Thursday, May 10, 2007

It's A Long Season

Tonight was an ugly one for the good guys. Up against a bigger, older team, one with pitchers who can bring some heat. And a home plate umpire, supplied by their side, with an extremely . . . flexible strike zone. Which is okay, the umpires are parent volunteers, but it would be nice if it was reciprocally flexible.

The game wasn't too bad after the first inning, only 5-4. Then the wheels came off. One of our normally solid players caught in a fugue state in the outfield, a ball rolling past him for a double. Two of our best hitters coming up with the bases loaded and striking out. Balls getting booted around the infield, kids not only failing to cover, but failing to have any idea they were supposed to cover. Some asshole parent from the other team shrieking like a banshee until Coach P. turned to one of our dads, looked at his pitch counter, and muttered under his breath, "I'm going to miss this after I ram it down that guy's throat." Which we all thought was funny even if Coach P.'s wife didn't.

There were a few bright spots. Nobody died. I didn't punch the other coach when he ran his team on an overthrow back to the pitcher. Stuff like that.

And some other things. The boys high-fived our batters who struck out, saying, "Nice at bat" and "Way to take your cuts." When one of our pitchers gave up five runs in an inning, the rest of the team slapped him on the back when he came off and congratulated him for getting the ball over the plate. Everybody said thanks to the snack captain.

There were some individual stand-outs too. Slorn got walked to drive in a run. Then, playing in center field, he made a nice play to knock down a hard-hit ball. His dad came over and asked, "Did he really just make a diving stop?"

"Yep," I answered.

"I'll be damned," he said and walked away.

In fact, we named Slorn player of the game tonight. Everybody, parents and kids, clapped for him and he got a coupon from a local ice cream shop. He smiled in his goofy way and said, "Thanks Coach."

Then P. and I took our kids, and one of the other kids from the team, and one of the other dads, and we all went out for beer and soda and wings and gumballs and stayed up too late. And now the boys will be tired at school tomorrow, but it's almost the weekend, and they cheered for each other, and what the hell, they earned it.

4 comments:

billy pilgrim said...

You get those.

Some parents never learn how to behave.

But, the kids have to learn to be gracious in the face of defeat, even to an ugly opponent. it's a hard thing.

It is better to beat them.

Jennifer said...

Snag- do the parents in your area need to take a behavior class before a child can be in team sports? We had that rule here for awhile. I thought that was a pretty sad commentary.

And again... Slorn rocks!

Jennifer said...

Hey Snag?!? There's no way to comment on your most recent post. Was that intentional?

Lilacs??? :)

Chuckles said...

If Slorn shows up with Slorn written in permanent marker under his last name on his jersey, I will buy your whole team a beer.

I mean, a soda or something.