Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ranting About Sons Baseball Games

I'm not a sports person. Meaning, I didn't grow up playing sports. I like watching games and love taking the boys to the Minnesota Twins and St. Cloud Riverbats. I have a feeling I'll make a very bad sport parent. I like things to be fair. Seems to be a word that doesn't fit well with the sports world.

My son's team started out the season playing everyone on the team. They all got chances to play and to sit out. The head coach made sure to tell the families he wanted it to be as fair as possible. Well, the season didn't start out so spectacular, but they put out the effort.

One game was keeping us from going to the "state" tourney. The boys ended up playing for an hour in the rain so that they could go. Yep, they won, but they were soaking wet.

So, I found out several days before the tournament began that the coaches had decided to get 3 other boys from 2 other teams in our town that DIDN'T make it to the state tournament to be on our team. I called him to find out what that meant. He explained that they had the right to fill the roster and he wanted to win.

My response wasn't so positive. I shared my thoughts on the matter and this is what they were (and still are). Bringing in 3 extra boys doesn't teach my son anything positive about sportsmanship. The only lesson learned is that "It doesn't matter if you win or lose, it's how you play the game" doesn't apply to real life. My son went to every single practice and game. Yes, the coach let him play the entire season. So, he earned the right to play at the tournaments.

The first game my 10yr old went in during the last inning as a pinch runner. One of the extra boys hit a double so my Jake went out to 2nd base. He stole 3rd, made it home and helped win the game. Next game I believe he didn't play at all. The 3rd game he was up to bat once. The 4th game Jake hit once and was in the outfield once. Do you think ALL the coaches kids played even if all they did was stand around or not even hit at the ball? Oh, you better believe it.

The 3 extra kids, they played every single inning. They were on the starting line up every single game. What a bunch of baloney. I tried to stay kind and positive, even invited everyone to my house after the 3rd game to eat the meal from my daughter's grad party.

Then tonight happened. The last game of the season to see who won 1st place and goes to Michigan. Do you think he put my son in? NOPE. My little guy sat there and watched every single other player go out and play. By the 5th inning we were ahead by 8 and the game was called since we were winning. That meant we came in 1st place and could go to Michigan.

To say I was furious is an understatement. I was saying some not so nice things and pretty much lost it. One of the moms from the team, who's son struck out 3 times, came up to me wanting to give me a high 5. I said something to the effect of, "Why would I high 5 you when all my son did was sit on the bench for the tournament? What a bunch of b-------t!" I called to Jake to leave, but they had an award ceremony where the kids got medals.

Was I putting forth a Christian attitude? Nope, I'll admit it right now. There was not a thing that was godly in my response to how this tournament has gone. I wish I knew how to be more graceful about my son being left out, but I'm not. Something I've asked from God for years is to not be me so much, to have a much more graceful spirit. Apparently that won't be happening any time soon.

I'd love to hear other people's thoughts on this. I understand that they needed to recruit a couple more kids so that they'd have enough pitchers. Kids can only pitch for 18 outs and then they're done for the day (or something to that effect). I don't know all the rules for baseball at this level. I did call the league rep in our area and shared with him my disgust.

He was so kind and understanding. He gave me a lot of insight to how this all plays out and it doesn't change. I should be thankful my son even played baseball this year on a traveling league. I guess he'd had 2 calls from parents saying that we should have tryouts and only have 1 team with all star players. Those parents didn't like the fact that their star athlete was having to play with lesser kids. Our town had 3 evenly divided teams.

That parents would be so heartless at this young age is astonishing. We want our boys to grow up to be thoughtful and caring and courteous, yet this is the message we send to them. My 6 yr old and I just read a children's book by Boomer Esiason. It had a great message that Boomer always picked the kids who were always picked last. It made him a better player because he had to play harder. Wish all kids did that.

I don't know what more to say, other than I'm thankful that I have a way to get my feelings out. I can be very vocal when I have an opinion. Unfortunately, it can be detrimental. I have no idea what it will be like for Jake next year when he wants to play baseball again. And yes, he wants to play again next year. He's so positive and wants to be part of it all, even wanting to go to MI knowing he won't play.


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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.