Why we turned down the CR Giants baseball team in 2014.


Eric Penne <epenne@gmail.com>

At this point I would like to respectfully decline the offer for
Christopher to join the "step down" team.

In my opinion the PST league is a waste of time and does not help
advance the competitive teams in the area. It saps resources from
practice and you only play the teams you would already be playing in
the local tournaments anyway.

4-5 tournaments is hardly a competitive team at the AA level. It is
barely a respectable amount of tournaments for a single A team.

I was very pissed off about the behind the scenes texts/emails that
went on this year regarding the World Series. If honesty and openness
weren't an essential part of a team this year then I surely can't
expect honesty and openness next year. Working behind the scenes
mid-season to carve out certain players and ostracise them to another
team is not a very good showing of sportsmanship and class.

I was also disappointed in the negativity and piss poor sportsmanship
shown toward the umpires, opposing coaches, and our own boys when
things didn't go right for the team. Poor calls and errors are part of
the game. Anger and hostility on the field are never acceptable at this level. I
think the best phrase of the year was, "They're just 11 year old
boys!" You win some, you lose some, but you should never lie to keep
an inning going.

This season showed me that I need to put up or shut up about these
values. Therefore, I'm sure you aren't surprised that we started the
Cedar Rapids Fire team.

Thank you for coaching Christopher this year and I wish all the boys
on your teams good luck and good health in the future.

Eric Penne


Darrell Long <crgiants2013@yahoo.com>

to me
Were there things that could have been handled differently?  Absolutely!!  No one will deny that.  This was our first time at this and mistakes were made.  We are human.  Nothing was done with malicious intent.  It is unfortunate that you are choosing to focus on the things that didn't go well.  I don't believe those things diminish the benefits that Christopher reaped from this past season.   I was warned about you and Jill when we welcomed Christopher onto the team, yet I thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with you guys (and defended you to other people all season).  But given the information I'd heard and what I know now, I think you are making the right decision by starting your own team.  Carla


Eric Penne <epenne@gmail.com>

to Darrell
Christopher learned a lot this year. I absolutely don't regret coming
over to the Giants. Christopher got to meet so many good kids and we
enjoyed hanging out with you and Darrell and all the families. We wish
you and your family all the best in the future.

The nuts and bolts of the issue is that I didn't agree with how the
team was managed. I also realize that it wasn't my team to manage. You
guys took on a huge task of starting a team and had a very successful
year. The time and stress involved let alone the financial commitment
are daunting. I only hope that my first year will be half as
successful. Near the end of the season I realized that if I wanted to
manage a team differently then I need to step up and start my own. I'm
pretty sure you were in this same situation a little over a year ago.
I thank you for giving Christopher the opportunity to be on a
successful team.

In the end, 2 things were deal breakers. We were unhappy with the
negativity and the behind the scenes issues. I listened to parents
from other teams complain about our team and I didn't really want to
be associated with that negativity anymore. I do hope you address this
issue next year.

The 4-5 tournaments and PST league were one of the primary reasons we
left the Prairie organization. The PST league is good for lower level,
not quite committed competitive teams. The scheduling and coordination
is a huge hassle. Hopefully you offload that work to the coaches. I
think the Giants this year and your AAA team next year are doing the
right thing without the PST league. David Ellenz asked us about the
Fire tournament schedule and said they didn't want to do that many
tournaments. He sounds like an upstanding guy so I'm sure the AA team
will be in good hands.

Jill and I appreciate the amount of effort and time you and Darrell
put into the team this year. We know how much work it takes to make a
successful team and it looks that effort has translated into 3 teams
next year for you. You are going to have to teach those coaches how to
use GameChanger. I hope Mason has a good time at the All State
Showcase. I also hope his knees start feeling better and that as he
grows they strengthen up.

Eric Penne




Since these emails were sent Darrell actively called kids that had committed to our team to talk bad about us and try to convince them to switch to the Giants. I mention the 4-5 tournaments for the "step down" AA team but they have since committed to 10 and possibly 11 tournaments. That was normal for the Giants. Say one thing, then do another. The World Series issues happened when Darrell didn't believe some of the boys were good enough to play for the team during the World Series. He decided to text message only the parents of the kids he wanted on to take to the World Series and excluding the ones he didn't want. He told the parents not to tell anyone else.