Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Vindication Schmindication

Some of you may know that we are a baseball family. Both the boys have been playing baseball since they were six years old.

They are good.

My oldest has played Allstars for the last two summers. He was pursued for Allstars prior to that, but it is a HUGE commitment, both in terms of time and money. And it's not just a commitment for the player, but his family as well. Also, it's not cheap. So we said he could go out for Allstars when he was ten, which he did.

When he made Allstars, he put all his heart and soul into playing the very best that he could. He did not take his commitment lightly, and he took great pride in being an Allstar. There are some kids who are very blase about it...they feel they deserve to be Allstars...the team is lucky to have them. Not my kid. He has felt genuinely honored and privileged to be a part of it.

After the first summer, I was not entirely pleased. In fact, I said, I did not want Pre-Pubescent One to play again for this particular Coach. I thought the Coach was ill-equipped to serve as a role model to young boys. In addition, his coaching was mediocre at best. Also, I found him to be emotionally and psychologically stunted (it didn't take me very long to figure out why he's divorced). As a result, he often blamed the boys for his own tactical mistakes.

When tryouts rolled around again, Pre-Pubescent One BEGGED me to let him go out and after discussing the matter at length with husband, I relented. Husband and I thought that perhaps if we got more closely involved we could gently and constructively offer suggestions for more effective conflict resolution.

I, foolishly, volunteered to be Team Mom and Husband became the Treasurer in addition to being an Assistant Coach. Both of these jobs are very time consuming and work intensive, but they put us in a position of intimacy and confidence with the Coach, which we thought was a good thing.

It wasn't.

To make a very long and ugly story short, but unfortunately no more sweet, after last summer, I was even more determined that Pre-Pubescent One not play for this man again.

Again he begged me to go out, and again, I relented, knowing in the back of my mind that he wouldn't be chosen. He was not. It wasn't because of his ability or his skill level. He is inarguably one of the better players in the league.

There are two reasons he was not chosen.

First, because the Coach got tired of Husband and I telling him what we thought. There were so many instances I can't possibly go into them all here without boring you to tears (if you weren't already at that point) but the most glaring instance of his ineptitude and immaturity occurred at the World Series last summer, when he threw a full blown tantrum in the dugout, kicking over coolers, pounding the fence and swearing.

Now, we weren't even supposed to be at this Series. We are an Allstar team, and this was a Series designed for travel ball teams, which are supposed to qualify to be able to compete. The Coach knows the coordinator of the Series and pulled some strings to get us in. I knew none of this, or I would have protested. Loudly.

These teams had been playing together in some instances, for years. Our boys had been playing together for just over 8 weeks. We didn't win many games, but we held our own. None of our losses was a massacre. We did remarkably well considering the position we were in.

And yet he felt compelled to throw a tantrum because we were losing a game. It was the last straw. Husband took him aside and told him in no uncertain terms to calm his ass down and act like a leader and a role model should.

He didn't like it.

The second reason is was the rivalry between my son and another player, who was new to team. They are both pitchers, and truthfully, the other kid is a better pitcher than my son. He was rightfully the lead-off pitcher, and in many cases, the closer as well. My son rarely got to pitch, and when he did, he was pulled after only one or two walks while his nemesis was left in, floundering, inning after inning. During one game, he loaded up the bases twice and gave up 8 runs because of it.

The obvious favoritism both on and off the field really began to bother Pre-Pubescent One, and the other child took every opportunity to rub his nose in it. He tried. He really did. But eventually, his attitude began to suffer. Who can blame him??

And the Coach, contrary to what a mature, responsible leader should have done, ignored, and in some cases, even fanned the flames of this rivalry. There were several altercations, most of them started by the other child. In every instance, it was Pre-Pubescent One who was chastised for his attitude problem and punished by being benched.

This year, the Coach again wanted the other kid for his lead pitcher, but he did not want to deal with the rivalry. Though an insufferable blowhard, he is a coward at heart, and he hasn't the first clue how to handle those kinds of situations constructively, diplomatically, or effectively.

Their rivalry did not have to escalate to the point that it did. It could have been nipped in the bud at the beginning of the season by letting both players know that they were valued members of a TEAM.

But instead, he simply removed the problem. He cut loose a kid who had given him everything he had for two summers; summers during which he gave up everything to be a part of the team.

I am relieved that I don't have to put up with him this summer, but Pre-Pubescent One is devastated. And that hurts me. It angers me. It makes me want to rip that guy's head off and spit down his neck. It makes me want to kick his scrawny little ass. It makes me want to pull out what's left of his hair by the roots.

But I didn't and I won't. Husband and I have congratulated the kids who made the team, and wished everyone the very best in the season ahead. And we meant it. It's not their fault their Coach is a jackass.

So....anyway...Allstars were chosen two weeks ago. And since that time, Pre-Pubescent One has been ON FIRE. He is throwing strikes right and left and twice in one week, he put it over the fence. He's only one of three kids in the league who has done so, and he is leading the league in the number of home runs.

Both times, it was witnessed by the Allstar Coach.

And though I don't really consider myself a vindictive person, I found myself hoping like hell that he was sorry. I found myself imagining him, coming to me, contrite, apologetic, remorseful...asking if he could please have Pre-Pubescent One on the team. And I imagined scoffing in his face and turning him down flat. I imagined him walking away, slump shouldered and defeated.

Eat your heart out, I thought.


If it had been myself in this position, I would have shrugged it off. I would have reasoned that I was better off not being on the team and having to put up with his nonesense. I do it in my own life all the time, because life is too short to let other people piss in your cheerios.

But this...this really got me. Somebody hurt my baby. Somebody treated him unfairly.

And that makes me want blood.

Or, at least one more out of the park homerun.

He's playing tonight in the league playoffs. And though we have never, ever done so, I am seriously considering offering a nice bribe reward if he can do it one. more. time.

But I am above that kind of behavior, right? I am not a crazy sports Mom. I try to tell myself...vindication schmindication...what good does it do in the long run?

But damn I want it. I want it bad.

Maybe $100 would do it.

Inflation, yannow.


  • At 4:26 PM, Blogger Student of Life said…

    It is such a shame that this is happening to your son. I understand the anger you feel, because I felt the same watching this happen to my brother who is ten years younger than me. When it (inevitably) happens to my own child in one form or another, I'm going to have a hard time keeping my cool. The only good thing about this situation is that your son is learning a very valuable life lesson. There are assholes in management around every corner. Perhaps by the time he has to deal with that, he will have plenty of practice in dealing with the situation. You are being a good example by keeping your cool.

  • At 6:21 PM, Blogger Ruth Dynamite said…

    My husband would be reaching for a gag, but I'd be with you 100%. "Honey, you pitch a no-hitter and you will NOT be sorry."

    I'm vindictive like that.

  • At 7:21 PM, Blogger OhTheJoys said…

    One of the reasons I love your blog is that you show me what is coming - and how much more complicated it gets. I mean that in a good way of course!

  • At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You know, I agree that the situation sucks, but is it possible it sucks less than you're feeling right now? I think we all get a few crappy coaches and teachers in our lives, and we grow and learn despite their examples, or maybe even because of their negative examples.

  • At 11:14 PM, Blogger Girlplustwo said…

    it is such a shame that this is allowed to happen. i can't believe that politics invade little league, that adults sacrifice the kids for their own gain.

    there should be rules for coaches. a check and balance system, so that it can be about the KIDS.

  • At 9:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It sucks to be sure. I had an incredible coach who was respectful towards us and wasn't afraid to stop the pettiness that can happen among kids. It's a shame that PPO's old coach can't get a grip.

    But like Doodaddy said, maybe PPO's going to learn more from this coach's negative example. Maybe this frees him up to be snatched up by another coach who will be the role model you can be proud to have for your son. Sometimes the worst things that happen are really blessings in disguise, even if it does feel good to make the coach sweat a little that maybe he shouldn't have cut PPO.

  • At 9:23 AM, Blogger Sarah said…

    What a depressing story.

    We see the same kinds of things in the soccer league my boys play in.

    And I often wonder why we don't just have the kids coach their own teams, because really they are more mature than the (adult male) coaches.

  • At 12:07 PM, Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said…

    I would have done and felt the exact same things if in the your position.

    I'm equally looking forward and dreading the age when Chicky is old enough for sports. My husband and I were both very active in sports when in school and we're hoping our daughter will follow in our footsteps. But I remember the days of parents getting thrown out of leagues and games because they were too involved or inappropriate. I don't want that for my kid but I guess we can't keep them in a bubble.

    I hope your son's game went well and he hit a homer!

  • At 2:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Slouching mom's got it - the kids should coach themselves, haha - in spite of the truism that kids can be and often are very cruel to each other, they also have an inherent sense of fairness and justice that rises to the surface at the most amazing times.

    And I have to ask, where are the other parents in this mess? Has NO ONE pointed out to the league authorities what a complete and total mess/jerk that coach is?? You and your husband did exactly the right thing in volunteering and trying to act as the balance in the situation - but where were the other parents???

    Best of pitching and hitting luck to PPO!

  • At 7:25 AM, Blogger Sandra said…

    Oh, I am so with you on this. Maybe throw in a trip too :)

  • At 6:38 AM, Blogger Code Yellow Mom said…

    I love it..."I do it in my own life all the time..." but it truly is a whole other ball game when it's your baby. :)

  • At 6:52 AM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    I'm not sure how I'll deal with type of thing happening to my own child. I would think that sticking out my tongue and flipping him off when he looks away is not the way to go??


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