Friday, June 17, 2011

You're Out!

Good Morning! Once again, I am living the life of a college student as I was clicking the remote between Jimmy Kimmel, Jay and Conan last night. I stopped for a while on Jay and found his show a bit funnier, although JK has his moments too. As I morph into a night owl, I am missing Johnny Carson (yep, I am that old). Johnny was smooth and funny. His humor was self-deprecating and fun to watch. Even Ed McMahon was a good sidekick.

Why am I up again at midnight? To answer this question, I will begin with the usual.....a cup of Pike coffee from Starbucks and a story to tell....sit back, here we go....

Yesterday's game was at a field an hour north of the home base. The coaches decided the players should drive themselves and they would not have to spend the money to rent a van. Sadly, since these kids still do not have jobs, one of Buddy's friends, Hoosier, needed a ride since he could not afford the gas money. So, once Hoosier arrived at the apartment, we took off on the highway to the "Bicycle Capital of the Midwest." Yep, are you jealous? I did not see one bicycle last night...not one....

The field was in a large complex and was really nice...not flashy...showy...just well maintained and in a remote location. The starting pitcher for Buddy's team is a high school legend in this part of the state. He was 'all-city'...'all-state'...'all-county'...'all world'....and is now pitching for a well known school in the south east of the US. He pitched a great game as did his opponent. It was 1-1 after 6 2/3 innings. He was on a 'pitch count' and had men on first and third with two outs when there was a call to the bullpen,,,Yes...Buddy was called into the game to get Ace out of a jam. He pitched to a count of 3-2 then the batter lined a shot to first base and the inning was over. Neither team was hitting because the pitching was so good, so Buddy's team mates were retired 1-2-3 during the next inning. The coach kept him in the game. The first batter's count went to 3-2 then Buddy left a curve ball high in the zone and he cracked a double. After an error in the field, the batter scored. Buddy retired the next three batters that he faced. After the inning was over, he walked into the dug out. The pitching coach approached him and asked him why he threw the ball in the 'hot spot'. When Buddy replied that it was a mistake (note: no pitcher ever throws a ball that he thinks the batter is going to hit for a single, double, triple, or home run...never! So, the question itself was pretty stupid...). Then the coach loudly shouted at him: "You're Out!"

And that was that....he was out...another pitcher was in and retired the side. The game ended at 1-2 with Buddy's team losing and Buddy labeled as the losing pitcher. And, so it goes...he lost. Yet there was an unearned run on an error and no run support. This is the nature of the game: you win some and you lose some.

What is BP Mom's perspective on this scenario? Simple, the pitchers need to play more and have more of a routine to be effective in a tight situation. I could tell when he warmed up that he needed to face more batters to be at his normal level of competence. However, the coaches do not have a process and think that all they have to do is to insert the pitcher in a game and he will perform. This is not always the case with pitchers who are accustomed to starting games. Even 'all world' struggled in the first inning until he found his groove.

And so it goes...since Buddy pitched last night, he will not pitch tonight. I don't have to run to see the start of the game, I can wait until the 6th inning. Buddy made me promise to be in the stands by the 6th inning so that he did not have to give the flower to any one else during Bullpen Boogie (which he not just hates..he loathes).

Tomorrow the team leaves for overnight to play four games hours away from home base. So, it will be my first night alone in our "pad." We have figured out a system to burglar-proof the apartment. I have two large chairs by the door. How is that for an effective system?

Buddy and Hoosier mentioned late last night, while we were eating pancakes at the 24 hour IHOP, that they had to go to a sausage shop today to sign autographs for the kids in their uniforms. They were not happy. So Buddy just emerged from his bedroom and is in a very 'salty' mood. "Don't they understand that we are not a big deal? Why do we have to do this? They can make me run baseball camps where kids threaten me and hit me in the face and sign autographs but they can't get me a job?" He's right. They are benefiting from having these Division I players in the region yet have reneged on their promises to find jobs. These kids need to earn money for college in the fall and they are in a holding pattern as the summer progresses. Their promise to take care of the them has yet to materialize. If they cannot find the jobs, then so be it...tell them so that they can find their own jobs. With that said, Buddy just left to sign autographs....he's not happy...and he is not employed...he is just Out!

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