September 9, 2016
Do you all remember the Disney cartoon movie Pinocchio from the 1940's, where the puppet that wants to be a real boy grows a long nose every time he LIES? Well, I feel like some of us ball hawks "noses are growing" a bit! This is no new thing here on mygameballs.com; in recent years we have had some fake ball hawks register on our site, and posted games & stats that were bogus, and we have had to deal with that, and kick them off the site. I believe we are now having some ball hawks posting some stats that are not legitimate on the website in my opinion! How do I know, because people are complaing to me about it. Here I go again, I have to play "Ball Hawk Police", sorry.
Since we are ALL on the HONOR SYSTEM here on this website, there is no question that some of us might have the propensity to cheat a little bit if nobody is watching us...there is always that temptation to claim just one more "Easter Egg" that you didn't really snag! And some of us are too concerned with being on all the Leader Boards on mygameballs.com instead of having fun ball hawking, and enjoying the ball hawking experience! There is no doubt that there are always questionable situations that arise while ball hawking in reference to stats, and it makes it hard to count some baseballs that someone has snagged during the game. That's not what I mean here. I'm talking about pure cheating! Cheating is cheating, and can not be tolerateted to keep everything fair for everyone.
Before you all get mad at me about this topic, let me first state that all ball parks are NOT the same! Some allow different entry times, most have different outfields, and security is different from park to park....some are relaxed, and some are "Jack Nazis"! Ball parks are also in different parts of the country of course, and that means they will have a different vibe or attitude on how they will treat their fans from area to area, or tolerate certain things their fans do at the ball park, like allowing the "Glove Trick" for instance, or not, or tolerate a bunch of kids & adults running around their stadium with baseball gloves trying to catch every ball in the air!
That said, some ball hawks "have it made" by having great ball hawking ball parks, and some don't. So, that kind of dictates how some of us view our fellow ball hawks' stats on a daily basis. We have to also realize who the ball hawk is when regarding their stats, or stats in question; what their age is, what their skill level is, what their height might be, how long they have been ball hawking, what prior ball hawking stats they previously had posted, do other ball hawks know them, and have they seen them ball hawk before, and factors like this. This is a starting point for us ball hawks to try and figure out who's stats are legit, and who is "fudging the numbers".
Why is this a problem? Well, if you are trying to legitimately compete, and EARN the title of Ball Hawk of the Year for instance, you would hope that your fellow ball hawks all have the common decency to play by the rules of "fair play" while ball hawking! Almost all of us hawks have played Little League baseball at a minimum when we where children, and we should have learned and know what SPORTSMANSHIP is. It was taught to us by our fathers & coaches, but some of us might have forgotten this lately.
Also, the Leader Boards...what about the leader boards on mygameballs.com? Are you really snagging as many game balls that you claim you snag? What about the other categories? You see, if you are fudging the numbers, you throw all these categories out of whack!!!
At what price do you fudge the numbers a little bit? At the price of your reputation & integrity? At the price of screwing over your fellow ball hawks? At the price of throwing the stats on the website all out of whack? Yeah, that's what you are doing when you cheat! Nobody takes you seriously anymore, and they look at you like a douchebag for cheating, and for screwing your buddies & fellow ball hawks over!!! It also messes up the stats on the website, because we can't tell what stats are legit. In the end, if you cheat on your stats, you are only cheating yourself, because you don't really know what your own stats truly are! Don't you really want to know what you actually have snagged? Then it becomes the problem of, well if he (your ball hawking competitor) snags that many balls, and I think that I am as good a ball hawk as him or her, then I'm going to claim that many baseballs too....then all the stats are inflated because of ego! It's just like the problem MLB has with the steroid era...who's legit, and who's not? It becomes, "what can I get away with"? It's sad, that we just can't be honest!
You might think that you are slick by adding a ball here, and a ball there, but your fellow ball hawks can see through your lies & cheating, and will take action against you, and have you banned from the site. Your fellow ball hawks are watching everything you do or post...they are the real "Ball Hawk Police"! If they think you are a cheater...you're gone! They don't like to be screwed over when they are playing fair, and you are not! I'm sure some of you out there that just use the site to post your numbers, and keep track of your baseball collections are wondering what the big deal is all about? Well, some ball hawks that are competing for a title on the site that spend a lot of time & money to try and visit multiple ball parks to "put up stats" as it were---they don't appreciate CHEATERS!!!
BE ADVISED: other ball hawks, are watching you, and other ball hawks have an idea of how many baseballs a certain ball park gives up on average on a given day (week day games, day games, weekend games, booblehead giveaways, playoff games, etc.). If you are a new middle aged ball hawk for instance, and you are ball hawking on a weekend game, during the middle of the summer with school out, and there are a "million" little kids at the ball park during batting practice, and you are claiming double digit numbers for stats let's say...that's going to be hard to believe, unless you are Nickpnc! You are going to be questioned about it (unless some veteran ball hawk can verify your feat). Sometimes we all need to check each other, and have the guts to call someone out that is not above board.
I know that the young kids out there that are passionate about ball hawking, are cute, and have the ability to make catches, ask for baseballs, and can run around all over the ball park without fatigue, can snag a bunch of baseballs. I know this. I also know, they read Hample's blog and other blogs on ball hawking, watch youtube videos on ball hawking that makes them better ball hawks; but even these kids can't post unrealistic numbers either.
Is there going to be that special day, where you feel great, the players are friendly that day, no rain, extra long BP, minimal fans at the ball park, and balls are bouncing your way? Sure! But, these are few and far between in my estimation. If you are posting 16 to 20 balls a game a few times a week...it starts to look fake!
What about respect? Respect for the website, and respect for your fellow ball hawk? When you cheat, you are saying, I really don't care about the integrity of the site, and I am all out for myself, and screw fair play and my fellow ball hawks...it's all about me!
I truly believe that the temptation to "BE SOMEBODY", in the sport of ball hawking has corrupted some of us hawks. We want to see our name "up in lights" as it were on the leader boards! We think that if our name is on the leader boards we are great ball hawks, and maybe Zack Hample or Erik Jabs will respect us more...not if you are cheating! So, we see if we can get away with a few extra balls logged. Or, we try to keep pace with a certain ball hawk...if he or she logged in 8 balls, I'm going to log in 9...nobody is really paying attention, right? WRONG!!! I'm watching the stats!!! Other ball hawks are watching your stats. DON'T BE THAT GUY THAT CHEATS!!! It will come back to haunt you...
IF YOU ARE CHEATING...STOP IT... NOW!!!
So, the next time you get the urge to cheat ...remember what it does to the other ball hawks, and the website. Also, at the end of the day, I am not calling out any one individual ball hawk here. It has been brought to my attention, that there has been a few ball hawks' stats here lately that have looked a little gaudy. I am just trying to help keep the integrity of the sport of ball hawking in check, and the website's reputation. I am also just reminding people on the site what happens to cheaters....they get booted off the site! Just remember; every time you go to log your stats in after a game, your INTEGRITY is on the line!
As always, "go have a ball"...I will!
Rocco Sinisi is a contributing columnist to myGameBalls.com.