Cumberland Times-News

Mike Burke - Sports

June 8, 2013

Together, we can eliminate the fake score



Pirates 2, Cubs 0

WP - Francisco Liriano  LP - Travis Wood

Pirates: Jordy Mercer 2 doubles; Russell Martin single, double.


You’ll note there are no Cubs hitters listed, even though they had five hits in the game, which brings us to what we in the business like to call the single single. We're delighted when a youngster gets his or her first hit, but due to space and time restrictions, we are unable to list it if that hit is a single. We will publish a player's game record if he has at least two hits, or an extra-base hit. As for pitchers, if a youngster has recorded at least 10 strikeouts in the game, we will note that; or if he or she has pitched a no-hitter or a one-hitter, we will report that as well.

Please be sure to include the name of the league your teams are part of, including their age division. We still have too many floaters out there.

Also, there is only one winning pitcher and one losing pitcher in each game. And we still find it impossible to believe a child will be scarred for life if he or she is listed in the newspaper for being the losing pitcher, which brings us to fake scores. Fake scores are on the rise, particularly in the older leagues.

Me: Score of your game?

Coach: We won 18-2, but I’m just going to say 10-2.

Me: (Knowing the answer, but asking anyway to give the guy the chance to say what a swell egg he is): Why?

Coach: I don’t want the kids on the other team to be embarrassed.

Me: You didn’t seem to mind during that 11-run first.

Coach: That’s baseball.

Me: So is reporting the correct score.

I’ve had coaches report a score I didn’t know was fake until they gave me the correct linescore.

Me: That’s 15 runs. You said the score was 9-0.

Him: Oh, yeah. We actually won 15-0, but (winding up for the self-pat on the back) I don’t want the kids on the other team to be embarrassed. So, tell you what. Just make up a linescore so it adds up to nine instead of 15.

Me: Should I keep the 24 hits, or make it something less embarrassing like, say, 15 hits?

Coach: Well, I don’t want to cheat our kids.

Me: No, of course not.

Look, if you want to lie to me that’s perfectly fine. I’m good with it. Some of my best relationships were built on lies. (“What do you mean you’re not an astronaut? Well, if you tell anybody else I’ll have to dump you.”)

However, even my bounds of stupidity end when you tell me you’re about to lie to me and then expect me to go along with it. So please just tell the truth and give us the correct scores, okay?

Thanks to everybody for taking the time to report the scores. We do appreciate your help.

Mike Burke is sports editor of the Cumberland Times-News. Write to him at

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