After a couple of home games, we were back on the road. As my wife and this baseball instructional video Dad arrive to watch the game a couple of parents from the other team come up and ask if we are really still undefeated. They seemed really worried that we were going to beat them badly. We had beat them 8-2 in the first game of the year, but I got the feeling they hadn’t done much better since. The 8 runs they held us to was actually our lowest output of the season. I assured them that we were not that good. The ball had bounced our way all year and we were very close to being a 5-4 team instead of 9-0. We batted first and our leadoff man struck out looking on a pitch that appeared to be high and at least 6 inches outside. Because of their field setup, our parents sat in a little area right behind homeplate amongst their parents. There was a lot of good natured conversation. One of their parents jokingly said it was good that maybe the umpire was cheering for them. Little did they know that it was going to be like that for both teams. We went 1-2-3 in the 1st and we got them out allowing 1 hit. In the top of the second, we jumped out to a 5-0 lead. By this time, the game was turning into a joke as both teams were hollering at the umpires. Their coach came out to argue and stopped just shy of getting tossed.
I felt sorry for the boys on both teams. The umpiring was horrible for both. I know that they were consistent and not calling for only one team, but how is one supposed to hit or pitch not knowing what would be called a strike or a ball.
The field umpire got into it too, missing several calls on the bases. I joked that maybe he was trying to take some of the heat off his younger counterpart behind the plate. Us parents did have a good time talking amongst ourselves. It was hard not to cheer when one of the opposing players did something well. Both teams parents were cheering for both teams. While I have never been a part of a game with such bad umpiring in 35 years of playing and coaching, I had also never been to a game where parents for both sides cheered for every kid as if it were their own.
We opened the lead to 8-0 and eventually won the game 10-4. Even though it was so poorly officiated, it was still a fun game to watch. Unfortunately, as with a lot of youth sports, there are those few parents that like to cheer against the other team instead of cheering for their own. There was none of that today. Their rightfielder looked like he might have passed for a middleschooler, but when he made a diving catch to end one of our innings, our parents stood with theirs to applaud him. I wish every game could be that way. Who knows, but maybe it took a bad game for the umpires to bring the parents of two rival teams together to do what should always be done. Cheer for every kid out their. They are trying their hardest and remember that each one is SOMEBODY’S SON. On the way to the car my wife asked “hey king of instructional videos, is there a baseball instructional video for umpires?” I told her I was sure there was somewhere, but I was glad these two hadn’t used one. By the way, my son went hitless with a walk and a HBP. I didn’t really care. I felt good leaving the ballpark.