Tuesday, June 14, 2005

This Just In

Apparently, it's ok to teach kids to cheat.

A little background first, however. Over the weekend, my boys played in a Little League tournament. Actually, it wasn't a real tournament, it was just two games against teams they haven't played before. First game was scheduled for Friday night at 6. At 5:58, the skies opened up. At 6:02, the field was completely under water. Game canceled. Rescheduled for Sunday at 4. But there was a game to be played Saturday at 2.

We get to the field at 1:15, and the game before ours was rained out. They're all busy working to get the field in shape for the 2:00 game. They get it playable. I'm watching the other team warm up and thinking "Oh, we'll beat this team easily." They couldn't catch or throw. Our kids can do that. Well, we're the home team, so they come up to bat first. All of a sudden, they put 5 runs on us in the first inning. One of which was a kid who launched a bomb over Reese's head in Centerfield. Totally didn't see that coming at all.

Our kids were sleepwalking, so we went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the first. Next inning, same thing, they put 5 runs on us. 10-0 after 1 1/2 innings. We came back and scored 2 runs, thanks to Garrett's RBI double and Reese's RBI single.

The top of the third rolls around and they went 1-2-3. I was thinking that it was just the bottom of their lineup. However, they stopped hitting for the rest of the game. They were done. Not even 1 hit from the 2nd inning on. They were striking out or hitting easy ground balls back to the pitcher or first baseman. Incredible. It was the weirdest turn of events I'd ever seen. I've never seen a team that was so hot to start a game stop hitting so quickly in all my life.

Well, our kids rallied and made it close, but ended up losing 10-8. It was fun to watch them battle. They never gave up. We were pround of them.

So, Sunday morning rolls around and my wife said to me, "So, what did you think about the umpire throwing the other team's illegal bat out of the game yesterday?"

*blank stare*

"You mean you didn't know they were using a softball bat the first 2 innnings of the game?"

*blank stare, complete with blinking*

"Yeah, the umpire threw the bat out of the game in the bottom of the 2nd. He didn't tell you?"

To say I was flabbergasted is a gross understatement. Shocked isn't adequate either. No, the umpire didn't alert us to the fact that they were using an illegal bat. No fucking wonder they hit the shit out of the ball for 2 innings. A softball bat has a larger barrel and bigger sweet spot than a baseball bat, especially at their age.

Anywho, I decided to give that team the benefit of the doubt and decided that maybe the coach didn't know any better. When we got to the field Sunday, I bumped into the umpire and had a little chat with him about the incident.

Turns out that this "coach" has had that bat thrown out of no less than 3 games. He fucking KNOWS it's an illegal bat. He just doesn't care. I asked the umpire why he didn't inform us and he gave me some bullshit excuse that he thought our team would come back and win anyhow. Whatever. They were the host team. Can't have them embarrassed on their home turf. That's the real reason.

So far, my calls to the Mt. Hood Little League "headquarters" leaving messages to have this coach banned from coaching ever again has fallen on deaf ears. I mean, honestly, is it necessary to cheat in a 6-8 year old baseball game that doesn't mean dick? What's that teach the kids? That it's ok to cheat if you don't get in trouble? There's no repercussions for your actions? That's not the message I want our young people to get. I swear, if I ever see that coach, I'll fight him. Punch him dead in the face. Dumbass.

We won the game on Sunday 16-5. And you bet your sweet ass I personally checked ever one of the bats that their kids were using.


We just went through something similar here.

Troy's coaching and I have to tell you man, some of these little league coachs are nuts!

And some of the mothers are downright ruthless! Frightening to see a mom hanging on the fence screaming for her kid to 'take out' the catcher.
I sit back quietly watching as she flails her Prada bag, red-faced, coiffed hair sweaty and stuck to her face... one designer sandal clutched in her white-knuckled hand... yelling 'Take him out Bobby...go for his knees!'

I ever so quietly spit my wad of Big League chew in her hair.

Well! What else could I do? My son was the catcher.

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