Harvard's acceptance of Yale's proposition that the Harvard-Yale baseball series be played this year with the coaches off the bench, and Coach Fred Mitchell's statement that he would not confine the experiment only to this series but that he would remain off the bench for a dozen or so games this season has aroused much controversy in University circles.
The recollection of the ill-feeling on the part of the players and undergraduates which resulted from a like experiment in the handling of the round robin series between Harvard, Yale, and Princeton in 1914 has prejudiced many against a repetition of the experiment. On the other hand, nothing has been settled really definitely as to the details of the management this year which may vary a great deal from the trial of 1914.
A. W. Samborski '25, Director of intramural Athletics, who is prominent in Harvard baseball history sates: "The idea is probably in accordance with educational theory, but there seem to be not a few practical objections to it. The game cannot be likened to a course examination because the former concerns a group directly, while the latter is the affair of an individual. If the strategy of the game were the equal concern of every player, this objection could be set aside. It is, however, impossible to conduct a baseball game with nine men on the strategy board. And therefore the mistakes of the captain would affect not only himself but the entire team.
"It is not impossible for favoritism to creep in, especially in regard to substitutions. Obviously the burden on the captain would be out of proportion to that on any of the other eight men, and the captain's performance would most certainly suffer.
"On the other hand to have on the bench a coach who is a fine example to his men is by no means an evil. He can impress them more deeply by showing himself capable under pressure. Undoubtedly the game has been managed too much by the coach. Indeed, to instruct the pitcher or catcher to look toward the bench before every pitched ball is perhaps going too far. Players can be given more opportunity to exercise their initiative, but to do this it is not necessary to remove the coach from the bench."