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Category:MLB
Posted on: June 2, 2008 3:41 pm
Edited on: June 2, 2008 6:27 pm
 

Little League update

I have not had the heart to make updates but that will become apparent if you dare to read further. :-) The game we played on May 28th was awful. By far the worst game of the year. I was so frustrated at our lack of enthusiam and effort. Instead of yelling at the team, I managed to keep it positive.

The interesting thing was the way the game ended and it's affect on our next two games. We were losing 13-1 and it was the bottom of the last inning. The ump for some reason decided to expand the strike zone in the last inning while rushing my kids along. He called two kids out on third strikes that were not even close. At least, three parents and the other coaching staff said I was right to be upset.

Anyhow, the game ends, the kids are dejected and I am furious. I tell the kids to line up and shake hands and I proceed to have an animated discussion with the umpire. The umpire would not even look at my in the eyes. He was trying to leave as quickly as possible. The gist of my unhappiness was that he was being unfair & unprofessional by rushing to finish a game that was pretty much over. 13-1 final score...our record now 0-7. Somehow, I managed to make my points without embarrasing myself or my kids.

Fast forward to this past Saturday, May 31st. - The kids have a lot more energy. They were so lethargic the last game but you know what I understand. It's hard to lose every game. Anyway, we start slow but grag a 6-2 lead. They score two to cut the lead to 6-4 heading into the last inning. Unfortuantely, my kids ran off the field yelling we finally. No, we have one more inning to play kids. Now, I really start to panic. Can we finish this? Should I take out the starting pitcher? He's pitched great though.

Needless to say it all feel apart. We don't score any runs in the top of the last and they came up for last licks. Yikes, it was brutual. The first kid hits a HR, a 6-5 lead and my guys are visibly nervous. The next kid hits it to the pitcher who fields it, sets and throws the ball into the stand. Tieing run now on second. I don't have the heart to re-live the rest but we lost 7-6. The kids come off the field stunned and crying...

What do I do now? I look at the boys and tell them pick your heads up guys, "we have a game tomorrow, let's re-group and try again."

I feel terrible all day and have trouble sleeping that night. 0-8 and Sunday, June 1st  is our best chance and most realistic chance to win this season. No pressure though.

I won't keep you in suspense. We won! We won! The kids came ready to play on Sunday. We went up 11-2 then held on for an 11-7 win. We had last licks in case we needed it but luckily we didn't...the victory is a blur in some respects but to see those happy faces was priceless. I put my son  to bed last night and the last thing he said was..."Dad, I'm so happy we finally won."  Me, too buddy. Me, too!

IrishNY

Category: MLB
Posted on: May 15, 2008 5:32 pm
Edited on: May 28, 2008 1:41 pm
 

0-5

Yes, sad to say that my team has not won a game. 0-5. I keep it all in perspective as I am coaching 9 & 10 year old boys. That's not to say that I don't joke about my winning percentage or coaching abilities.

We had a great game the other night. Yes, obvioulsy, we lost (7-5). A really close game but a few late errors cost us. We were winning for the better part of it but in the end the other team prevailed. The remarkable thing is that my kids were not devestated. Perhaps, the fact that they had a chance to win the game was satisfaction enough. Is that possible in this day and age?

Most of our games have been close with the exception of the one game we lost 16-9 but even then my guys were ecstatic about scoring nine runs. Yes, they were thrilled because they scored a bunch of runs.

I find it amazing as I'm learning a real lesson while trying to teach these kids sportmanship & baseball skills.That's life for you, I guess. Here I was worried about teaching these kids and they are teaching me things in the process. Never to late to teach an old dog new tricks?

BTW, Our team motto...have fun, play hard & smart.

Update - May 19th

We lost again tonight 14-11. It was an amazing game. We were actually down 12-0 after two innings, playing the best team in the league.

A funny thing happened though. Similar to what my cyber friend,  bigtenboy, described in his comment. I very calmly told the boys to sit down in the dugout and started encouraging them to play hard & have fun. It was interesting because they all seemed to relax and started to play the game.

Next thing you know we start chipping away, five runs here and then we start playing well in the field. We actually had a 1,2,3 inning. You know three up, three down.

Hold onto your hats but by the fourth inning it's 12-11 and my guys are smiling and having a great time. I hear a few kids exclaim, we can win this one coach.

Unfortunately, we couldn't pull it out in the end but we had the winning run at bat and our star player on deck in the last inning.

Like Bigtenboy mentioned kids are resilient but I could sense that they were a little disappointed by being so close to their first win. I gave quite the pep talk afterwards and praised these kids to high heaven and you know what, I watched them all walk off the field laughing, hugging, wrestling (they are boys after all) and in great spirits.

The other great part is when I tucked my son in bed tonight. I asked him if he was disappointed. He said "no, we played a great game Dad but the other team just played a little better"...0-6 but Wednesday is another day and we'll have another chance at that elusive "W"

IrishNY

May 28th update - 0-6 and holding...

Actually, no real updates to speak of. We haven't had a game since last Monday, the last update. We have a game tonight though, against the second best team in the league. We also have about 4 games in the next week so let's hope the boys continue to have fun and play well in search of the elusive "W". If we win tonight, I'm sure I'll have more to add. Stay tuned.

 

Category: MLB
Posted on: April 28, 2008 11:43 am
Edited on: April 28, 2008 4:40 pm
 

Little League Debut

I mentioned it here the other day. My son getting his first chance to pitch in little league. His Coach decided to give the young lefty a chance to show his stuff since we have another game two days later and I am trying to preserve the young arms.

Yes, I'm the coach. I love the responsibility and the opportunity to teach 9 & 10 year olds a game that I love. I have always enjoyed baseball, always been a fan of the game, reading my daily boxscores. Baseball conjures thoughts of spring, carefree summer days shagging baseballs or just enjoying a game on TV or in person.

Anyhow, the little league season just started in the Northeast. Second game into the season and we have a third game two days later. I'll give the boy a chance to pitch.

Saturday game day - I'm nervous. I'm not worried about W's or L's. I'm worried about the kids having fun and not losing their confidence. Still, I've told my son he's pitching today or Monday. I have three kids who can pitch at this level. Let's see if I have another one. Gotta start somewhere.

Fast Forward - the game is going pretty well. We are playing one of the best teams in the league and we are holding our own, trailing by four runs in the bottom of the fourth.

Hey, buddy. I want you to pitch in the top of the fifth. Hold the phone. Oh, my. My team ties the game. Am I still going in Dad? Yup. Oh, my!

I notice when he's warming up that the boy is nervous. Is this a mistake? Is he ready? Well, he really wants to do this so here goes.

The poor guy has the jitters bad and has a hard time finding the plate. I look at my wife and see the anguish in her face. Yikes, I tried not to push the kid and still I put him in a postion that he wasn't ready for. This is unbearable.

All of the sudden, we get an out. Still the boy struggles finding the strike zone. I shout encouragement. He relaxes a bit but has difficulty finding his stride. Bases loaded three runs in. A shot up the middle, the shortstop grabs it in the air and races to second, tags the base...unassisted double play, inning over.  Yes!

My son runs off the field beaming. He just gave up five runs, three earned but he's excited. I'm a glutton for punishment. Buddy sit down and relax you're pitching the last inning.

Last inning - a few errors to start off. Oh, no. Not again Mr. Bill. Bases loaded. Yikes.

The most wonderful thing then happened. I sent the assistant coach out to calm the boy. Next thing you know, it's looney tunes and bugs bunny. One, two, three strikes yer out. What? One out then two. Two strikeouts with the bases loaded. The kid is dancing around the mound. We are almost out of this. A shot to the shortstop. He grabs the ball. Tags second. Oh, yeah! Inning over. We go down quickly but the kids are ecstatic especially my boy.

I'm not sure when he'll pitch again but he has the confidence now. His coach sure is relieved and proud. 

Category: MLB
Posted on: April 3, 2008 4:59 pm
 

Opening Day turns into Opening Night

Opening Day  Opening Night at Yankee Stadium

My nine year old headed down to Yankee Stadium on Monday with his dad and good friends of ours. Unfortunately, the weather gods did not smile upon us. We were standing inside the stadium when they announced that the game would be played on Tuesday night. My son started to cry because he figured his chance of seeing opening day at Yankee Stadium was finished. In a way, he was right as we had to go to Opening night on Tuesday instead.

What a thrill it turned out to be. A warm night in the Bronx. Some outstanding plays by Melky. It really was a great way to start season especially considering that the good guys won. 3-2 Yankees.

I am really excited for another baseball season. BTW, as much as I hate to see the Old stadium go, the new one looks nice!

Category: MLB
Tags: Yankees
 
 
 
 
 
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