August 24, 2006

Size Matters

At a time in sports history when fans spew skepticism like Steroid User X's backne oozes rivulets of puss, it's a question we often ask when considering some of the world's most high-profile athletes:

Could that guy really only be xx years old?

The fact is, we're not willing to believe what we see. So if we're not questioning whether or not an athlete's clean, we're taking aim at his alleged age.

We've wondered it about LeBron James -- could someone that physically developed possibly only be 21? Ditto Albert Pujols and Freddy Adu, just to name a couple.

Truth be told, we'll probably continue to wonder and speculate about these athletes, unless something definitive comes along (which it most likely won't). But in at least one case, we can know for sure. Saudi Arabian Little Leaguer Aaron Durley is listed at 6-foot-8, 256 pounds.

And there's just no way in hell the kid is only 13 years old.

Come on. Seriously. This is just not possible. At age 13, The OCC weighed in at 5-2, 95 pounds. Some of the kids Durley is playing against are 4-foot-9. Other kids he is playing against, he ate. And it's not like he's some baby-faced giant, a child trapped in a sasquatch's body. Look at his picture -- this is a fully-grown man.

Even with the benefit of the doubt, he's got to be at least at least -- 17. And this is not to suggest there is conscious cheating going on here -- maybe it's just a case of sloppy record-keeping. But no 13-year-old can possibly be the size of Ben Wallace (who for the record is listed at 6-9, 240, 16 pounds less than Durley).

A couple other questions to consider:

1) Does Aaron Durley sound like a made-up name to anyone else? (As in, "Hmm...what should we call this 6-foot-8 baseball-playing cyborg we have created in an effort to dominate the Little League World Series? How about...I don't know...Aaron Durley?") As a side note, if you say it fast enough, the name sounds just vaguely like Tyler Durden. Interesting.

2) One of Durley's teammates is named Fitzmaurice. Pretty sure that's a one-name deal, like they use in Brazil. Kind of has a nice ring to it. Is there also someone named Clarettmaurice on the team?

3) Has anyone actually seen Durley at the plate? Rumor has it he doesn't possess the smoothest swing. But you'd have to think that even with the most mechanically unsound technique he'd still be able to swat the ball at least 350 feet. In any case, efforts to track down footage on Youtube have been unsuccessful. Please send along if anyone can find it.

4) And on the subject of swinging a bat, this behemoth must be remarkably uncoordinated, because otherwise why would he be playing first base and not pitching? Even if he couldn't throw that hard, the pants-wetting factor (as in, a 4-foot-9 midget standing in there against a 6-8 guy would definitely cause the midget to pee himself in fear) should be enough to make Durley absolutely unhittable regardless of velocity. (For the record, The OCC thinks there's a decent chance he'd pee himself if forced to stand in against Durley.)

In closing, though it says here there's not the foggiest chance this "kid" is only 13, your instructions are to cast aside all skepticism and simply enjoy the spectacle. For at a time in sports history when we really can't enjoy much of anything without at least a dash of distrust, this story has just the perfect amount of innocence to be enjoyable even if Durley turns out to be 25. Because who among us hasn't dreamed of playing in the Little League World Series as a fully-grown adult and seeing the levels to which we could dominate? Whether he's 13 years old or not, Aaron Durley is living that dream.

So for once, let's all stop being sticklers about the rules. For old time's sake (so to speak), let's let this one slide. And if it just so happens that Aaron Durley is older than 13, let's just say more power to him for sneaking his way onto the field.


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