Saturday, November 15, 2008
The Tee-Ball Chronicles #4
The Fall 2008 campaign came to a close as your Pirates faced the hated Dodgers at high noon. I'd be remiss if I didn't give a shout out to Mother Nature for keeping the rain away all season AND for the 90-degree mercury readings during each of the last three games. Nothing goes better together than easily-distracted kids and the inside of an oven.
Team MVP: Gavin – During today's game, he stepped to the plate and actually called his shot, gesturing to left field with the bases loaded. Naturally, he walloped a grand slam to left and nearly passed the runners who were standing on first and second base. In a few years, I look forward to being one of the irrational parents who petitions for Gavin to be moved to a more advanced league – for the safety of the other kids – and thereby laying the foundation for his eventual sense of athletic entitlement.
Team Opposite of MVP: Matthew – By the end, even I couldn't dredge up generic words of encouragement for this 100 lb. pansy (and I was giving high fives to the kids who walked to first base). Honestly, I'm not sure what took longer during our games: watching Matthew hit the tee 10 straight times, instead of the ball; his endless infantile tantrums when he didn't get to the ball before one of our nine other fielders or my favorite "Matt Moment" of the season – when he ran right through my stop sign and did this to the runner ahead of him:
Proudest Moment – Second Runner-Up: During a postgame pizza fracas at a Persian-run joint called "Uncle Vinnie's", Jalen ate his ever-loving weight in what had to be the worst pizza ever made with human hands. I'm talking worse than Sbarro's at the mall, people. This place even managed to screw up chicken wings – grilling them in a skillet with olive oil and parsley!
Proudest Moment – First Runner-Up: If I had to guess, I'd say that the Pirates recorded three - maybe - four legitimate put-outs all season. Jalen was in on almost all of them, including a sweet unassisted play at first base a few weeks ago. Did that one play cancel out his 28 errors? Yes.
Proudest Moment – Winner: So, in the months prior to the start of tee-ball, I might've let slip to Jalen that I was quite the sandlot ballplayer back in the day. Just like those anonymous New York playground legends in basketball, you'll just have to take my word for it. Anyways, I'd taught myself to switch hit and Jalen has been begging for an opportunity to hit from the left side of the plate in a game…wait, I'll get through this…just like his dad. Two weeks ago, he got his chance and put a half-way decent swing on the ball hitting one of those ubiquitous "tee-ball singles" between first and second.
No, no…he's hasn't surpassed his old man yet, but in another twenty years I'd better watch out!