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June 8, 2009

Okay, so I sorta just realized I’m about ten days delinquent in reporting baseball scores, especially since I know you’re all just dying to know.  Both of you that still read this blog.

Since a week ago Saturday, there have been four games played, three of them in a four day stretch.  I can give you the results of all of them, but I only know the actual scores of two of them.

Let’s see… we played the Twins back on May 30th, and got shelled pretty hard, as I recall.  So that one was a loss. Maybe I can commandeer Coach’s scorebook briefly and get the scores.

Then last Wednesday we played the A’s, who happen to be coached by one of our neighbors down the street.  His son Matthew and my Ian are among the neighborhood gang of Star Wars geeks that run around together, and we found out that they are on opposing sides in the same baseball league.  So we’ll be playing them twice this year.  Nothing like starting a nice little neighborhood rivalry.  Anyway, that was a pretty good game, but we wound up losing 25-18.  Only real “neighborhood rivalry” that came out of it was me giving the coach’s wife some shit the next day for not recognizing me at the game.

Then we had a game Friday against the Rockies.  That turned out to be a really close, competitive game that we ended up winning 22-17.  Ian played a couple innings at third that game, and wound up doing pretty well.  He stopped a ball that was hit pretty friggin’ hard down there, and he made a couple other decent stops.  I do have to kinda work with him on his tags.  He tagged a kid coming to third (the kid beat the tag) but Ian pushed the kid clean off the base.  But he’s still hitting pretty well, and more or less doing a decent job of controlling the emotions.

After Friday night’s game, we hit the Taco Bell and then went to the Carillon Festival at Washington Park for some music and to catch the fireworks, which were friggin’ awesome again.  The funny part was that Adam fell asleep during the fireworks.  Anyway, we got home about 10:30 or so and I had to get the uniforms washed for the 9AM game on Saturday.  Especially since we had to be there at 8-friggin’-fifteen for pictures.  Ask around- neither I nor my kids are “morning people”.  So we get the pictures taken and start playing the game, against the Orioles, a team that took about 25 minutes of infield practice, they were doing a little soft-toss against the fence, and various other drills that you really don’t see much of until you get at least more into the 12- to 14-year-olds, if not actual high school ball.  Needless to say, we pretty much got our asses handed to us for that game as well.

But here’s the thing:  it’s not so much that the Orioles were [necessarily] that much better, it’s that none of our kids really seemed to want to be there.  Most everyone was lollygagging, head down, kicking the dirt- and not just your typical lollygagging, head down, kicking the dirt that 7- and 8-year-olds do in baseball games.  I was really starting to get kinda pissed at some of the kids, to be honest.  Even Quinn watched one go by, and she’s always very good about chasing them down.  There was one or two innings during which Ian was literally the only kid moving when the ball was hit, let alone running and trying to get it.  I more or less quit “coaching” after about the 4th inning and just let what happened happen.  We were so far behind at that point that it was basically teaching a pig to sing.  I think 3 games in four days (especially two more or less back-to-back like that) takes a toll on 8-year-olds.  Still makes coaching difficult though.

The problem is that we have some parents that are making things hard for Gene.  We’ve been getting the “my Billy needs to play more” and “my Timmy ought to get to play such-and-such position” pretty hard and heavy from a few parents, so Coach has been trying to appease them as best he can while still trying to put the best possible lineup out there.  I have mixed emotions about it.  Half of me says we can try to get kids in and out as much as possible, but the other half says Gene should just feed those parents a big bowl of sugar frosted, vitamin fortified Shut the F*ck Up cereal and do what he feels is best.  But it’s not “my team”, so I keep my mouth shut.

Most of the parents that are bitching about their kids’ playing time (or lack thereof) are the ones whose kids are almost always drawing in the dirt, watching the butterflies/airplanes/ladybugs etc., and walking towards the general direction of the ball (if not simply watching it go by).  Conversely, however, we’ve also got a kid that will come from right field all the way over to third base to try to field the ball, and usually winds up getting in the way of the kid(s) that should have been making the play, thus fighting over the ball.  We’re roughly halfway through the schedule; if this trend continues, I may risk stepping on toes and have a “team meeting” before a game (making sure the parents can hear) and basically lay down the law as far as what Gene and I expect from the kids (and from their parents).  I imagine I’ll wind up with nothing but pissed off kids and pissed off parents, but if I don’t accomplish what I hope to (kids hustling a little more and parents shutting the hell up), at least I can be “the bad guy” and hopefully take some of the pressure off of Gene.

And in case you’re wondering, no, I don’t think only the “good” kids should get to play.  I think only the kids that want to play and will hustle should get to play.  We’ve got one little guy that’s barely bigger than Adam that literally gets too tired by about the 4th or 5th inning and asks to come out.  But here’s the thing- I am willing to overlook that, because when he’s in there, Joe hustles his ass off, and I think he just simply gets tired due to his size.  We’ve got kids close to twice his size that walk on and off the field, they appear to refuse to move where we tell them to, etc.  I realize the attention span we’re dealing with (trust me), but holy crap, if you don’t really want to play, why are you here?!

So anyway, those are the results of the last four games I’ve missed reporting.  Got games scheduled for Wednesday at 6 and Saturday morning at 9, and we’ll see how the weather treats us this week.

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