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.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Baseball Is My Life....

So baseball is what you get here.

Sorry...that's just reality here at Casa De Antagonist these days.

But on a positive note...Our team took second in the District! I know you don't get what a big deal that is and probably don't care, but for us, it's pretty exciting.

These boys have really been struggling. They are GOOD. But they don't seem to be consistent. When they are on, they are absolutely unbeatable. It's honestly quite amazing to watch 14 year old boys play with that kind of intensity. Baseball is a mental game as much as it is physical. They boys have to play smart to be good, and often, they do.

But when they lack focus and motivation, they're just abominable. I think part of the problem is that they are at a phase in their lives when baseball is no longer an all consuming thing. Some days, they just have other stuff on their minds. And it shows.

In many ways, the four younger players are the more dependable, because they are more consistnetly in the game than the fourteen and fifteen year olds (because of the way birthdates fall, we have a couple fifteen year olds who missed the cut off for the higher age group).

So the Coach, who is a great guy, has been frustrated with them. Knowing what they are capable of and watching them not live up to that potential is hard. And it's frustrating to spend our meagre and hard earned funds on tournament fees (each tournament costs anywhere from $300-$600 to enter) and then get sent packing after only two games.

Some tournaments gaurantee three games. Often, if it's a double elimination tournament, they offer a third consolation game so teams can get their money's worth. But it's a very small consolation to say the least.

The last month or so, however, they've really been playing some excellent baseball. Last weekend, they went undefeated in the tournament we hosted at our own park, until the championship game, where they were beaten by a really excellent team from Fannin County.

So we went into District with our spirits and our hopes high. But we also knew that the boys had to play their abolute best. There were only four teams playing, and only two would go onto the State Championship the week after next. All the teams with the exception of one, were tough teams to beat. All of us knew it would be an uphill battle to get to State.

On Saturday, we won the first game, lost the second. We had to lose two to be eliminated, so on Sunday, it was do or die. If we lost, the season would be over for the team. The boys knew that, and it was really just a crap shoot as to whether that would motivate them to do their best, or give them a thoroughly defeatist attitude.

It motivated them to do their best.

They played excellent baseball and defeated a team that had smoked us three times previously in various tournaments. It was a very, very close game...a real nail biter. At one point, we were down by 7 runs. But we came back to win it 12-9.

We still had to play one more game, but that win qualified us for State. The boys were absolutely ecstatic.

The team that had been the team to beat all season long, ended up in third in the District. This was a surprise upset, and really a good example for all the boys playing in this tournament.

You see...their star pitcher, who is somewhat of a phenom, got ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct on Saturday. The rules state that in such an instance, the player is ejected from that game, plus the next game. This resulted in two consecutive losses, and their disqualification for State. So their entire team paid for the actions of one player.

The second game did not go so well for us. We had to play the top seed, who were fresh and who also had the home field advantage. We had already played one very, long, very tough game in the blazing heat and crushing humidity and the boys were really done in. But we had to play again after only a fifteen minute break.

We got spanked pretty badly, 11-1, but it didn't really dampen spirits all that much, knowing that we are going to State.

I have to say, it's a different experience playing at this age level. Pubescent One is thirteen, and in many ways, I still see him very much as a little boy. But some of these boys are on the brink of manhood. It's interesting to see glimpses of the men they will become.

They are strong, and proud, and tough and tenacious. But also...vulnerable, sensitive, kind and compassionate. They are sometimes silly and vulgar, but sometimes serious and introspective.

They are emerging as adults, tentative and uncertain, but driven to find themselves and their place in the world. It's a lot like watching a toddler try on grown up shoes. They are awkward and clumsy, but so very determined.

These are the young men who will be shaping the face of our world when we are in the twilight of our lives. Sometimes, thinking about what the future holds and the precarious state of things, gives me a cold, hard, anxious feeling deep in my belly.

But watching these boys, I feel...hope.

They're good boys.

Just look at these faces...

Pubescent One is in the bottom row, second from the right, if you care. He really isn't as surly as he looks, he just dislikes showing his braces in photos. Thanks Lisa for photoshopping the team name out for me.


  • At 3:08 PM, Blogger Amy Y said…

    They sure look like good ol' boys to me :)

    Braces are funny ~ for some kids, they can't seem to stop smiling when they get their braces ~ almost like it's better to have their inner lips not rubbing them. And others try to hide them...

    We start baseball (for 6 year olds) in a couple weeks... I'm not sure how it's going to go!

  • At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Baseball is such a lovely sport for raising fine young people. It seems to strengthen the spirit.

  • At 5:19 PM, Blogger ~Nancy~ said…

    "It's a lot like watching a toddler try on grown up shoes. They are awkward and clumsy, but so very determined."

    Perfectly exact!

    I am the mother of a 23 year old gal who is still trying on adult shoes.

    Congrats to your team!!

  • At 9:48 PM, Blogger Amie Adams said…

    Congratulations to your boys!

    We're in the middle of all-stars here--the 10/11 age group. It does take over doesn't it? But I'm a firm believer that baseball is a metaphor for life. Lots of terrific life lessons.

    Good luck at states!

  • At 7:07 AM, Blogger Maureen Fitzgerald said…

    I am so looking forward to that part of having a boy!

  • At 7:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am amazed at how parallel our lives are. My family, too, is consumed with baseball. Since mid-April/First of May, we've been to a baseball game or practice at LEAST 5 nights a week.

    Regular season games wrapped up last night with a championship win for my son's team. Their travel team wrapped up with a record that in no way reflects their talent or their performance. All Stars begins tonight! Good thing we all love baseball!!!

  • At 8:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Such an interesting perspective for me. My little boy just turned 5 and it's hard for me to even imagine him in kindergarten, let alone a teenager. I love your description of boys at this age, however. You're so talented in being able to shape pictures in the mind with just words. I love reading your blog. ~Kellie

  • At 9:51 AM, Blogger Shelley said…

    Wow, congrats on making state! That's awesome!
    It gets fun to watch them as their skill level improves, doesn't it? I love watching my oldest play on her high school softball team. The middle one plays for her jr high team, and they're not quite up there, skill-wise, as the big girls are...and then there's the little one. Can I tell you that I am dreading going back and watching 6 year olds play coach-pitch? Is that terrible?

  • At 5:47 PM, Blogger Middle Girl said…

    I had similiar experiences with my soccer playing daughter. Whew.

    Congrats to these young men. Whoo Hoo!

  • At 5:57 AM, Blogger Woman in a Window said…

    Funny. The boys in the front row look like boys to me, crunched over on their knees like that. But the boys in the back row, standing so tall and puffed out in the chest a bit, they look like men. It's all in the stance.

  • At 5:57 AM, Blogger Woman in a Window said…

    Funny. The boys in the front row look like boys to me, crunched over on their knees like that. But the boys in the back row, standing so tall and puffed out in the chest a bit, they look like men. It's all in the stance.

  • At 8:51 AM, Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said…

    Good lord, BA, they all look so grownup! Enjoy these days while you've got them.


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