fearsomefour your posting here is very perceptive and has insight into a lot more than just the sport.
The game at the amateur level - all levels, from 8-10 right up there to college, is very disappointing. Disappointing from the standpoint of the reasonableness of those who are suppose to learn by example, are really at the short end of the stick.
I never really got into the cause and effects of the talent drain here in the Northeast and Middle Atlantic States - didn't have the time nor the reason to find out. After retiring some time ago and simply being in the lawn chair crowd, now I understand.
I've done some traveling the last two (2) summers, thanks to my Mrs. She's drives, I sit. She likes the tag sales, flea markets, rummage sales, and visits with her relatives - I get dropped off at the nearest ballpark, wrap up in a blanket and umbrella and watch ball. It works for us.
I can't believe how bad it's gotten. I mean, these youngsters deserve so much better - they all do. And every one of your remarks is dead on.
I know complaining is not worth squat without backing it up with action. If my health was better I only wish I could.
Again, your perception and observations are a fact of life for many.
I know Roger and JD would never permit such tolerance in their neck of the woods. It's a shame there aren't more Roger's, JD's and yourself in this sport.