If there is one good thing about dance competitions, it’s the lack of middle aged men reliving their glory days, screaming at your kid if she doesn’t point her toe quite right. I mean, can you imagine? Coaches and parents lurking around the stage yelling things like “Dangit Suzy…pop your hip to the LEFT…TO THE LEFT!” Or “Son of a b!$@# Allison! Stop falling out of your double pirouette early! How many times have we gone over this!?!?”
Welcome to little league baseball.
Now, I will say that the coaches on our team are generally well behaved, but we have come across some doozies in the past few weeks. I’m starting to keep track of my favorites.
The award for Biggest A$$ Hat goes to…..(drum roll)….the dad standing by the fence losing his ever-loving sh!# because he thought our infielders were intentionally standing in the base path, blocking the runners. Um…I’m sorry…have you spoken to a 7 year old recently? I’m flattered that you think our guys have the strategic wherewithal to actually concoct such a strategy, but the more likely explanation is that they are completely oblivious to the fact that they are in the way. These are kids who, not uncommonly, lose track of their thought process half way into a sentence and take five minutes to formulate a coherent string of words asking for a sandwich. The same kids that need to be reminded to put shoes on before they go to school and to go to the bathroom when they are wiggling around like they are about to explode. Also (maybe) the kids who think if you plant a peppermint it will grow into a candy cane. So dude, thanks for thinking that they are evil geniuses, but calm down. Take a Xanax and a metoprolol and just stop it.
The award for Guy Clinging Hardest to his Youth goes to…..(another drum roll)….the coach setting up behind home plate while the pitching machine is being calibrated. Yep, we saw you crouch and we saw you jump up like a major league catcher, ready to throw out Jarrod Dyson stealing second. And then we saw you do it again. And again. And by the fifth time we were all SO over you. I would guess you were probably a decent ball player twenty years ago, but now you’re a middle aged dad standing behind the plate, your sole purpose to make sure the pitches are coming in at the right height. That’s it. Mission accomplished. Nobody is stealing on you. So now you can just stop.
The award for Most Likely to Change the Outcome of the Game by Yelling goes to…every single parent…including myself. We’ve all managed to convince ourselves that by yelling “RUNFASTRUNFASTRUNFAST!!!” our enthusiasm will propel our molasses-paced kid to beat out the throw to first base. Or by yelling “MOVE UP IN THE BOX!” or “SWING FASTER!” we will finally get through to our son (who probably can’t hear us anyhow), he will have that long awaited baseball epiphany and will emerge the 7 year old version of Mickey Mantle, hit a home run over the left fielder’s head and be declared God’s gift to little league baseball. Yep.
And the award for Mom Who Talks a Big Game, but Forgets the Bloody Sunscreen goes to…. me.
And finally, the award for Kid Who Could Not Care Less About Baseball but Shows Up for the Popcorn goes to…..Annie.
More games tomorrow….undoubtedly more awards to come.
(Photo credits: Lou Ann Balderston)