Saturday, April 9, 2011

Weekend News

It's been a very busy end of week. This is the first time that I have had time to catch up on BPM postings. If you follow this blog, you know that Buddy, a freshman left handed college pitcher traveled to Chicago on Thursday for a weekend conference series. Two of the players on the team were left behind since conference games have a set number of players on the roster. It must have been tough for these kids to have to stay on campus while the others traveled. And travel, they did. First, they left campus on a bus and traveled to an airport almost 4 hours away, then they flew to Chicago, and took another bus to a local suburb. The travel itself can be very tough. I think that the players spend more time on a bus than they do on the field.

With that said, Friday's game was canceled due to rain. Today, they will play a double header. I am not sure if Buddy will play, but I will be listening on the radio.

He called late Thursday night when the team arrived at the hotel. "Guess what?" he says...."I left my hats in my locker...." Two thoughts come to mind....First, tough luck, pal....and the second is "are you asking me to do something about it?"
I am sure that Buddy is NOT the first player to forget something on campus. The hat can he forget his hats? Thankfully, his head is attached to his body via his neck, so that is there...but really...the hats? This is a kid who the night before any game would carefully pack his clothes and equipment. He never forgot anything. Once in 5th grade, he left his bag open in the locker room. One of the players on his team forgot their pants and stole his. When he returned to his bag, the pants were missing. Freaked out, he called me and tearfully told me what had happened. Naturally, the coach felt that he left the pants at home. However, I knew better because I saw them packed in his bag the night before and let out a sigh of relief that he was so organized (when it came to baseball). Anyway, he was not allowed to play without the pants. I called the coach and asked him to give him another pair, but he refused. He felt that Buddy had to pay the price for "forgetting" the pants. I ran to the store and paid for another pair of gray pants and was furious with the coach. Needless to say, the "perp" who stole the pants dropped them in the lost and found the next day. The coach never apologized and gave the pants back to Buddy. By the way, the pants had been worn and were dirty. On the bright side, he had two pairs of gray pants that lasted two seasons.

Back to the forgotten hats. Dad offered to let one of his room mates use the FedEx account number to overnight the hats to Chicago. However, Buddy did not take him up on it. He went to the team manager and spoke to him. The trainer (bless his little head) offered to let him use his hats. Unfortunately, the trainer's head is smaller than Buddy's so this should be interesting as Buddy squeezes his big head into the little trainer's hat. I wonder if it will affect his pitching OR if the trainer will want his hats back after Buddy sweats through them?

So, there you have is never smooth or easy. Despite trying to be organized and prepared, something is bound to go awry. I guess the best piece of advice is to suggest that one should be prepared for the unpredictable. Life has a tendency to humble us as we trudge through it. Something as seemingly insignificant as a forgotten hat can add misery to a ball player's day. They have a routine that they follow before each game. Using another hat may alter this comforting routine and can mess with their minds. As relieved as he is to have a hat to wear, it does not have the same crack in the brim or sweat stains. I used to tell the kids not to ever use another kid's comb, brush or never know if they have lice.

Well, I am sure that the trainer does not have lice, but is Buddy thinking of that in the back of his mind when he should be focusing on his fast ball? Probably not, 'cause I don't think that he has listened to anything that I have said since he was eight years old. As a college professor, I can see in my students' eyes when they have "checked out" and are not listening to my riveting rhetoric. It's the same with my own kids. They get a glaze in their eyes that the elderly call 'cataracts'. The 'cataract-look' emerges during educational moments such as "Don't put the car into park until you have come to a complete stop" or "Stop signs are not optional" or "do not use hand soap in the dishwasher, the suds will squeeze through the sides of the dishwasher" or "use a paper towel to clean up a broken egg and not the vacuum cleaner" or (my favorite) "the toilet paper roll does not have magical powers and change itself..."

And so, I will be listening to the radio as the double header is played between the two teams. When Buddy enters the game, I wonder how it will go...will the hat interfere with his performance? A person can laugh now, but if you are or have been an athlete, something as minor as wearing another hat can interfere with your 'mojo'....let's see what happens....more tomorrow!

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