Tuesday, January 24, 2012
I'm Managing Little League Baseball Again -- An Oral History
"Believe it or not, there was a time when I wanted nothing to do with coaching youth sports. The politics, the parents, the egos and the immaturity. But, after the game, Jack walked right up to me and said, 'Thanks for coaching me this year, I had a lot of fun!' I replied, 'You're welcome, Jack. I had a lot of fun coaching you.' To which, he responded, 'Don't tell the other coaches, but you were my favorite!'" -- That Bootleg Guy...June 3, 2011
"I'm looking for one parent to come forward and be the manager of the team. This person would serve as my main point of contact for rosters, schedules, equipment, etc." -- E-mail from Director of Fall Little League...August 16, 2011
"It was 95 degrees and from 12:00 PM until 1:30 PM; I'd been immersed in my first organized practice as manager of a Little League baseball team." -- TBG...September 1, 2011
"Little League managers are supposed to be patient and paternal. They teach without screaming and paint everything with positivity. I gave it a go and I'm glad that I did." -- TBG...November 13, 2011
Director of Fall League: "I hope you'll consider coming back to manage in the spring, Aaron. I watched a few of your games and you were great with the kids. They looked like they were having a lot of fun playing for you."
Me: "We'll see. I didn't volunteer when I signed Jalen up [for the spring season] last weekend. Managing is a much bigger commitment in the spring." -- November 18, 2011
"Good afternoon. I am the Farm Division Head for our Board of Directors. Currently we have 5 teams confirmed for the Farm Division but only 4 Managers. ME AND THE KIDS NEED YOUR HELP!!! You are all copied on this email as you have indicated an interest in being an Assistant Coach. On Saturday a 5th Farm Division team will be drafted regardless if we have another Manager or Co-Managers confirmed. It would be a shame to have a team of 12 kids without a Manager." -- Mass e-mail...January 17, 2012
"The Farm Division has secured its 5th Manager for the upcoming Spring season. All the best." -- Mass e-mail from (inhale) Farm Division Head for our Board of Directors...January 19, 2012
"Hi, Aaron. I'm calling on behalf of the Farm Division where your son Jalen is scheduled to play this spring. As you know, the player draft is today. Actually, it's about an hour from now. I know it's extremely short notice, but I was wondering if you'd be interested in managing a team this spring. It turns out we're going to have six teams, not five. I need you to call me back right away." -- On my voice mail...January 21, 2012 (approximately 11:30 AM)
"Hi, Aaron. I'm calling on behalf of the Farm Division and to congratulate you on being named manager for the upcoming season! I need you to call me back right away so I can provide you with your roster and practice schedule." – On my voice mail…January 21, 2012 (approximately 2:00 PM)
Me: "So, how did I end up as a manager when I never actually volunteered?"
Farm Division Director: "Well, your name kept coming up when we had the opening earlier in the week and it was pretty much unanimous when we discussed you again today. Keep in mind, we had almost 30 other dads in the league who had coaching experience and we chose you. It's a pretty nice honor."
Farm Division Director: "Are you still there?" – January 21, 2012 (approximately 2:30 PM)
Farm Division Director: "For what's it worth, I think you've got a pretty good team. I had the first overall pick and chose the best player on the board for you. Unfortunately, the team that has first pick on players has the last pick on team name, so…"
Me: "So, what's our team name?"
Farm Division Director: "You're the A's. Nobody else wanted them." – January 21, 2012
Farm Division Director: "Here's a copy of your team's practice schedule and the entire roster. Every team has 11 players. You'll want to start calling the parents to introduce yourself right away."
Me: [Looks at roster.] "This…isn't my roster."
Farm Division Director: "Are you sure? Oh, my bad. I'll get you the correct roster later today."
(Later that same day…)
Farm Division Director: "Here's the correct roster, Aaron."
Me: [Looks at roster.] "There are only 10 players on it. I thought every team had 11 players."
Farm Division Director: "Are you sure? Oh, wait…60 players…divided by six teams…that IS ten. My bad." -- January 22, 2012
Me: "Hi, my name is Aaron Cameron and I'm calling to welcome your son to the A's team in the Farm Division! I'll be the manager of the…"
Child's Father: "Wait…did you say Farm? My son tried out for the next level up. He shouldn't be in Farm."
Me: "Oh. Well, to be honest, I wasn't part of the player evaluations. I was assigned a team just yesterday. But, I'll be glad to contact the league about…"
Child's Father: "Can you do it, like, now? My son shouldn't be on your team. He's too advanced for your level." – From the first player/parent phone call I made…January 22, 2012
Me: [Reviewing 'Managers' Responsibilities' email.] "Hey, the manager gets to determine the uniform colors. I'm going with white pants, green jerseys, green undershirts, green belts and green socks."
Mrs. Bootleg: "That's too much green."
Me: "No, it's not. It's the same uniform that the real A's wear."
Mrs. Bootleg: "Why don't you go with yellow undershirts?"
Me: "The real A's don't wear yellow undershirts."
Mrs. Bootleg: "…" – January 23, 2012