Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Grandpa Henry #2 (this is actually about Grandpa Henry -I hope)

WOW! Imagine, you are sitting at a baseball field, boys are warming up, it’s a bit chilly because it’s early in the season (March in Colorado) but the sun is shining and you can smell the freshly groomed infield dirt and a bit of green things beginning to pop out of the ground around you. Setting up the chair (this is an art, different to each mom/dad, but very specific –for grins I’ll give you my routine), set the ‘snack bag’ on the bleachers, G-d forbid it is on the ground, get out the chair, near the dugout, but not too close (parents shouldn’t talk to kids in the dugout, they are there to play ball and should not be distracted by Mom), walk the fence to find that spot where you can see the plate, and all the bags and most of the outfield without obstruction from the posts that hold the screen up, set up the chair, put the bag on the ground and retrieve snack bag and purse from bleachers, set on chair bag. Tie umbrella to the side of chair with bungee cords, put cell phone, stop watch, eraser and two pencils in cup holder on left side of chair, put bottle of whatever is to drink in right hand cup holder, set coffee cup down on ground on right side (my coffee cup is one that is really really fat on bottom and then tapers up – they are for the car). Take score book from snack bag and set on seat of chair and then begin wandering around socializing and observing warm-ups. I’m new to the team, and haven’t been at many practices as husband is assistant coach on this team and there is no need for me to drive to practice as he is there anyhow. Oh look another person on our side of the fence, I think I’ll say hello. She looks like a Grandma, pull out the really nice etiquette. “Hi I’m Amy, I’m #41’s mom” – then she says “Oh hello, nice to meet you, I’m Madonna (I swear that’s not even made up to protect identity) and I’m number 7’s grandma and this is my husband (I do not even remember his name actually so let’s call him Henry)” We chatted a bit, they were doing their chair routine, directly behind the plate, not uncommon, a lot of people like to sit back there to see the pitches. I find that while I am keeping the book the coaches like me a little closer to the dugout so they can get to me more easily during the game to ask about things like pitch count or tendencies. Then some others showed up, I felt inclined to introduce myself to them also, since I hadn’t been at practices. So the game begins, gpa henry and Madonna are behind the plate, I’m in my chair on the third base side, near the dugout, and this other very cute sweet mom was next to me – she wanted me to teach her to keep score, which was sort of silly as she already had the basics, but she had heard that I kept a very detailed book and wanted some tips. Okay so I digress – big shock there.

The boys are on the field, play is going, first game of the year, there are some cobwebs to work out – for the boys, for the coaches, (for the scorekeeper), an for the umpires. Well apparently not for Gpa Henry. Grandpa Henry is back there coaching every boy on where they should be in the box, back in the box, up in the box, choke up a little, watch for the curve here, etc. AND he’s questioning the ‘blue’ on every third call or so – “Geez blue that was right at his hands” or “What do you mean strike?- that was way outside”. Questioning the blue is bad, and it sets a terrible example for the boys, and it can turn the blue against your team in a close call, etc. But the coaching the boys blew my mind, of course I’ve said things to my own kid, or even a kid that has a chronic problem late in the season – like “don’t forget to load” – or “don’t swing at the high cheese” – but usually I talk to them while they are on deck, and then only rarely. This guy was saying stuff to kids he barely knew at the first game of the year – and giving really specific advice! “Throwing heat every first pitch” stuff like that. Now top it off with the fact that he was often totally incorrect – not just his opinion was different than mine – but totally incorrect. The ball may have been a bit outside, but it’s a strike cuz the kid swung. And the pitcher has only brought heat twice the whole half inning, not every first pitch.

~~~Edited the boring part for your reading pleasure~~~

So the coach’s (I don’t know what they were thinking) gave Gpa Henry a special award at the team banquet – seriously they did. The other mom (also team mom and put the banquet together) just about lost her teeth. “Most Dedicated Fan” – to Grandpa Henry.

So I wrote a page and a half more – trying to describe Gpa Henry – and guess what – it sucked, it sucked so bad in fact that I edited myself. You had to be there is all I can say.

1 comment:

baseballmom said...

omG!!! I love it. The coach was probably hoping that grandpa H wouldn't be back next year, and would go bug some other coach and his kids. I hate when parents and coaches are yelling at the kids when they're in the box, all at once, so the kid is totally unable to hear ANYONE and too stressed to do anything right, either. Our catcher's grandpa used to hang out behind the backstop and give him instructions and he did SO much better when grandpa wasn't there. Our chair routine is pretty similar, even where we sit...go figure!