April 05, 2004
Still perfect

Opening Day was Saturday, and my perfect record as a coach remains unblemished. Unfortunately, that means we lost, 12-3. We had a bad first inning, nobody came close to hitting the ball until their second or third time up, and we didn't make any plays in the field.

Though it wasn't pretty to look at, there were some positives to take away. Our pitchers had good velocity and struck out a lot of batters while only walking a few. Honestly, I was a bit surprised that the other team made as much contact as they did against them. One of our kids, who hadn't really hit the ball all throughout practice, walked and scored in his first at bat, then made contact in his second. It was a popout to the second baseman, but he was justifiably excited (as were we all) by getting the bat on the ball. Progress is always incremental, and it's important to celebrate the milestones when they pass by.

What was most encouraging, though, was the realization that these kids can and will play better than they did this time. They know it, and we know it. Our penultimate practice on Tuesday was sloppy and mistake-filled, then we pulled it together and had a sharp practice on Thursday. I have hope that the same effect will take place again, for tomorrow's game.

One note from Thursday: We got our Twins caps, and as they were trying them on, one of the kids asked me about the cap I was wearing. I told them that it was the team cap for the Yakult Swallows and that I'd gotten it at a game in Tokyo. They were all duly impressed, though what they were most curious about was what kind of food one could get at Jingu Stadium. That in turn led to a debate over the merits of sushi. We're nothing if not a cosmopolitan group here.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 05, 2004 to Just call me Coach | TrackBack