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All Stars

Been awhile since I’ve added a Just Call Me Coach post. We’re still looking for that first win – with three games to go, we stand 0-10. I keep seeing signs of improvement – in our most recent game, we hit the ball as well as we’ve ever hit it – but the other teams are allowed to grow and mature during the season as well. I know it’s been tough on the kids, but they keep hanging in there.

There have been a few rough patches for me, not so much over the losing but with player personnel issues. I haven’t gone into any of this on the grounds that some day, one of my kids or more likely one of their parents may stumble acorss this, and I don’t want any of them seeing something that must be about themselves or their kids that they don’t like. Thankfully, I’ve been able to handle these situations. To be honest, I’ve surprised myself somewhat. One reason why I’ve always shied away from a management track at work is because I don’t want to be in charge of people’s destinies. As I’ve told Tiffany, one result of this experience is that I no longer fear becoming a manager some day.

The funny thing is that back when I was a kid in baseball camp, I usually wound up being team captain. I was rather pushy and more than a little sure of my own abilities, convinced that no one else could make lineups as well as I could. I’d press the point until the other kids decided it was easier to let me have my way. I quickly learned that this did not make me God, it made me a harried bureaucrat who had to prevent a revolution from fomenting against me. I frequently batted myself last in the order, even though I was one of the better hitters, as a way to keep the peace. I must have buried most of those memories, because I hadn’t thought of them when this season started.

One positive aspect of being down by ten or more runs frequently is that you can make good on promises to give everyone a chance in the infield without taking a risk that you’ll tank a game. Hey, you’ve gotta find those silver linings where you can.

Today I got word that I’ll have to submit three or four kids as our team’s All Star Game representatives. I have a pretty good idea of who I’ll pick, but I just know it’ll cause some hurt feelings. Sigh.

I’ve told the kids that during the last game, they get to vote on the team’s Most Valuable Player. Every player gets a vote, and no one is allowed to vote for himself. The winner will get a game ball. I’m genuinely curious to see who it will be.

Our next game is Friday, which I’ll miss due to our planned trip to the Schlitterbahn. Two more games for me, then it’s all over.

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3 Comments

  1. I was once on a team that never won a game or scored a single point in the season, but it was a soccer team that had a few ties and made points that way.

    We made the tournament somehow on those few tie-points. Seeded last. We then kept the top-seed team scoreless, went three rounds of shootouts, and our GOALIE scored the only shootout goal.

    Tell the kids that tale so they know that miracles happen, even when there’s no sign of hope. Remember the Jets!

  2. Thanks, Larry. I appreciate it.

  3. Look, Chuckles, let’s get our priorities straight — the damn Schlitterbahn will be there next week. BASEBALL TAKES PRECEDENCE!

    Kidding aside, I commend you highly for your (ugh) work. I’m thrilled that there are people like you extending the line of history to the youngsters. Maybe a few of them will take a shine to the Great Game and fall in love with it because of you, and that’s “an good.”