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Hector Longo column: Who cares if Timmy misses school? He hits dingers

It is bad enough when ESPN takes some heartbroken 12-year-old at the Little League World Series and broadcasts his tears worldwide in HD.

Ratings baby, right?

But the powers-that-be in Bristol and whoever is behind this event (could the NCAA somehow be behind this) have gone too far. Look at the three remaining U.S. teams in the draw, heading into Thursday night’s action: Wailuku, Hawaii; River Ridge, Louisiana; and South Riding, Virginia. What do they all have in common?

The schools in all three towns are in session. For Hawaii and Louisiana, it’s been weeks.

Are there no responsible adults left on this planet?

Cash, plenty of it, has blown this colossus of exploitation to new heights.

ESPN, the deuce, ESPNU, ESPNews, all are now involved, with early rounds of the regionals dominating the airwaves.

Did you see that North Dakota-Minnesota game? What a battle!

Hate to sound old here, but the one game on Wide World of Sports on a Saturday afternoon back in the 1970s and 1980s were plenty for this guy.

U.S. vs. Taiwan. Period. Plenty.

But no, we get barraged for weeks as teams hash out the right, just to get to Williamsport.

The result? Little Jimmy becomes a hero, or heaven forbid, a goat for a week, but misses the first month of eighth-grade algebra because of it.

Doesn’t education matter anymore?

I know, I can hear the excuse makers from miles away:

“They have tutors!”

“They will make up the work!”

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing!”

No thanks.

Time to rein this Tasmanian Devil of a tourney in and get back to basics.

Play your districts, states and regionals in relative anonymity.

Williamsport can run the last week of July and the first week of August. Enough is enough.

Get those kids to class where they belong and out of everyone’s living room for sanity’s sake.

Stray shots

For those of you keeping track at home, the Red Sox and their $240 million-plus payroll still stand a 1.2 percent chance of making the playoffs. …

Not to infringe on Tom King territory here but the Travers Stakes is held on Saturday at Saratoga in New York.

I like Tax in that one, at 6-1, under Irad Ortiz Jr.

It’s going to be tough to top the King of the tracks, though. Avid Telegraph readers will remember that Tom released Sir Winston, a 10-1 winner, in the Belmont Stakes back in June. …

Wouldn’t it be refreshing to see Antonio Brown come out in Oakland and just tell the truth: He doesn’t want/need to be a part of training camp.

Helmet-gate? Come on, man.

Pick one off the shelf, buckle up and get out there or tell us the truth.

No need to lie, AB.

Hector Longo can be reached at 594-1253 or via email: hlongo@nashuatelegraph.com