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Ouch. Ouch.

tough lloss
Coaches talk to the team after a loss.

The good guys went down in flames again Thursday afternoon, 21-8. It’s getting ugly and the frustration is begining to show.

The results were predictable because the kids do what players their age tend to do: throw the ball around too much, and many of them can’t throw accurately or catch consistently. They’re 6 and 7 years old — it’s normal.
And while the kids are doing OK, the grown-ups are beginning to crack. The head coach started saying, to no one in particular, he really doesn’t know much about baseball before asking me to make the lineup. After the game, another coach informed me my lineup stunk because his kid hit last in the order.

You know, youth baseball at its finest.

The best observation of the day came from two high school kids I had the pleasure of sharing the press box with. The official scorekeeper/scoreboard operator and his buddy, the PA announcer, were chatting about a lot of things. Between the topics of summer jobs (not enough time off) and girlfriends (they’re too clingy), came this gem:

“We never played tournaments in T-ball.”

“Yea, it’s crazy.”

“They shouldn’t put that much pressure on these kids.”

I have to remember that. My faith in the youth of America has been renewed.


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The best thing I can say is, is only lasted three innings.

The view from the press box

Talk about running into a buzzsaw. A team from the Tampa area handed us a 15-3 loss this morning. Scuttlebutt is they were a “traveling” team, whch means they’ve played together a lot, mainly in tournaments. In T-ball. Seriously.

On the bright side, Jamie and Jason turned a nifty double play in the third inning.

We’re at home now, chilling before we need to get back to the field at 12:30 p.m. for a 1:30 game. The kids are OK. “It was 15 to 3,” Jamie told me. “But it’s OK, we have three chances left.”  Her smile told me it will, indeed, be OK.

And Jason is too busy playing “The Bigs” baseball game on his Wii to be bummed about losing. He loves baseball. That’s my boy.

We got the first game under our belts. It’s a good thing.

I was thrown a curveball before the game. Since I’m not on the field during the game, I volunteered to keep the scorebook for the team.(Full disclosure here — I am a ScoreGeek. I kept stats for various teams in school and have three different scorekeeping apps on my iPad).

I took our lineup upstairs to the booth … nobody there. I wandered over to the other dugout to get the lineup from the other coach and went back up.  A teeneager was there to run the scoreboard but no one from the league, to handle things like protests and keep the “official” book.

This guy sticks his head in the door, looks at me and tells me I have to announce the teams. ME? I don’t think so. Do  it now, he’s yelling…  So I’m thinking, should I go with Harry Carry or Vin Scully? I do a pretty good Marv Albert, but he doesn’t do baseball. OK, let’s wing it.  “Good morning and welcome to Sarasota…”

And then, of course, things go horribly wrong. I can’t read the writing on the other team’s lineup card. It looks like a P or a D and there’s a long last name without a whole out of vowels. “Batting fourth, number 15, Miguel Palll…eghhh….avia. ghhtiieieia….”

Hey, you get what you pay for.

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Gearing up for a tournament

My 7-year-old twins are ready for their first All-Star tournament experience tomorrow. It’s apparently the first T-ball all-star tournament that the Cal Ripken Baseball has ever held in Florida, so this is officially a Pretty Big Deal.

Your Sarasota T-ball all-star starting first baseman (Jamie) and pitcher (Jason).

I’m very excited for them.  All the practices, lost and found equipment, assorted bumps, bruises and sore muscles have been worth it. I’ve been one of the team’s infield coaches and it’s been fun to see how far they’ve progressed in just a few weeks.

Up until tomorrow, baseball has been nothing but fun.  They’ve never kept score or had to worry about outs, errors or runs. It all changes tomorrow morning with big crowds, umpires, national anthems — and winners and losers. As a dad and a coach, I worry about that.

I suspect I’ll be a lot more nervous than they will be. I hope so.

They’re as ready as we can make them. The journey starts tomorrow when we report to the field at 8 a.m.  I’ll keep you posted.

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