Monday, June 27, 2011

Chaos in the bullpen

As Paul Simon sings: "Gee, it's great to be back home...Home is where I want to beeeeee. I've been on the road so long my friend...." It took me a few days to re establish my territory. Yes, dad and Tink did a fairly good job keeping it going. There were just a few casualties. I lost 2 buckets of flowers. I gave them 'horticultural CPR' last night trying to revive them. Only time will tell whether my petunias make it or if we will have a funeral for them. Long term prognosis is not good. I will have to alert their next of kin before I pull the plug. Next stop is Home Depot to adopt new flowers. Before I leave again, I will write down step by step instructions on how to water the needed: water and watering can....fill can with water.....can it be any simpler? We will have an oral and written exam before the weekend with a demonstration.

Yesterday afternoon, Buddy called to inform me that he is sick to his stomach and that his cold is worse. He knows what to do for a cold, so I did not rattle off instructions. However, after I asked him what he did about it, he did not have an answer. BP mom is not there, dude. You are on your own and have to deal with it. We have reviewed cold remedies over the years. I thought that he was paying attention, although I am now not sure. This is not his first cold, nor will it be his last. Hang in there...drink fluids and get enough sleep....what am I saying? This kid sleeps like he has African Sleeping worries here.

He called his dad last night and had him in stitches. I knew that he was not going to pitch because he was in the game on Saturday night. I was able to listen to part of the game and they were losing (big). So, I turned the game off and went to bed trying to re establish my normal sleeping patterns. This week, I am NOT going to bed at 2 week, sure...this week...NO!

Back to Buddy's call. As he spoke, dad began to laugh uncontrollably. After a few minutes, I found out what was so funny. It seems that during the game, the pitching coach whom the guys in the bullpen call "Stinky" (bad breath), walked out to the mound with the intention of pulling the pitcher. The pitcher screams at him (paraphrase)..."Unless you have a hot dog for me, you had better turn around..." Stinky turned around and went back to the dug out. The guys in the bullpen went crazy. This was a bit disrespectful as far as I am concerned, but I am not out there with this coach, so I am just reporting the facts.

After the big loss, Stinky gathers the pitchers and calls them all out. Buddy was one of the victims as Stinky mentioned that the team led the league in walks. "How many walks have you given up?" Buddy replied "five...all in one game. None before or after that game..." Stinky was not happy with the reply and told him to shut up as he called out other pitchers. Apparently it would have been perceived as ugly by the players if they respected Stinky, but they don't. So, here is my perception on this matter:

There are a number of Division I pitchers on this team who are accustomed to a routine and a certain level of coaching that is not evident here. The pitching coach wants to change the way that they throw the ball. This is a 'no-no' as they have gotten to this level through their fundamentals. The coach seems to be over his head. He also does not know how to handle a bullpen full of prima donnas. Yes...they are full of themselves and their accomplishments (including my own son). Therefore Stinky needs to approach them from a different perspective and establish himself as a leader, which he has not done. These guys want someone to follow. They also need a coach, who allegedly is a scout for a MLB team, to mentor them through the summer. Sadly, Stinky has done nothing but alienate the entire group. Therefore, he has chaos in his bullpen.

Is there hope for these guys? Yes! My advice to Stinky is: appeal to their egos. They do not want high numbers or statistics. They want a successful summer league. In addition, they have bonded with each other, so use this as an opportunity to connect with them. No player wants to give up a walk or game winning he kidding? These kids want to play MLB and they are on the them to achieve their goals, not by tinkering with their arms but with their heads. Again, do I have to run the bullpen too?

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