Tuesday, May 22, 2007

And It's Outta Here!

My youngest hit a home run tonight, our team's first of the season. The pitcher was bringing some heat, but the boy took a ball, fouled off a pitch, and then drilled one into deep center field. He's pretty quick, and God knows the fielding at this age is weak, and he hit third early enough that sending him didn't seem wrong.

The team poured off the bench and slapped him on the back. All well and good. Then Coach P. and I saw one of the kids pointing and laughing at the pitcher.

"A.," we hollered in unison. "Knock it off."

We don't yell at the kids much. In fact, we pretty much never yell at any of them except our own. It's become something of a joke among the parents; "Oh, Coach is yelling, his kid must have screwed up."

But this didn't cut it. Coach P. was so angry he had to walk away for a minute. I pulled A. to the side.

"Look, buddy," I said, "if you go to a pro ball game, you can swear at the other team if your parents let you. This isn't pro ball. We're here to have fun. Cheer your own team, but don't ever, ever dog the other team again."

He looked like he was going to cry. I went over to his parents, who were watching, not to say anything, just to gauge their reaction.

His mother looked at me. "Someone needed to yell at him for that," she said. We have good parents on our team.

We ended up losing. Up by one run going into the last inning, we blew it. It was a loss we deserved. Our fielding pained my soul.

We huddled around and Coach P. found some nice things to say to the kids. He's good at that. My kid got named player of the game for his home run, dragged his mom and brothers out for ice cream.

A. didn't go for ice cream. His parents took him straight home. He wasn't close to tears anymore, but he was still quiet. That's alright. Anybody can learn how to hit and field. It's harder to learn how to be an adult. Tonight A. got a lesson.


Anonymous said...

Congrats to Snaglet the Youngest!!

And congrats to the coaches for NOT encouraging trash talk.

Anonymous said...

It's funny Coach P. and you said what you said. AG was thinking that at the Red Sox game the other night.

When fans boo other teams and UC yells "UUUUuuuuuuuuuuuu" for Kevin Y., it's really unbecoming. In fact it is sad and pathetic. And the beach balls?! Lame. I told him that we don't teach little leaguers to talk or act like that, so 'cut it out'!

Now I know I was correct. (It's not like AG knows what 11-year-old boys are taught). Can you talk to UC about his wanna be-never but never been anything-bench warming self about trash talk in the stands?!

Elmo said...

Wow, you do have good parents. It really sucks when they think their kid can do no wrong.