Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Punch out

Good morning! snow melting....yuk....

What's going on in the BP household? Well.....

Yesterday, I spoke with the big kid during the day as he waited for his friends to get out of bed. He was hungry. They were tired. They won. He waited...then called home. I'm honored that he thought of me in his boredom. I think.

These days I stay away from baseball talk. My questions range from what he has eaten, how does he feel, and what is going on with his school work. I deliberately stay away from the "b" word. Yet, it always infuses itself into our conversations.

"Are you going to watch the game tonight?" Hmm...tough call,  kiddo. You are playing on the west coast. I live and breathe on the east coast. With the three hour difference coupled with the not knowing whether you are playing or not....if you do play, it will be toward the end of the game...roughly 1:00 am my may may not play.....Ok, here is my answer....

"No, I am not going to watch the game. BUT if you want to talk, call tomorrow."

"OK, I won't call after the game since it will be in the middle of the night." Good call.

" mentally tough.....prepare.....keep your mind, body, and spirit balanced and in harmony." Then I changed my mind..... But if you find that you need someone to talk to after the game, you know that we are always here for you.  Good luck and have fun."


And so it went. I did not think about it again until the call came in at 1:30 am ish.

The first thing dad and I always say when we get these late night/early morning calls is "ut oh...." Then we have the rocks, scissors, paper game and I always lose since I sleep next to the phone (got to change this...).

"Helloooo. How are you doing? Is anything wrong? Are you OK?"

Then he poured it on and on and on....Honestly, I am glad that he called. He absolutely needed to confide in someone who would listen, understand, absorb, and be too tired to interrupt the flow. So, in a nutshell, here are the facts....

1. Fudge going Ok...neck and neck
2. Fifth inning....Fudge tired...gave up 5 runs....Fudge out
3. Frosh pitcher Hawk in..... Kid from OC sent in to pitch....not good....gave up a few more....
4. Seventh and eighth inning..."Daddy" sent in....bad day.....
5. Bottom of the 8th. Daddy has bases loaded with one out. Who gets the call and mound? Who do you think? Yep....number called.....warm up....deep thinking, sort of.

 First batter is the lead off hitter....watched him during warm ups. Kid cannot hit outside balls but is a smooth inside hitter.....catcher calls inside slider on 3-2 count. He throws outside slider which screwed the catcher up a bit, but the kid swung and missed. Strikeout.....Next batter.....hit a weird pitch down the middle. One run batter is the number three hitter....3-2...slider...swing...miss....punch out.

And so, with the bases loaded, he struck out the number one and three hitters of a nationally ranked baseball team. This is good stuff.

"How did you feel?"

"Well, my arm is not as loose as when I throw my weighted balls. Since the coach banned them, I have lost velocity."

What to do? Do I tell him to go back to his clandestine weighted balls toss? He was not allowed to use them, but continued by finding places off campus to throw them. It was usually at night and he would throw them against the Dairy Queen wall, racquet ball courts, and wherever he could find a wall with no traffic.

What would I do? Knowing that this regimen makes me a better pitcher, would I disobey the coach and find an undisclosed location to throw them? After all, my arm is looser and I have more velocity....If it was me, I would throw the weighted balls and not tell the coach. But, it is not me, so my advice is "Make your decision, but weigh all options as well as if you are caught, you may suffer a penalty."

And now, I consider that as a college athlete, I would have broken a policy and face the wrath of the coach, a certifiable psycho. Guess what? I would not care. Again, if it was me, I would break the rules and do my own thing. What am I saying? I would do everything in my power not to get caught. That's it. That is my advice. Break the rules and don't get caught. Oh boy, this does not sound like parental advice but the advice of a team mate.

Perhaps....perhaps I am thinking like a kid. Honestly, I am thinking like a college athlete who knows their body and how to train. I am thinking about me and not anyone else. yet, as a pitcher, a person has to think about their arm and what works and what does not work. So, I say...."#23^^$#....throw the balls....."


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