Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Seventh Inning Stretch

The season's starting to wind down, only four more games left to play. We're close to the last hurrah.

You can see it in the team. They still play hard, but a lot of them, they're getting tired and when the game slows down, they get bored. We had one of our better players throwing sand in the outfield tonight, something that wouldn't have happened last week.

You can see it in the parents too. They still show up and cheer, but they've become friends with each other and they talk almost as much as they watch the games. That's alright. One of our goals this year was to make sure the parents had fun too, to give them a reason to let their sons keep playing.

You can also see it in Coach P. and me. We're looking for ways to get the boys in at positions they haven't played. We were able to do that tonight. One kid, a sweet boy even if he still has trouble finding his position, whose parents haven't been there to watch him for more than a few minutes all season long, has been begging to pitch since early May. What the hell, we were ahead going into the bottom half of the last inning, ensured a win by God's gift to coaches, the five-run rule.

We put him on the mound and while he's no Koufax, he wasn't not as bad as he could be. He threw a lot of balls, in fact he walked in five runs, but he put a few over the plate.

This boy's not playing extended season. I'll be a little surprised if he ever plays organized ball again. But, hey, he gets to go home and tell his buddies that he went up there and threw some strikes. He came off the field as the winning pitcher, or close enough, and his teammates patted him on the back and told him he'd done a good job.

We have a few more games, a team party where we'll give out trophies and take some pictures, but soon it will be over. There's extended league after that, but it's much smaller and shorter and even though my kid's going to be playing for Coach P. and another guy, I'll be working and won't see many of the games.

A couple days ago, my son asked me if Coach P. and I were going to be coaching next year. I told him I thought so and he grinned and said, "Cool." I'm glad he thinks so because I've never had a better time.


Anonymous said...

Be careful, Snag... another touching, meatless post.

That didn't sound right.

Kathleen said...

what's the five run rule?

Chuckles said...

The first five Snaglets to make it to the roadkill eat, the remaining slowpokes have to eat grass by the side of the road.

Brando said...

Chuckles wins.

One of the most enjoyable baseball seasons I ever had was when my dad coached my team. We finished last but had a good time.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see Coach P. and Altmouse coach next year.

Snag said...

Chuckles is right in the global sense, but as applied to baseball it means a team can only score five runs in an inning. It's supposed to prevent runaway scores at this age.

Altmouse as a coach. Fodder for thought.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Can I be on your team?

Cuz that would be cool. I never got to be on the team. But I'm pretty sure I can find left field.

Snag said...

Billy Pilgrim, you come on out this weekend and you can take your pick of positions. We'll even bat you clean up.