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“Dad, it’s your fault!” – the life of a baseball Dad

Another bad game. That’s two in a row. Don’t get me wrong. 2 for 4 is a pretty good game. It was more about his approach, not so much the results. We faced an incredibly slow pitcher. So slow that you wondered how the ball went 60′ 6″ on the plane it took. Shouldn’t gravity have pulled it to Earth before it traveled that far. Anyways, hadn’t we learned with all of our baseball training, our baseball videos, all the instructional help we had had along the way taught us to stay very patient and let the ball get to our hitting zone before we swung for the fence? He wasn’t the only one having trouble. This was the type of pitching that made bad hitters good and good hitters bad. I give their pitcher credit. Pitching isn’t about trying to throw the ball by everyone. Hitting is timing and pitching is disrupting timing. He was doing a great job of it.

Unfortunately, we seemed to take our at bats to the field. Nothing seemed to be going right. After never dropping a pop up in 12 years of baseball, my son dropped 2. Sure he ran a long ways to get to them, but if you are going to run that far, shouldn’t you catch it? My wife was getting upset with my little comments in the stands. I wasn’t yelling them where the players could hear them. The other parents were feeling the same way. It was a frustrating game. Were able to score a couple of runs to make it 4-3 and finally chased their starting pitcher. The next one threw a good bit harder. The bats came alive. I had been using my iPhone to take videos of my sons at bats and was examining them between innings. In his first at bat against the new pitcher, he jumped on a first pitch fastball and lined a single up the middle. It was the best swing he had taken in 2 games. How hard is it to repeat that swing every time. That is why he hit 16,000 balls over the winter. That is why he watched all of his baseball instructional videos again. Why could he not hit against the first pitcher? Thay ended up winning 10-5, continuing their undefeated season. You would have thought they lost with how much their coaches ran them after the game, and from the conversations of the parents after the game. It was definitely an ugly win.

He had homework so he rode home with us instead of on the bus. We were 45 minutes from home, and the bus stops for them to eat. I swore to myself that I would not say a word on the way home. One of my good friends begged me to remain silent. He had practically driven his son fron the game by being very hard on him. We got in the car, and I remained silent. He talked about how much he stunk. Mom said it was the worst game of his life. I was biting my lip. I wanted to defend him, but knew it would lead to a big argument. Finally he said “Dad it’s your fault.” I couldn’t take it anymore. “How is it my fault?” I asked. “We haven’t gone to hit in 2 weeks. All I get is batting practice at practice and they don’t instruct. We just swing.” I was taken aback. He plays 4-5 nights a week. The earliest they get done after a home game is about 8:30. Then comes homework. If there is no game and just practice, he gets done at 7:30. This past weekend, he begged for the weekend off. There were no games and no scheduled practice. I knew he should hit, but he wanted a weekend off to just be a kid. It was his choice and I went along with it. Now it’s my fault for not being a jerk and making him hit. I can’t win. Well he has another game tomorrow. We’ll see if he does better.

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