Late Night Happy Sports Talk: Mo’Ne Davis

mo ne davisRodger Sherman, at SBNation:

Remember Mo’Ne Davis, the 12-year-old girl who struck out all the boys in a shutout win to get her Taney Dragons squad to the Little League World Series? Well, Mo’Ne is now in the Little League World Series, and she remains absolutely dominant…

In six innings, Mo’Ne struck out eight Tennessee batters, allowing only two hits and allowing no walks. She’s the first girl to throw a shutout in the Little League World Series, and has now thrown 12 straight shutout innings. Her team got the 4-0 win over the squad from Nashville, which puts them in great shape to start the double-elimination tournament…

Video (& tons of congratulatory tweets) at the link

42 replies
  1. 1
    KG says:

    This is so much awesome, especially since my four year old niece just started softball

  2. 2
    currants says:

    WOOT! So cool! (Might just be me, but I can imagine heads exploding right about now in northeastern PA…those several very very very red counties.)

  3. 3
    rikyrah says:

    Definitely some good news.

    Congrats to this young woman and her team.

  4. 4
    PurpleGirl says:

    Mo’Ne is awesome! Wow! Cool! Hoping she makes it through the whole tournament.

    ETA: And her team, cause they must be awesome too, to be able to back her up so well.

  5. 5
    Hal says:

    She should be celebrated because she’s done well, not because she’s a girl.
    Writing an article every time a woman goes to the bathroom is not helping. It’s part of the problem.

    First comment at the source article. I don’t follow sports but wouldn’t this be a story even if she were a boy?

  6. 6
    Alison says:

    I love this girl. I know she plays other sports, but I really want to see her stick with baseball and be the first woman in the MLB.

    I KNOW I KNOW that’s a longshot. But someone’s gotta be first, and it’s going to happen eventually, so why NOT an awesome ass-kicking girl like her?

  7. 7
    Violet says:

    My local news showed a clip of her and she just had the biggest smile after her shutout. So great.

  8. 8
    Alison says:

    @Hal: It might be, but certainly not as big of one. When there’s a “first” it’s always a bigger story. Especially if that first is breaking a barrier that’s been there a long time. I mean, if Barack Obama had had a white dad and been Barry Olson….

  9. 9
    Andrew says:

    That photo reminds me of James Fallows’ essay on why “throwing like a girl” exists and is wrong. It should be “throwing like someone who hasn’t been taught to throw.”

  10. 10
    KG says:

    @Hal: it probably wouldn’t be as big a story. Another kid apparently hit three home runs and a triple on nine pitches yesterday… Hadn’t heard that until listening to LeBatard’s radio show this afternoon

  11. 11
    Andrew says:


    A really stellar pitcher at the LLWS would get some attention. A bigger story if he were somewhat unhittable and proved to be ineligible because he was much, much older than reported. But not as much as she’s gotten.

  12. 12
    Tommy says:

    There is a story I tell. I used to play tennis at at pretty high level. Over most holidays or summers I was at tennis camp. My senior year in high school. I beat every person from Northern Illinois University. Feeling pretty good about myself. The owner of the camp said I needed to play a little more. Introduced me to Karla. A 12 year old young lady.

    She beat me 6-0, 6-1. Pretty sure she gave me that one game cause she felt sorry for the ass whopping. It might have been the first time I realized don’t fuck with women, they can be bad ass mother fuckers.

  13. 13
    Tommy says:

    @Alison: Here is a link for you. A young lady in my parents home town. I hate to admit I follow her. She is the Illinois women’s leading scorer. Most points ever in a career. She also has a 4.0 GPA and is both a state wide track and tennis player. She is a rock star! And of course it is 2014 so she has her own web site.

    The only thing that pisses me off is she is going to the University of Indiana and not Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.How do you let a home grown talent like that get away …..

  14. 14
    Alison says:

    @Tommy: Why do you “hate to admit” it? Unless by follow you actually mean follow………….

  15. 15
    Tommy says:

    @Alison: LOL. It just seems somewhat strange to be a 40+ year old dude following a high school kid. But my parents, dad, turned me onto her. Dad and mom started to go see her play. Her games. As a kid, like 3-4 my dad used to take me to see Pete Maravich play at LSU. He says she reminds him of Pete.

  16. 16
    Alison says:

    @Tommy: Nothing wrong with following up-and-comers in a sport you like!

  17. 17
    superfly says:

    @KG: Well, that kid, Pierce Jones, got about 5 minutes on SportsCenter last night, including full interview, so plenty of pub for him too.

    Tonight on SportCenter, they are talking about how great Mo’ne pitched, and de-emphasizing her gender, though she did make a bit of history tonight, first female pitcher to win a game in Williamsport, so it does matter tonight, even though they are emphasizing her performance.

  18. 18
    Darkrose says:

    I love Mo’Ne, and I’m sad and angry for her at the same time. She’s said that she wants to be a point guard at UConn, which is fine, but it pisses me off that there are no options for a woman who wants to play baseball professionally. The best you can do is play softball, which is like baseball only with a smaller diamond and shorter games so the girls don’t get hurt; you have to pitch underhand which would completely negate her strength. And even with softball, there’s nothing to do after college.

    Mo’Ne will go play basketball. I have no idea what Samantha Posey is doing now; she’s arguably as good a hitter as her brother is, but she’s never going to get paid to play ball at all, much less $160 million (not including the $6 million signing bonus he got out of college).

  19. 19
    cckids says:


    That photo reminds me of James Fallows’ essay on why “throwing like a girl” exists and is wrong. It should be “throwing like someone who hasn’t been taught to throw.”

    When my daughter started TaeKwon Do she was 8, and her teacher at the time would now & then refer to someone who lacked power as “punching like a girl”, which she found infuriating. One day after class, she asked if she could speak with him, then asked him who were the best students in class (she knew the answer). The 3 names he came up with were all girls. My girl asked him if so, then if a person was doing poorly, why he didn’t tell them they were punching like a boy.

    He laughed, told her she had a good point, and never (AFAIK) used the phrase again. It was an early glimpse into the powerhouse personality she’s turned out to be.

  20. 20
    Alison says:

    @Darkrose: As far as I know – and I may very well be wrong, but a quick Google search didn’t seem to indicate so – there’s not a specific rule AGAINST women playing in MLB. It would just take a team that was willing to take the step on a woman who made the cut, yeah?

    I mean, the first part of that is a big hurdle, obviously…

  21. 21
    opiejeanne says:

    @Alison: another Jackie Robinson moment, but the woman would have to a cut above almost all of the men in the sport.

    She throws 70mph at age 13. I’m not sure women are physically capable of throwing 80-90mph, and she’d need that to even be considered.

    I got to see her strike out the side in the final inning. Was glad I had lunch in a joint with the tv showing the game. We were thrilled by her performance, and watching her family react was a big bonus.

  22. 22
    NotMax says:

    It’s final.

    Incumbent U.S. Senator Brian Schatz has narrowly won Hawaii’s Democratic U.S. Senate primary.
    After the first special election printout which included 800 ballots from Maui, Schatz has 115,397 votes to Hanabusa’s 113,628.
    Out of the 6,782 registered Puna voters who could have voted today a little more than 1,500 actually went to the polls.
    Earlier Friday evening, approximately 800 uncounted mail-in ballots from Maui were discovered. Scott Nago, the state’s chief elections officer, says the missing ballots were discovered during an election audit. Source

    And the most ludicrous tidbit:

    A second and final printout is expected later tonight, but will only consist of eight votes and is not expected to change the outcome of the race.

  23. 23
    sharl says:

    OT – AFAICT, things are a bit riled in Ferguson MO, though it doesn’t sound as bad as a couple nights ago and earlier. Basically confused and maybe a bit weird. I’m seeing this from twitter feeds of Antonio French and Wesley Lowery. They took lots of Vines (short videos) and photos.

    Older onsite accounts indicated that tear gas was being used (and just heard that on BBC, though don’t know how fresh their reporting is). Later read that police were there, but largely staying with their vehicles. I read one tweet (maybe repeated only 1-2x?) that county police were back, and the state highway patrol captain wasn’t there. …???…

    Attempts at looting are being stopped by protestors, so it sounds like strong efforts at self-policing are going on. Probably the best news under the circumstances.

    The aforementioned Wesley Lowery of WaPo seems to be getting lots of respect from the locals, but other national media are not behaving so well apparently. From local resident Sarah Kendzior:

    Hearing awful things about media from locals. Citizens pushed aside in meetings, kicked out of area, interview quotes rewritten. #Ferguson
    9:27 PM – 15 Aug 2014

    Journalists parachuting into a city they ignored for decades only to write about themselves. (Yes #notalljournalists but…) #stl
    9:31 PM – 15 Aug 2014

  24. 24
    sharl says:

    Via Matt Pearce*, lots of peaceful protestors and ‘only a small number doing the lootings.’

    Via Lowery, ‘majority of those doing the looting are drunk kids’.

    I have a bad feeling about how national media is going to report this…

    *Another national reporter (LA Times) who’s earned respect from Ferguson protestors.

  25. 25
    The Bobs says:

    Any other insomniacs out there, tune in to Elon’s live feed from Ferguson.

  26. 26
    wasabi gasp says:

    @Tommy: That story might sound strange even told by Samuel Jackson.

  27. 27
    Origuy says:

    I heard on CBS radio that windows in a beauty supply store and a liquor store were broken. After the initial smash and grab, protesters formed walls in front of the broken windows to prevent more looting.

  28. 28
    low-tech cyclist says:

    I’ve been asking for years, why don’t women play baseball instead of softball in HS and college? Mo’Ne Davis is just one more data point supporting the obvious point that of course girls and women can play baseball, just like they can play basketball and soccer. Why is the softball ghetto still around, nearly a half-century after Title IX?

  29. 29
    chopper says:


    My senior year in high school. I beat every person from Northern Illinois University.

    Having gone to NIU, let me be the first to tell everyone that doesn’t necessarily take much work.

  30. 30
    chopper says:

    @wasabi gasp:

    But from Charlie Murphy it’d be perfect.

  31. 31
    apocalipstick says:

    @Alison: It won’t happen. Prior to puberty, boys and girls have roughly equal strength/weight ratios. At puberty, boys’ strength/weight ratio goes up; girls’ strength/weight ratio goes down. Don’t ignore biology.

  32. 32
    apocalipstick says:

    @Darkrose: “Underhand” is a relative term; a good softball pitcher is well-nigh unhittable and they aren’t lobbing the ball up there; they throw hard. Millions of men play fast-pitch softball as well, and a good pitcher dominates. Game length and attitudes about injury may be legitimate, but don’t denigrate the actual sport just because it’s not what the men play.

  33. 33
    apocalipstick says:

    @low-tech cyclist: Again, puberty. A young woman who can throw 70 mph at age 12 is probably peaking in terms of velocity. Between 12 and 16, the boys will increase their strength/weight ratio; hers will decrease.

    I would also like to stress again that anyone who denigrates softball because it’s “not baseball” is simply blowing a one-note trumpet. Softball ain’t easy.

  34. 34
    RSR says:

    I’m not really following the LLWS (though it’s hard to escape in Taney hometown here in Philly), but my friend mentioned last night that Mo’Ne threw few enough pitches to be ready to pitch the next game on three-days rest.

    Also, if you visit Williamsport for LLWs or anything else, check out Bullfrog Brewing for eats and some great beer.

  35. 35
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @low-tech cyclist: competing data point: when I was a kid, girls DID NOT play hockey. (I was growing up around the time that girls started suing to get the chance to play in boys’ hockey leagues.)

    Instead, there was a game called “ringette”. Ringette is…hockey, essentially. The “puck” is a hard rubber ring, and the sticks were just straight poles with no blade. To manipulate the ring, you stick the business end of the stick into the ring.

    Now, it is the future. Women and girls of all ages can play hockey if they want, up to the level of the Olympics. (And maybe professionally, too, I don’t know.)

    But girls who want to can still play ringette, too.

  36. 36
    justwow says:

    She’s got a heck of an arm. Think they said she can throw 70mph which is crazy fast for that age bracket.

  37. 37
    Andrew says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    Women’s hockey rules at the Olympic level are still stupidly different in exactly one way: body checking is technically illegal. Well, also full face helmets are required, but that’s probably coming to men’s hockey in the not too distant future.

    As for women in MLB, especially pitching, it’ll be pretty hard. Average MLB pitcher is 6’2″, which is 10″ taller than the average women, and four standard deviations above the mean. This is all about the physics of leverage and being able to propel a ball at the speeds required. Almost no one throws under 90 these days. So let’s have our pioneer be a relatively short pitcher at just under 6′. That’s 3 deviations above the mean or about .15% of the population. Then within that .15%, you need an extremely gifted athlete who in particular is great at throwing a baseball. Then you need her to avoid the more lucrative options of basketball (in the US, not that WNBA players make great money, but it’s easier to get there than be a pioneer) or volleyball (overseas). I would never say it’s impossible, but it’d be tough.

    That said, I’ve been curious for two years now how Sierra Romero (Michigan softball shortstop, who nearly hit .500 last year and as a sophomore has almost broken the school home run record) would do on the baseball team.

  38. 38
    Older says:

    I have a daughter who is 6’2″. They do exist. She’s never been interested in sports, but while in the Air Force, she caused a ruckus by insisting that “girl pushups” were not pushups at all, and doing men’s pushups instead.

    Her sister, “only” 6′ even, outlifted all the boys in her weight lifting class in high school. And believe me, she had passed puberty by then. Her figure resembled that of Seven of Nine (remember her?).

    In my experience, social pressure causes girls to lose upper-body strength after puberty.

  39. 39
    Darkrose says:

    @apocalipstick: I’m not denigrating the sport, but it’s a very different motion from the one she has now. She’d have to learn a completely different style at the same age where guys are refining their pitching motion

    (Personally, I wonder if throwing underhand would result in less TJ’s. which might be a good thing.)

  40. 40
    Darkrose says:

    @Andrew: I’m a fan of a team with a pitcher who’s 5’10” if you’re being generous who won two Cy Youngs and who won the 2012 World Series behind a starter who brought the 87-mph warmth on a good day, and a closer who’s 5’10” who relied on control and deception rather than his not-very-fast fastball. It’s great to have a guy who can throw 100–at least until his arm breaks and he has to have his first date with Dr. Andrews–but control is just as important as raw speed, if not more so.

  41. 41
    Darkrose says:

    @apocalipstick: Softball isn’t easy, but it’s designed to be “baseball-lite”.60 feet instead of 90 between the bases; 7 innings instead of 9, all predicated on the assumption that women can’t handle baseball. There’s also some really icky gender-role stuff going on in college softball, where the players don’t wear caps (too butch?) and almost all have long hair and makeup, because gods forbid someone might think a female softball player was a lesbian.

    If would be one thing if women had a choice between softball or baseball. But they don’t.

  42. 42
    Andrew says:


    Sure! But I frame things in terms of averages because that’s the direction the sport is going. Teams value hard throwers because they’re more likely to get outs. Ideally you find hard throwers who are also durable and don’t have their arms fall off, but if they do, Tommy John surgery (well, or steroids) tends to eventually make them throw harder, until that falls apart too.

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