boys is just too creepy for me(if writing an 800 word post isn’t).
8. Saudi Arabia
Asshole Parents: 1
Wait, they play baseball in Saudi Arabia? Nope, Americans in Saudi Arabia play baseball.
Like I guessed earlier this team is actually from Ramstein AFB, which means they too, are all Americans. Can’t see them getting a ton of time to play in Germany, they have a small pool to draw from and parents in the military seem pretty honorable most of the time.
Canadian people are too nice to be good at Little League baseball.
Everything you need to know about Mexico and their sports fans.
4. Chinese Taipei
I know nothing about Chinese Taipei(aka Taiwan), but I have a feeling that they have no problem cheating to get to Williamsport, and we know the Chinese have no problem forging ages.
There is nothing that says we cheat, like consecutive appearances by the same Little League in Williamsport.
By my count, the Pabao LL(?) has been in every LLWS since 2003. That means they legitimately could have some 24-year-olds on this team. Also, given the history of Dominican players in the majors(and Curacaoians(?)) I’m not willing to rule out steroids. I’m looking at you Andruw Jones.
Where we call pushing 12-year-olds too hard “creepy” in America, in Japan it is called “social norm.” That is a huge bonus.
Internationally that leaves us with:
Japan v. Mexico
Chinese Taipei v. Curacao
I’m taking Japan to win the International region.
Gained some traction after being favored by a great deal in the Northwest regional final. I guess the states they were competing against were weak, because the other factors don’t seem to fall into place. It rains all the time in Washington, and I don’t Washingtonians really caring too much about anything.
5’s may seem a little high for the fine folks of Iowa, but with the competition in all the American regions you’re not getting through if you aren’t cheating in some aspect.
On paper they might be stronger than Mass, but I think Mass gets the slight nod over them.
I predict they win one game they shouldn’t simply because Massachusetts is full of the most assholes in the Union. I’m sure enough of them take time off defending David Ortiz to push their kids too hard at Little League baseball.
4. New York
If the LLWS was a contest of trying to sneak a 15-year-old on your team(wait, it might be) I’d take NY v. Chinese Taipei in the finals. They may not have the year round advantages of the top-3 US teams, but I guarantee they can cheat their way into the finals
Not much difference at the top.
Texas may disguise themselves as laid back people on the outside, but then stuff like this happens. It may be a different sport, but I have a feeling the same thing happens in Baseball.
Georgia might not pop out like California and Texas on first glance until you remember this same Little League won the whole thing two years ago. That is a level of cheating and sketchiness only matched by a late-90’s baseball MVP, a Memphis recruiting class and an Olympic Gold Medal. Well done, sirs.
That leaves us with:
Georgia v. California
Texas v. New York
I’ll take Georgia over Japan in the final and Texas for the third place, only because I like America.