Little League baseball season has started!
It started with a bang too! Opening day was Saturday. They had individual and team pictures taken. There was a big to-do with the announcement of every player on every team.
I mentioned earlier that Neil’s team played in the first game of the season. He has the same head coach, T, that he had last year and he was really excited by that. His dad is also coaching this year. The team they played was being coached by a guy that not too many people like to lose to. Well, no one likes to lose, but this coach is a real…. uh, we’ll go with smarty britches. The game went as good as we thought that it might. There are two or three kids on our team who don’t ever come to practice and it showed.
Many of you know that I have a temper. I sometimes have a hard time getting a hold of the whole brain/mouth thing. My brain doesn’t always register that I should keep my mouth shut. With that said…
This is the first year for a lot of these kids in “kid pitch” league. Last year they used a pitching machine. The opposing team put in their second pitcher and he was a pretty big boy. Which means that he can throw the ball pretty hard. He was throwing all over the place. A couple of times he even threw behind the hitters. It was Neil’s turn to bat. He had two balls and one strike. The pitcher threw. That’s when I heard it. Not the crack of the bat, not the thud of the ball hitting the catchers mitt. The smack of the ball hitting my son squarely in the back.
It was like slow motion. I saw him turn, drop his bat, grab his back, and go down on one knee. The officials and coaches are yelling, “Neil, are you OK?” He looked up from the ground, tears streaming down his face, shakes his head and says, “NO!” By this time, I’m up against the fence, the head coaches wife, P, is next to me yelling at Neil to just breathe!! We can’t see anything because both officials and both T and Chris are surrounding Neil on the field.
That’s when I saw the pitcher…. LAUGHING. This is where I lost the hold on the brain/mouth thing. “Hey! Stop laughing!! I don’t see anything funny about this!!” To which that little jerk looked at me and spit. HE SPIT! Believe me when I tell you that if there had not been a fence between us I may have made a real ass of myself. Neil got up though and shook it off. He took up his spot on 1st base. Then proceeded to steal both 2nd and 3rd. He got called out at home on a technicality. I think they should institute instant replay in Little League. You are not out if the pitcher tags you with an empty glove. *eye roll*
After the game, another coach from a different team approached us and recommended that we phone the head of the Little League in our area. He said that it was extremely unsportsmanlike to be laughing, smirking, and making a joke out of hitting someone with the ball. It’s dangerous as well. I found P and asked for that number. She told me that T had gone to Smarty Britches immediately after the game and mentioned that he should probably go over what being sportsmanlike is with his team. She said Smarty Britches just shrugged his shoulders and walked off. I’m beginning to think that maybe some of the adults on that team need a lesson is manners too.
Later that night, Neil came to me and said he didn’t want to play against that team again. I told him that they’d have to play them at least once more. I told him next time he comes up to bat against that pitcher to remember what happened this time. Except next time hit the ball out of the park and show him that he doesn’t intimidate you.
The good news is that the first game is over. The team can see the things they need to work on. They have a bye week next week so they have an extra week to get ready for the next game. Next time though I may have to sit further back in the bleachers!