Another steamy night in Cincy as Buddy watched the game from the dugout and I sat in the stands cheering for the opposing team. Does that make sense BP mom? Yes, if you have been following along with the blog, you know that it does.
Before the away game, the Star Spangled Banner was sung by an autistic boy named Kyle, who absolutely nailed it and brought tears to my eyes. This is a team that has character and class. Buddy's team is known for its shady characters and its political biases. Poor kid, never had a chance to break into the line up which tells me that the cards were stacked against him before he entered town. The pitcher who started the game last night lasted 2 & 2/3 innings. During the third inning, he gave up 7 earned runs and was still not pulled from the game. Buddy gave up a walk and was pulled and humiliated by the coach. There is a great deal of hypocrisy from the top down in this organization.
Yet, before the game, he contacted me for some money since he was hungry and his wallet was in the car. I generally drop him off at the field two hours before the game and either find a mall to walk in or a library, so I am not around until the start of each game. With that said, he texted me asking for cash since he was "starving". Once I got there, he proceeded to tell me how the coach had been screaming at him during warm ups to "get the $%#% water..." "Where are you %^$# cleats?" "Get the %$#^ .......(you can fill in the blank). He was so angry and upset with the way the coach (and I use this term loosely) was screaming at him, that he needed to vent his frustrations when I arrived.
As he walked back to the dugout with his hot dogs and gatorade, I thought about his issues with this team. It took a while because I needed to be objective in my analysis and here is what I considered:
1. The team is deep with pitchers. They did not need Buddy and probably 5 other guys. The coach stacked his team deep with pitchers to prevent them from going to any other team.
2. Unless the pitcher throws in the mid 90's, he's useless to the coach. So, anyone who can spot a ball in the mid to upper 80's (Buddy) will sit as he lets the kids with heat and no direction take the mound. This is way off base when it comes to pitchers. Even major leaguers throw at this speed. Plus Buddy was/is accurate.
3. The coach is a bully and therefore found someone he could scream at who will not talk back to him (Buddy).
4. This is the only time that I will regret this sentence, but Buddy is a gentleman and non confrontational, therefore, he does not fight back at the coach. Since the coach is a bully, he does not respect my son who keeps his thoughts and feelings to himself (developing one huge ulcer). And he has someone to bully and humiliate, so Buddy is his target.
5. The player who lives with the coach this summer (and has been relegated as the coach's unpaid landscaper) told Buddy that the coaches do not have any faith that he can get the job done. Yet, he has not been given a chance to prove himself. His stats were the best of any pitcher on the team coming in, yet he is the one with the fewest innings.
6. The coaches have done a number on the big kid's self confidence as he constantly is in a panic when he throws the ball. Will he take me out if the batter gets a hit? Will he yell at me if I give up a walk? Not, he is thinking way too much and not throwing.
7. Coach R and T are appalled at the scenario, yet Buddy is basically powerless to do anything. According to Sparky, he has connections all over the major leagues. Buddy is fearful that one bad word about him will mean that his possible career in the majors will be thwarted before it begins.
All of the points ruminated through my shrinking brain (did you see the new research? The older you get, the more your brain shrinks. At this point, I have very few neurons firing at 100%). It actually took me the entire game to work through some strategies to help the big kid. Keep in mind, that he is 19 years old and has to fight his own battles. I can back him up in the foxhole, but mama cannot take down the big bad coach (unless I am provoked beyond my capacity to control myself...then you can witness Sparky soil his pants in fear, 'cause I can and would be formidable).
Here is where he stands. He was promised that he would pitch tonight against the worst team in the league. Even though they stink, they still have some sort of ego and will try to pull out an upset. Buddy continues to doubt himself and question his abilities. He is a mental mess. If he has a bad game, this could carry though to the fall season at school, where he fights for a position on a level playing field. So, I worry a bit for him. In the old days (two months ago), I sat in the stands confident that he knew what to do and he had the tools to be effective. Now I am a bit of a mess too, but have to maintain a strong facade to help him.
So, he has been given my permission to scream and cuss at the coach if he needs to...obviously, this bully does not understand any other type of communication. Perhaps this is why Buddy is the low man on the team, because he holds back his anger. Therefore, let him have it...do not use big words...no more than 4 letters in each word is necessary. Tell him how he has made you feel this season and why you have stuck it out this long (because we never quit). Tell him that you plan on playing for an opposing team next year to no-hit them any opportunity that you have....tell him that he is a big bully and coward...then move on. Leave the place in your dust with your head up as you drive away from this mess to the land where people respect one another and know what they are doing.
The way I look at it is Sparky is like a junk yard dog (I love doggies, but this is my analogy). He only understands communication that is nasty and belittling. If you take a newspaper and rap him on the nose, he pulls his tail in and heads to the corner and quiets down. This is a small town where these guys have big egos. So, Buddy is going to need the Sunday paper when he figuratively raps Sparky on his nose....(he can do this to Sparky, I would never hit a dog)
One last note.....today one of the best dogs in the world and one of my dearest friends (yes, a friend), a black lab named Jackson passed away. He was the greatest companion and the smartest dog that I ever met. May he rest in peace...by by Jackson...I will miss you :-(