Saturday, June 16, 2012

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Baseball, without an ounce of doubt, is America's past time. I care not that basketball and football get higher ratings, nor will I admit that the steroid scandal has damaged the games reputation. Sure, when Barry Bonds was accused (fuck it he's guilty) of using them, I stopped being a Giants fan. A team that I had loved since as far back as I can remember had a fucking cheater and it killed me. It was one thing for other teams to have their Mcgwire's and Sammy Sosa's, but not my Giants. It wasn't until recently, maybe 4 or 5 years ago that I began to enjoy the game again and LOVE the Giants. Before the World Series win, mind you. My baby sis was and is a bit of a baseball nut. Just listening to her go on and on about stats and records and mostly the Giants renewed my love of the game. Brian Wilson's beard also helped, have you seen it? He's pure awesome. James Harden of the Thunder can only aspire to this amount of greatness.

So with this renewed love of the game, and a husband who played it for years, we enrolled Little Bug in T-Ball. Soccer was pure chaos, all they did was run aimlessly and get a lucky goal, but T-Ball would be different. She would have to focus and hopefully, with the right coach, love the game. Unfortunately, we will never know about the right coach part because Hubby and I were the only parents who were willing to coach.

We're a few weeks into the 11-week season right now. It's hot as hell in the Sun City and windy to boot. The fields are this red/orange-dirt that covers everything and anything. And the kids, well, the kids are 4 and 5 years old. Anyone who has ever met a 4 or 5 year old knows that they can't remember to wipe their ass, have the patience of a full bladder, and the attention span of Snookie. Well, probably a bit better than Snookie. It's been challenging, to say the least, but they have made INCREDIBLE progress.

Little Bug still prefers to play with the dirt than pay attention. She still thinks Mommy and Daddy should drop everything to pay attention to her. Oh, and she is one-half of our terrible twosome. Her and this blond haired blue eyed boy have been drawn together like magnets since the first day. They quote Adventure Time, finish each other's sentences, laugh at the silly faces they make, and his mother says she has to write this in a memory book because it's his first case of puppy love. It's cute, really, but I want to separate them just so I can get them to listen.

We had a buy last week and practice wasn't great. It was almost 104 that day and even though we didn't practice until 7pm, they were just miserable. Couldn't pay attention to save their lives. I held out no hope for a good game today. It has been stormy here and I prayed for our game to be rained out, but no such luck. We were at the field with plenty of time before the start of our game and Little Bug sat in the bleachers playing with the other kids. We talked with the photographer the rec center cleared about our team pics, went over the roster one more time to make sure we had a good batting order, and as the kids started to arrive, I already saw it their faces. It was hot and I could go fuck myself.

To make matters worse, our game started 15 mins later than it was supposed to. The other teams that were playing went over their time limit because they wanted a second inning. T-Ball rules are really simple: don't let them kill each other and as long as every kid hits once, you're good to go. No one is keeping score (I am), there are no outs, who cares how many at-bats your kids has? Gotta make sure they get bat time in front of all the scouts? By the time we start, I've already lost any energy required to wrangle them. Whatever, they'll suck but at least they'll have fun. Oh, and we only had 8 out of our 12. So at least batting would be quick right?

We took the field first. Just getting them to stand in the right place is a challenge and today was even worse. I told one kid to go to first and he said "Where's first?" Because you've never stood at it or played it before right? He spent the whole game whining that his leg hurt. Maybe if you didn't dive for every ball (even though there was never a need to) your legs wouldn't hurt. His dad came out on the field and tried to correct him, but he's that kid. The one who has an injury or has to pee or has dirt in his eye or needs his mom, anything to avoid actually playing. Between him and Little Bug dancing in the outfield, I was exhausted. Hubby just gave up and stopped trying to correct. I should have too.

OH! Before I mess up the timeline, after the first 4 at-bats, one of the rec center staffers brings out one of our team members. This kid got dropped off (late) by his dad, but to the wrong field. The dad just took off. What's worse is the kid didn't even have the situational awareness to realize that it was the wrong red team and tried to bat for them. The team was 6/7 year olds and the coach was great. He made sure the staffer knew that the kid was just dropped off, no parent and told him that it looked like he belonged on our field. This kid doesn't really talk, but won't talk at all to adults, or even turn his head in acknowledgement that you are speaking to him. He cries because his glove is on the wrong hand but when you tell him to switch it, he won't. Telling him to pay attention is a waste of time because it's like he goes out of his way to get hit by the ball. His father is a jackass that all the other parents hate and a small part of me thinks he may be abusive. His dad didn't show up until the end of the game. I made sure we reported it to the rec center director because of the no drop off policy and I also mentioned the dad and his rage issues. I confided in them my abuse suspicions as well, and they assured me that they would pass it along to CPS. No child is that fearful of adults without a good reason to be.

BUT that was not the most eventful part of the game. During our first at-bat, we were rather slow in getting the kids up to the plate. Quite frankly, I was the only person in the dugout and I was more concerned with getting water in them than how quickly they got on deck. Hubby was at the plate with them, another dad in the practice box and I was trying to put on helmets, take off their gloves (and assure them they'd get them back), prevent the fist fight that was brewing between two of the boys, and keep their water in their cups or mouths and not their clothing. We did pretty well, considering, but not well enough for the third base coach of the other team. 

He was old and obviously a grandpa, and apparently, our speed enraged him. He yelled out "Come on batter, get it movin', get it movin'." I was trying to get the possibly abused child up and he froze immediately. I assured him he was okay and the old man kept it up. "Get up there, we ain't got all day!" I looked right at him and said "Stop, please. They are 4 and 5 years old." He didn't listen, just got louder. "Knock it off," I added. "They're little kids. You need to be quiet." When he started up again, because how dare a woman tell him anything, the dad helping in the practice box raised the bat in his hand and said "SIR! Knock. It. Off." The dad's size and stern voice did it. Got the attention of the umpire as well and he kicked him off the field. After the game, he came into our dugout and tried to shake my hand, but since they were full, felt the need to pat me on the back. He said "It's cool coach." His pat was more of a full-on slap and I winced. I said "It's not cool. You don't yell at children, especially the ones on my team. And you don't need to touch me." He stepped back, aghast, but then walked the fuck away. I am against elderly abuse, but ol' dude needed an ass whoopin'. If he had said anything else, I probably would have knocked his ass out. He just screamed mean ass old man. I hate mean ass old men.

Any who, the kids got ice-cream after the game and all seemed well. The worst kids from week one were the best behaved today. Little Bug has further affirmed that she'll be a drama/music kind of gal, and that's okay. And I get to drink booze and eat chocolate with my gals tonight. All in all, not a horrible day.


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