Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

But DANG, it's HOT!!! We're wrapping up baseball season here. About another week to go. No break from the 100+ degree weather in sight!

Hot, sweaty, dirty, nasty. And not the good kind. This kind has mosquitoes. So, you douse yourself in OFF and really give the dirt something to stick to!

But it's fun watching my son play. He just has such a great time at it. He's grinning and chatting with the umps. You'd never even guess that his coach is an idiot.

Yeah, I know. Little League (which is odd to say when some of the kids are 6 feet tall or more!) is luck of the draw. All volunteers, so if your umpire was any good, he'd be umping the high school games. And your coach is only as good as the guy who wants his own kid to have first pick of the positions.

My evidence:

As a third base coach, he sends kids to steal home while the catcher has the ball. Invariably, this happens when we most need the runs.

He leaves a pitcher in well past the kid's tolerance for exhaustion, until we're down by 14 runs or more. Hopeless situation, created by our dear coach.

Punishing some kids for missing practice or a game (for a legit reason). Is it coincidence that the only kids punished are the white players? And the only ones who don't play games on Sunday (for religious reasons)? I think not.

My son is an excellent first baseman. That's not just Mommy talk. He really is. At 6'2", he has a monster stretch and the ball rarely gets past him. This coach "punishes" him by either benching him or putting him in left field. For what? Well, here's an example:

Me: "Coach? Why is he on the bench?"
Coach: "He missed practice on Monday."
Me: Puzzled. "Coach? We had a game on Monday. He pitched in it."
Coach: Blank stare.

See, my son is white. This guy and all but two of the other boys aren't white. The three white kids get benched. The others never do, no matter what happens.

He also gets punished because we consider Sunday to be the sabbath and we don't believe in playing ball (or shopping, going out to eat, etc.) on Sundays. We're in the Bible Belt. This isn't an uncommon school of thought here. My son isn't the only kid who doesn't play on Sundays.

Here's what happened with that:
Me: "Coach, I understand there's a game on Sunday, but my son won't make it."
Coach: "Okay, why?"
Me: "We don't play on Saturdays because in our religion, Sunday is the sabbath and we don't do those things on the sabbath."
Coach: "Okay."
Coach walks away, directly to my son. He asks my child why he's not playing on Sunday. My son echoes what I said. This man says to him, "You should remember that we serve a forgiving God."

My son stared down at the little man (my son is a good foot taller than him) and said, "We just don't do that."

Grrrr. What that man did is wrong on so many levels that I don't even know where to start. But I'm proud of my son.

Religion aside, since we all have varying beliefs, that was a direct attempt to undermine me as a parent. I'm not his biggest fan.

We have at least two more games, then we're finished with Little League forever. I can make it. Ballpark nachos with extra jalapenos, and I'll sit down and shut up.

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