Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Put Me In Coach, I'm Ready To Play

Tonight was game number 10 for the mighty warriors of the Little League diamond. After the first inning, the score was tied 2-2. We broke it open after that, eventually winning 17-12. It was only that close because we put in a couple of our less experienced pitchers in the last couple of innings. God bless the five-run rule.

The last week has seen the team continue to grow in unexpected ways. Slorn continues to make his unique contribution to the group, wandering around the dugout and repeating in a mechanical voice, "tampering with the smoke detectors in the lavatories is a federal offense." It turns out that one of the player's mothers is a family therapist and I suggested to Slorn that he lie down on the bench and describe his childhood to her. He sort of giggled and broke into the chorus of the musical he's currently rehearsing with his choral group.

I asked him, "Do you know what Dada is?"

"No coach, what?"

"It was an absurdist art movement of the early 20th century. For some reason I'm reminded of it when you're around."

"Cool," he said. The family therapist was standing nearby and shook her head. She continues to find our coaching style "interesting."

"In fact," I continued, "I bet in about 20 years you'll be starring in some extremely off-Broadway show."

"Cool," he said again before wandering off to practice his flight attendant impersonations.

Meanwhile, my little punk decided to take an attitude when he got reassigned to center field at the last minute. The kid playing second is new to the position and I told my boy that he needed to back up the base pretty closely. The first throw to second base elicited no response from my son, although the ball almost got past the infielder. The second throw also elicited no response, even though the ball rolled right between center and left. The left fielder, no expert himself, finally corralled the ball and threw it in.

"Hey," I shouted. "You in center field, you better get your head in the game."

The opposing team's coach stared at me until I explained, "My kid," and then he nodded in understanding.

I glanced at Coach P. "I'm going to kill him. Go ahead, stick him in right field the rest of the game."

Coach P. said, "I'll talk to him."

The inning ended and the boy came off the field. Coach P. pulled him aside, out of earshot of the others. "Your dad's a coach and you're one of the best players on the team. If you're not going to take this seriously, neither will the others. Don't ever do that again."

The boy looked chagrined, far more so than if I had talked to him. He put on his helmet and walked to the batter's box. When he hit a ground ball to short, he beat it out for an infield single. The rest of the game he made sure he was the first guy off the bench to slap the backs of his teammates.

Good. I don't care if I raise a baseball player, but I sure as hell don't want to raise a brat.

8 comments:

Elmo said...

No, sir, brats are not aloud...

Chuckles said...

But brats are so tasty when boiled in beer and then grilled...oh, heheh, inflection is different in type.

I went to the travelling Dada show when it was in DC last year. It was a little odd because the Dada people probably would have hated the whole idea of an organized exhibit of Dada. Anyway, I am one of those people that regard Aqua Teen Hunger Force as the closest thing to Dada we have anymore.

billy pilgrim said...

well done snag, well done.

The lessons of baseball, indeed most team sports, have nothing to do with athleticism....

Adorable Girflriend said...

Do you want AG to talk to Slorn? Dating UC has made AG not only made AG, Dr. Ms. AG, but AGologist.

Just sayin'...

That is so kewl about you talking about Dadaism. AG references that now and again and nobody understands what she is saying. Granted it's at family functions where it's AG versus 800 red necks who hate her. But that's a post for AG blog and Slorn...

P.S. Katie and Leena now hate you.

Kathleen said...

how many dadaists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

fish.

Snag said...

I had several brats this weekend, all of them quite delicious. My Teen Hunger was quenched.

AG, there appears to be a lot of hate in your life. I'm not sure that Slorn needs that type of influence.

fish said...

What?

Adorable Girlfriend said...

Sure, Coach Snag wants to eat my Leena, but AG has too much hate.

You've got to be kidding. Sexist!