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Monday, April 21, 2014

Another disturbing weekend at the ball fields.

I can't believe it happened again.

For the second weekend in a row we had to explain to our children why behaviors from adults was inappropriate. Really?!?

I thought baseball was supposed to be a learning and growing experience for kids. Aren't kids supposed to be empowered to play sports? Aren't they supposed to learn things like sportsmanship, patience and grace?


Not in Lady Lake Little League. Here they learn that adults are there to act like children.

Let me take you back to the last time we were at the ball fields 2 weeks ago.

Justin is 12. He plays for the Red Sox. The opposing team was the Rays.

My step-son Justin up at bat!


Here is the situation. Bottom of the last inning. Tie game. 1 out. Runners on second and third. Batter hits soft ground ball towards first base. First basemen charges the ball, picks it up and throws home. The runner on third is in a run down. After a couple of throws the runner is tagged out. 2 outs.

Wait.

The umpire through a red flag in the air. Defensive interference! Runner scores. Game over! Red Sox win!

A crazy and exciting end. A winner and a loser. A great lesson for both teams.

No.

The coach of the Rays throws a FIT. He starts yelling and screaming. He called the ump, "You f**ing fat butterball...". (The ump was indeed very overweight but that's not the point)

To add insult to injury for the adults ANOTHER person in the stands, this time a PARENT (or it could have been a grand parent, dude was older) starts yelling at the ump as well.

The kids and other more mature adults were stunned. Do we as adults really act like that?

Apparently.

The trip home was used to explaining to Justin and Dallas (who is 9 and say the whole thing) that this is not how we act when things don't go our way.

Wow. Just wow.

Can we top this?

Why yes, we can.

A couple of days ago it was Dallas's turn to play.

Dallas up at bat! 

When the game started the coach of Dallas's team (the Pirates) asked Dallas to play on the other team (the Angels). Apparently they other team only had 6 kids show up so the grabbed a couple of kids from other teams that were on site and Dallas from the Pirates.

Hey, it's Little League. I had no issues with that at all; better than cancelling the game.

After one inning in right field for the other team the Angels had another kid show up so Dallas came back to the Pirates.

Now the Angels had 7 players and 2 kids from other teams.

It was not a pretty game. The Pirates were ahead by many runs. The Angels decided to put the catcher in as pitcher. They took one of the players that wasn't originally on their team (he was wearing a blue uniform) in as catcher.

As a spectator I was confused. You see I thought that the coaches made changes and not the parents.

Indeed I was wrong.

A parent sitting next to me started ranting and raving that HER KID should be catching and the not the kid in the blue shirt. Her kid at the time was in right field throwing his hat around and really not paying attention. A ball was hit to him and he was still holding his hat in his hand. Goof-ball.

Of course the irritate parent went to the coach and made a scene. Is this normal?

What she did next FLOORED me.

She walked over to her kid and took him home leaving the team with 8 kids and no right fielder for the rest of the game.

This, my friends, is called lack of class.

Another trip home from Little League explaining to elementary school kids that adults don't always make the right choices and do the right things.

It's a good thing it was a long ride.

Sorry this article was so long today.

I don't pretend to be parent of the year. I am not Dr. Phil. Let me tell you though what I believe YOUR ROLL as a parent is:

- Support your kid.
- Teach you kid how to have character and integrity when winning and losing. 
- Congratulate your kid when they win and when they lose. 
- Help them to learn lesson from both winning a losing. 

That is it. End of story. It is not your job to make things "fair". Life is not "fair". It is not your job to re-live your life through them. 

These two parents that I described should be ashamed of themselves.

Sports are there to teach our kids lessons; that is it. 

Parents in the stands....

It is not your job to argue with the umps.
It is not your job yell at the coaches.
It is not your job coach your kids.

Accept your roll.

For the love of God, PLEASE, stop trying to make it about YOU.

It's about our children.

END RANT.

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