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Batter up!

The team practice last night was at an indoor batting cage. I’d made the decision to do that instead of work out on the regular field because of the recent nasty weather which forced the cancellation of our last practice. The weather yesterday actually turned out to be pretty decent, but the field would have still been wet and muddy.

We started out with me pitching to the kids. I was behind one of those batting-practice screens you see major leaguers use. It’s basically a seven foot square hurricane fence, with a small rectangle cut out in the top left for me to throw through. After everyone had taken a turn, I offered a dollar to anyone who hit a line drive back through that cut-out section. The first kid to do so was the smallest one on the team. He’d swung and missed at most of the pitches before that, so it was really gratifying to see him connect like that. One other kid collected later on.

Eventually we got the manager to set up the Jugs pitching machine to give them a different look. We set the machine for 40 MPH, which was a bit faster than they were used to seeing. All of them started out swinging too late to make contact, but by the time they finished they had the timing down. That was encouraging.

The Jugs machine uses these weird rubber-coated yellow balls that are dimpled like golf balls. I could swear we used to feed the Jugs machine regular baseballs when I was a kid at baseball camp, but maybe that was only in the arm-style machines.

The other major accomplishment was handing off the candy to the parents who had signed up to sell it. They all seemed to know what they were doing, which was a relief to me. They have until March 31 to complete their capitalistic mission.

No practice this Saturday due to a Cub Scout conflict. We’ll be back on the field on Tuesday.

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