Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Baseball Blues

Baseball season has been a disappointment this year.

This is Connor's second season playing "coach pitch," after a season of t-ball. He has shown his usual aptitude for anything sports-related, and I've enjoyed watching him progress. Unfortunately, his teammates have not all come along for the ride. There are a few boys who have played for several years, and they know what they're doing. But for some reason, there are kids one and two years younger than Connor on the team as well. And they are clueless.

It might have helped for the team to actually practice once in a while, but apparently that would be too much to ask. We have a volunteer coach, and while I appreciate that he volunteered and I didn't, I still wish he would have committed to a certain number of practices. Instead, we had almost every pre-season practice called off for rain, and not rescheduled, and then we've had one or two practices since the season started. As a result, most kids can't field the ball, throw the ball, or catch the ball.

But can they hit the ball? No they can't do that either. One of the key components of "coach pitch" is having a coach who can actually pitch, and ours can't. I see the coaches on other teams- they're kneeling down to deliver the ball, throwing it straight into the zone so it's easy for kids to hit. Ours stands to his full height and kind of lobs it in, so most pitches are either too high or too low, and they all have too much movement on them. My brother's favorite joke at these games is to cheer and say, "Hey, our pitcher just struck out the side!"

We came home from his last debacle game and Connor asked, "Is it too hot to play outside a while?" I said no, and he ran to grab his bat and ball. "Pitch to me," he begged, so I did. He just wanted to remember that he could actually hit the ball sometimes, since he hadn't come close to it in the game. And that night, he was literally in tears as he recounted a bad play he had made during the game. He's just so frustrated at how bad they are, and wants to win each game by himself if he has to. (I know not everyone out there appreciates this level of competitiveness, but I think it's cute.)

A few days later, he decided to practice throwing the ball against the brick wall of our house. But instead of picking the side of the house that's all brick, he picked the three-foot long section of brick between the door and the window. And then he found out the hard way that his aim isn't as good as he thought! I didn't have to fuss at him- he was devastated. Cried for at least an hour. It was so bad that Chloe was offering to loan him money in order to help him pay for it! Meanwhile, Chip and I tried to keep from laughing- it was such a classic little boy event, and he was taking it so hard, that we couldn't help but get a kick out of it. I told Connor he would have to work off the expense. Then I tried to get his first chore to be posing with the ball in front of the window. This just made him cry harder, so we let the ball pose without him. While Connor went inside and unloaded the dishwasher.

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