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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Why I Dislike Baseball

I know this is not very American-like but I have really grown to dislike baseball. It probably started when I was younger and shows I wanted to watch were cut short by my dad wanting to watch baseball games. I dated a baseball player in high school and many dates were watching him play or watching baseball on TV. My prom weekend was even cut short because he had a double header. Being the loyal girlfriend that I was, I spent the day, not at Great America (or the place the rest of the seniors were) with everyone else, but in the stands watching him. College was mostly baseball free.

Fast forward to Nico being five and getting invited to a "Slugger Party." I got a phone call from the dad saying, "He's a big hitter, that one. Would your husband consider being my assistant coach so we can get Nico on our team?" And so it began. T-ball was fun. Winning the championship for our park district league was fun. Getting asked to play on a tournament team was fun because there was an away tournament so it was a weekend away. But then...that team had...shall we say an unfortunate season. Nico didn't make the travel team that all of his friends and most of the tournament team he had played for made. That was another swipe at not liking it. My kid was devastated. I didn't like what was devastating him.

He played on another tournament team and then made a neighboring travel team. He had a great year. Tommy was coming up the ranks in the park district. I was so worried about Nico's little ego that I barely noticed Tommy's games (or maybe I put up a wall because I know how this sport can break little hearts). Nico tried out for the team that all of his friends were on and made it. So began the pressure of proving he belongs. Did anyone ever make him feel that way? Absolutely not. For the most part most said he should have been on it from the beginning. All of that pressure was from himself and his own insecurities. Now Tommy is playing travel baseball and some of the reasons I really dislike this game:

1. It is unpredictable. I know most find that a fun part of the game but I do not. A kid can go up to bat and hit a home run and the next time up to bat strike out. A kid could make an awesome catch in center field and the very next play drop it. What's frustrating is that I miss a game and think, "Oh, well...at least I won't see that defeated look in his eyes like the last game," and then I get a text saying, "He had a two run double."

2. A kid can hit a home run and he's the hero. The amount of pressure that is on him when he gets up to bat is unbelievable. From himself and from kids yelling, "Hit another home run!" and parents that after he doesn't ask, "Guess he didn't eat his waffles today." It's not meant to hurt. They are just words but to a kid, they amount to a lot of pressure and tears when he doesn't.

3. Tournaments or games in the freezing cold or sweltering heat. I love hot weather but when you have to sit at a baseball field with no shade, it makes for a long game (add a kid who isn't playing well and it might as well be torture).

4. Concession stands. While I love them because there are times when I don't have time to feed the kids before games or games are right in the middle of lunch or dinner, I hate them because I hear from Belle and Gia, "Can I have...." at least 50 times a game. I am going broke because of concession stands and the sugar highs and lows are off the charts.

5. Parks that are far from the fields because I am finally at the game but can't see any of it because Gia is not going to sit and watch baseball when there is a park there. On the other hand, parks that are too close are bad, too. Nothing worse than jumping on your kid or yelling for another kid to jump on your kid because a foul ball is hit to the park.

6. Asinine coaches. These are the coaches that are screaming at their players and throwing things in the dugouts. Recently we played against a team where the coach kept yelling, "Be athletic!" Yelling that to a travel baseball player is like yelling, "Be 14!" to a fourteen year old. He also yelled after a player made an error, "Aw, Geez! Forget about that steak dinner!"

7. Potty training in porta-potties. Enough said.

8. Women that get all dolled up to go to games. They make those of us that barely make it to the game or have to shuffle from field to field look bad.

9. Watching your son on the mound feeling defeated and watching the 10 or 12 times that plays could have been made to get out of the inning. Watching a team fall apart is never fun. All it takes is one bad inning.

10.Watch a professional baseball game and tell me how many of them strike out, pitch poorly or make errors. I have a 10 year old and a 14 year old. They are going to have great games but they are going to have crappy games. How do I help them get out of their head when they are having a crappy one? Why do they feel that the success and failures of their teams rest on their shoulders?

I didn't include the fans at baseball games because I wrote this post last summer. Check it out to see the other side of baseball: Baseball Fans

It can be said for just about anything but for sure in baseball: When it is good, it is very good but when it is bad, it really sucks.

What are your interesting baseball stories?

4 Comments:

At May 28, 2012 at 3:12 AM , Blogger Erin said...

I LOVE this! My oldest son (he's 6) has started playing little league this year. My hubby is assistant coach, which leave me to 'watch' the game along with corral a 4 year old and 5 month old. Needless to say . . . I'm well, not watching as much as I'd like to. Also, I've noticed that some of the teams we play do this thing referred to as 'chatter' where they call things out as the batter is up. I'm sorry, but, really?! 6 and 7 year olds doing this? I just think they are too young for it. The coach for my son's team doesn't like it either, so I'm glad that he doesn't encourage it, however, I have heard other coaches encouraging it. I just can't stand it!

 
At May 28, 2012 at 6:39 AM , Anonymous Kimberly said...

My son can't play until next year. I grew up playing softball and I played on the "all-star" team so we travelled a lot. Our coaches did put a lot of pressure on us to be the best which was a lot of yelling.
I can't imagine how my mom did it with all 5 of us!

 
At May 28, 2012 at 7:02 AM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

Oh, I hate the chatter and I have older kids. It makes me crazy. Glad you enjoyed it. I just posted Baseball part 2 because I forgot a few. Thanks for the follow!

 
At May 28, 2012 at 7:06 AM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

I'm from a family of 5 kids, too! It is a lot of pressure and a whole lotta yelling. If you are interested in more, I just posted Baseball Part 2. :)

 

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