Posted by: Calvin | March 26, 2008

Threshers are 5-0 for the Season!

t566_logo_lg1.gifWe won tonight . . . and Mojo got the game ball!  We also won our last game, so that makes us officially 5 and 0 for the season!

OUR FOURTH WIN:

For all one those of you keeping track, the last game was a big win:  8 to 1.  Baseball Boy pitched and he was on fire!  He practiced the day before by pitching into a target in the front yard.  Practice sure made a difference!  He also scored one of the runs.  He had a great game. 

You may wonder why I didn’t blog last week about the great game . . . well . . . it was a great game, except for the utter lack of good sportsmanship by the coaches for the other team.  Our league is too cheap to pay for umpires in the regular season for the 7 – 9 age group.  This means that the coaches, in addition to their coaching duties, have to make all the calls on the field.  It is very uninspired as far as I am concerned.

That night the other team’s coaches were driving me – and the players – and the parents – and our coaches – a bit crazy.  For example, the strike zone was the size of Rhode Island for their pitcher and they were glad to call balls from the first base coaches position by yelling, “Good eye!” before our coach had a chance to make a proper call from behind the plate.  The shenanigans were very noticeable. 

I am the only adult in the dugout almost all of the time.  Consequently, I was the one that night to whom the players repeatedly asked questions like “Why was that a Strike. . . . it hit the plate?”  “Why are they allowed to cheat?” “Why does that coach lie?” The boys are trying to learn and understand. I feel like I lose my credibility when I tell them, “They are not cheating (or lying), they may just see things differently than we may see them” or “we need to be good sports and accept the call.”   They are smart people.  They recognize it as a convenient explanation that, frankly, just doesn’t cut it.  They don’t understand why the adults don’t stick up for what is right.  I did not understand why our coaches were letting it continue.  How could I explain it to the boys?

Unbeknownst to me, the other team’s coaches have a bad reputation for being the jerks they are.  Our other three coaches had decided and were determined not to make a scene.  Not knowing this, I had my fill when Mojo was called out on strikes when the last “strike” hit him on the elbow.  I objected vehemently and the result was the other team put their team back on the field and brought Mojo back up to the plate.  Poor kid, he ended up striking out, but at least he went down swinging.  (I need to be careful what I ask for I suppose.) 

After my objections the team’s morale improved.  In the next inning, one of the boys said, “the coaches are being fairer now” and a few others around him quickly agreed.   The next/last at bat we rallied and made 5 runs.  We almost made it through the whole batting order.

So, instead of blogging about the game, I was writing an apology e-mail to the head coach, promising to put duct tape in our bag for my mouth in case the situation reared itself again.  I do not regret that something was said, only that I should have let him handle it.  [Actually, I think in a way, notwithstanding the pact to “rise above”, he was glad I said something and took the pressure off of him.  The other team’s coaches really did behave better in the last inning –as we kicked their behinds!  . . . which normally I feel badly about . . . I don’t care for running up the score unecessarily . . . but after the way the coaches acted, it felt a little good.]

OUR FIFTH WIN:

We won tonight 3 to 2.  This was the first game we came from behind to win.  In the first inning the score was 0 – 2.  We caught up in the second inning.  The third inning was scoreless and we went ahead in the fourth/last inning.  It was a great game. 

As noted above, Mojo got the game ball.  He played catcher for 2 innings and outfield for another.  I did not hear the speech wherein he was awarded the ball.  I, of course, was busy cleaning up the dugout.  I thanked the head coach for awarding Mojo the ball.  I told him that after every game he asks me if I think that “someday” he will earn the “game ball.”  To him it had been the elusive object . . . the holy grail of little league.  Coach told me that he gave the ball to him to reward him for being the only player that hit the ball and ran fast toward first base without looking to see where the ball went, as well as for giving his all as the catcher.  It was a great night for Mojo!

TEAM MOM NOTES

As mentioned above, I am the Team Mom and as such I am almost always the only adult in the dugout with the boys.  The dugout gig is the hardest coaching job by far.  When I raised my objections about the wrong call in game four, one of the assistant coaches suggested that perhaps I should leave the field or let it go (which comment I thought was more out of line than my voiced objections – but as noted above I was not in on the pact to let the other coaches walk all over us).  The funny part was when I quickly offered him control of the dugout.  He quickly backed down.

Tonight we were running a little late.  We were there with only about 10 minutes rather than the obligatory 30 to spare.  My DH Fisherman said, “I think it is good to let them sweat out whether you are going to be there or not.  By now they are probably wondering which one of them is going to have to be in the dugout!”  He was right, I sensed a collective sigh of relief when we arrived.

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Responses

  1. As far as umpires, we are cheap too, but ask the coaches from one of the other teams that aren’t playing to stand behind the plate. It is completely voluntary, but the other coaches know that we need it. It works for us.


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