Ball or Strike?

Ball or Strike?

By Giannina Ong ’18

Or, when you’re standing behind the plate, what can sports teach us about ethics?

Pitch-framing is a commonly used tactic in baseball. A catcher lines up to the inside or outside of the plate and moves his hand toward the plate after he’s caught it, giving the umpire the impression that the ball sailed over the plate. The practice is accepted, but is it ethical?

In Sport, Ethics, and Leadership, Jeff Mitchell, senior associate athletic director at SCU, tackles questions like this and many others—from simple to serious—to examine ethics using sports as a backdrop. For the book, Mitchell teamed up with former SCU Law Dean Don Polden, attorney Ronald S. Katz, and teacher and writer Jack Bowen. They explore how sports offers a special opportunity to observe ethical behavior in a vacuum and how it can help shape leadership in the world.

“We live in a period of time where sport and a lot of other things are under intense scrutiny and leaders are being condemned on the actions they choose,” Mitchell says. “If you are going to lead effectively, you need to do so in an ethical manner.”

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