This might be borderline un-American, but I'm sorry, I don't like the Little League World Series.
Now, I have nothing against Little League itself. In fact, it's a fine organization, the largest youth sports organization in the world.
The nonprofit organization allows 2.6 million children worldwide to play the game of baseball. Its coaches and adult volunteers provide a multitude of lasting learning experiences for these young players.
This column is also not intended to disrespect the Petaluma Little League team, which finished up a fine season on Sunday by winning the consolation game in the World Series championship round.
The Little League games played week in and week out are wonderful. I don't even object to regional playoff tournaments.
But that's where it should end. At the local level.
There is no reason to subject 12-year-olds to the rigors and stress of a statewide or national or worldwide tournament.
High school sports only rise to the state level. College sports only compete at the national level.
Why does Little League need to thrust itself on the world stage?
It's simply too much pressure to put on young boys who are just hitting the age of puberty.
I really believe the Little League World Series is for the adults' benefit. It is an opportunity for the grown-ups, many of whom perhaps did not have a high-level athletic experience when they were young, to experience the thrills of sudden death playoffs.
It's too much for pre-teens. We do see the happy 12-year-olds who jubilantly celebrate their victories.
However, we rarely see the devastated middle school students on the losing side. The youngster who struck out with runners in scoring position. Or the infielder who booted a groundball at a crucial moment. Or a pitcher who gave up a critical homerun.
There are plenty of youngsters in these tournaments who suffer through the wrath of a normally calm coach or parent who lets their emotions get out of control during the tense moments of these must-win games.
I'm not alone in this opinion. Former Oakland Raiders head coach John Madden expressed reservations last week on KCBS radio about the Little League World Series.
Bad experiences at this level can be scarring for young athletes. And it's not necessary. There's no reason to make Little League baseball a worldwide experience with live television coverage and hordes of other media attention.
Little League baseball is a wonderful experience at the local level. Let's keep it there. At the local level.